March 11, 2019
Tucker Carlson Defends Convicted Pedophile, Calls Martha Stewart's Daughter 'C***y,' In Newly Surfaced Audio

Fox News nighttime host Tucker Carlson, whose highly-rated program has become a favorite among white supremacists, The Washington Post reported, was once a frequent phone-in guest on a Florida radio program hosted by "shock jock" Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. In newly surfaced audio from Carlson's calls, the Fox News personality is heard making a stream of offensive remarks about women. In one such remark, Carlson refers to the daughter of TV personality Martha Stewart as "c***y," using a crude term for the female sexual anatomy.

In other remarks in his on-air conversations with Clem, Carlson, who is now 49-years-old, defends convicted pedophile cult leader Warren Jeffs, who, since 2011, has been serving a life sentence for convictions of sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl, and a 15-year-old girl, whom Jeffs took as his "wives," according to The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper.

"I am not defending underage marriage at all. I just don't think it's the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting that child," Carlson says in the audio compiled and published on Sunday by Media Matters.

Carlson goes on to say that Jeffs "made a lifelong commitment" to "take care of" the girls, making his situation "different" from that of the hypothetical bus stop rapist imagined by Carlson, who had been hired by Fox News — after stints in CNN and MSNBC — just a few months before making the comments about Jeffs on the Bubba the Love Sponge broadcast.

Listen to audio of Carlson's remarks below, but readers should warned: the recording contains crude and offensive language and explicit discussion of sexual topics.

In the recording, Carlson says that Jeffs, who was jailed at the time, but not yet convicted of the charges that sent him to prison for life, was behind bars not because he committed rape, but because "he's weird and unpopular."

In a separate segment of the audio, Clem — whose given name is Todd Alan Clem, but who legally changed his first name to "Bubba the Love Sponge" in 1998 — accuses Carlson of desiring to "f*** Sarah Palin," to which Carlson replies, "I'll agree with that." And in another excerpt, Carlson refers to pop star Britney Spears and socialite Paris Hilton as "two of the biggest white whores in America."

Carlson also makes derogatory generalizations about women, saying in one audio clip, that women "hate weakness. They're like dogs that way....they're extremely primitive, they're basic, they're not that hard to understand."

Bubba the Love Sponge Clem poses with then-wife Heather Clem.
Getty Images | Ethan Miller
Radio talk show host Bubba the Love Sponge Clem (r) and his now ex-wife Heather Clem (l) in 2009, around the time of Tucker Carlson's calls.

Carlson, through his stepmother, Patricia Swanson, is an heir to the Swanson TV dinner fortune, according to Columbia Journalism Review, which also reported that Carlson applied to join the CIA in 1992, but was rejected. He then took up journalism on the suggestion of his father, who told Carlson, "They'll take anybody."

Editor's note: Fox News reached out with a statement from Carlson, who remains unapologetic.

"Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I'm on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why."