Tucker Carlson, whose ratings with his 7 p.m. show helped gain him the coveted spot vacated by Megyn Kelly, took a beating Friday from Erik Wemple in the Washington Post, who decided that based on anecdotal evidence, Carlson should be bashed with a column headlined, “Fox News Chooses Sexist to Replace Woman Who Battled Sexism.”
Wemple has thrown the sexist label at Carlson before, after a March 2015 episode in which Amy Spitalnick, a female spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, did not like the way she was treated by the staff of The Daily Caller, a website Carlson founded, including an email from Carlson’s brother that was considered offensive.
In response to Wemple’s 2015 coverage of the email that offended Spitalnick, Carlson told C-SPAN,”I never read anything about myself, ever. But someone in my office said that the Washington Post did four stories on it. There’s a guy called Erik Wemple [Blog] — I think that’s how you pronounce his name.”
Carlson then indulged in expressing his opinion of Wemple.
“He’s like a total mediocrity and a moron and kind of a creepy, finger-sniffer-type character. But anyway, he has written about it all these times because it’s like bigger than the fall of Baghdad,” Carlson said in 2015.
Wemple wrote about it again Friday, and asked Spitalnick for her thoughts about Carlson taking Kelly’s place.
“Replacing a woman who’s faced misogyny with a man who openly condones it is a sad metaphor for our politics right now. Misogyny is alive and well — and it makes it all the more incumbent on journalists, and all of us, to call it out,” Spitalnick told Wemple.
In his effort to indict Carlson for sexism, Wemple includes part of an interview with Kelly, in which he tries to get her to agree with his claims that Carlson is sexist.
Kelly didn’t give Wemple what he wanted.
“I don’t think you can sum up the man based on a comment here, a comment there,” she said. “My experience with him has been nothing but delightful and respectful and I think he’s a huge talent and I am thrilled to see him hosting the 7 p.m. show. Thrilled.”
Wemple continued to press, and Kelly continued to defend Carlson.
“I have known him for a long time and what I’ve seen of him is a man who’s respectful and kind and loving and actually so far in his time at 7 p.m.,” she said.
“I happen to know he has reached out to a lot of women who may not get on camera that often to say, ‘Would you like a shot, would you like to come on? I think you’re great.’ All I’ve heard from my female colleagues is gratitude for new opportunities since he’s taken over that show,” Kelly said.
“So I am a big Tucker fan and I believe he’s a good person and will continue to believe that until somebody gives me great reason to believe otherwise,” she added.
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