The scene was familiar to those on the internet who can’t stand Tucker Carlson — the right-wing pundit near-speechless as a guest tears him apart, ripping Tucker’s hypocrisy and claiming that the views he shares are dangerous.
In 2005, it was The Daily Show host Jon Stewart tearing down Carlson so thoroughly that CNN decided to cancel Carlson’s show not long afterward. This week, it is Dutch historian Rutger Bergman who had his turn at Carlson.
A leaked video shows Bergman appearing on Carlson’s Fox News show, a follow-up to Bergman’s viral appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he blasted the world’s elite who were there for their hypocrisy. In his appearance on Carlson’s show, Bergman reiterated his view that the world’s billionaires are purposely avoiding paying their fair share in taxes — and then took aim at Tucker Carlson himself.
Bregman accused Carlson of being bought out by the Murdoch family, the owners of Fox News, and by the right-wing think tank Cato Institute, which is bankrolled by the billionaire Koch brothers and advocates for lower taxes. In a tense exchange, Bregman accused Fox News of ignoring the tax issue because “what the Murdochs want you to do is scapegoat immigrants instead of talking about tax avoidance.”
As The Guardian noted, this led Carlson to explode on his guest.
“Why don’t you go f*** yourself, you tiny brain. You’re a moron,” Carlson said. “I tried to give you a hearing but you were too f***ing annoying.”
The clip of the exchange has gone viral online, drawing comparisons to the 2005 takedown of Tucker Carlson by Jon Stewart. In that incident, Stewart came on as a guest to Carlson’s show, Crossfire, and laid out why he thought Carlson’s divisive brand of rhetoric was bad for America.
At the time, CNN President Jonathan Klein said he agreed with Stewart’s assessment and didn’t want to see his network go the route of Fox News, with divisive commentary taking precedent over hard news.
“CNN is a different animal,” Klein said at the time (via the New York Times). “We report the news. Fox talks about the news. They’re very good at what they do and we’re very good at what we do.”
In the time since the show was canceled, Tucker Carlson has moved over to Fox News, and his show has frequently come under fire for its divisive and racially charged rhetoric.