Carlson said the comments Neff wrote under a pseudonym in the online forum were “incorrect” and that he does not “endorse those words.” Carlson continued: “It is wrong to attack people for qualities that they cannot control. In this country, we judge people by what they do, not by how they were born. We often say that because we mean it.” Carlson added that Neff “did not meet that standard and has paid a high price for it.”
If you looked at Carlson’s comments and knew what he was talking about, you may have noticed an obvious omission. At no time did Carlson describe his former lead writer’s online comments, let alone note that they had been racist and sexist. And at no time did he explain to viewers that Neff was actively posting those comments as recently as last week.
Misleading at best
Reminder: I could have said this all Friday
It is worth noting that Carlson had every opportunity in the world to have addressed this matter on Friday. We reached out to Neff for comment Thursday night, and on Friday morning Fox News knew our story was in the works, leaving Carlson with a fair amount of time to prepare comments and address everything.
But he did not, but waited until Monday night. What is strange, right? After all, if you were a cable newscaster, wouldn’t you be outraged if you knew that your best writer had been secretly posting racist material online? Wouldn’t you like to tackle it and clean the air? Apparently not Carlson …
A “long planned” vacation
At the end of his show, Carlson announced that he was on a “long-planned” vacation to “trout fishing.” While it may be true, it’s worth noting that there is a long tradition of Fox News anchors going on supposedly planned vacations when they spark controversy. Think of Bill O’Reilly (whose vacations were actually planned in advance, even if he didn’t return), Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Jesse Watters, and even Carlson himself in the past …