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Host, "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Fox News
- Updated: April 21, 2023
— The college Carlson attended confirms the authenticity of Carlson’s 1991 college yearbook entry saying he was a member of the “Jesse Helms Foundation” and the “Dan White Society.” Dan White assassinated gay civil rights pioneer Harvey Milk in 1978. Jesse Helms was one of the most active anti-LGBTQ senators in U.S. history, who said AIDS resulted from “unnatural” and “disgusting” homosexual behavior, and ran racist campaign ads.
—- Hosted guest who falsely suggested that medical care for trans youth allows people to “basically molest and abuse children.” Carlson agreed, then falsely claimed trans youth undergo “genital mutilation and chemical castration.” Gender-affirming medical care is neither mutilation or castration. It is accepted, safe, effective, and lifesaving treatment supported by every major medical professional organization.
— Made multiple false claims about gender-affirming care in an interview with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who vetoed a bill that bans such care. The legislature overrode the veto to pass the ban into law. “With respect,” Carlson said. “It doesn’t sound like you have studied it very deeply. I mean, this is an emerging field. There’s not a lot of research. But the research that exists suggests the depression and the urge to self-harm and suicide is a component, it’s a side effect of taking these hormones.” Hutchinson met with transgender Arkansans who directly experienced and personally explained gender-affirming care and the importance of it. Hutchinson had read and interpreted his state’s bill as a vast government overreach into private healthcare decisions. Gender-affirming care is not an emerging field in need of more research to study safety and efficacy. The study Carlson cited was about puberty blockers, which have been safely used for decades, not hormone therapy. A 2020 study of puberty blocker usage found they improve mental health outcomes, opposite of what Carlson inferred. Every major professional medical association has come out in support of gender-affirming care and against the bills Carlson supports that aim to eliminate it.
—Spent two nights of his show criticizing a New York Times internet culture reporter for speaking out about trolls targeting her online, leading to additional online harassment. The International Women’s Media Foundation says a 2018 survey found that 63% of female journalists said they’d been threatened or harassed online. Of those who said they’d been harassed, 40% said they avoided reporting certain stories because of it.
—Called Julia Beck, who was removed from Baltimore’s LGBTQ Commission after repeatedly making transphobic comments and misgendering transgender people, “brave” for making those statements. Beck claimed, without evidence, that transgender women “put every woman and girl at risk of male violence,” and that the “T” in the LGBTQ acronym “is not based in biological reality. In fact, I would argue it’s opposed to biological reality,” and that “men are taking women’s scholarships, titles, and this is a problem.” Carlson did not dispute Beck’s claims.
—Repeatedly hosts anti-transgender activists to repeat false claims about trans girls in sports, including American Principles Project’s Terry Schilling, who fabricated text messages during the 2020 campaign and created false ads about trans youth that were pulled from Facebook for violating community standards. On Carlson’s show, Schilling confused trans identities without clarification from Carlson, claiming trans boys want to compete in school sports against cisgender girls (trans boys actually want to participate with other boys) as he disparages transgender youth for wanting to be included with their peers in school athletics.
—Bragged about beating up a gay man when he was in high school.
—Verbally attacked and misgendered an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for having a nonbinary flag in their Twitter bio.
—Described transgender children as “grotesque” and insisted without evidence about a “nationwide epidemic” in which parents force their children to transition. Research shows transgender children as young as three begin to recognize their gender identity is different than their sex assigned at birth, and reveal themselves to their parents. Trans youth are far less likely to consider suicide when their pronouns and names are accepted.
—Said the civil rights of transgender people is of no interest to working-class people: “But it does seem like a boutique issue of particular concern to people from certain ZIP codes, income levels, education levels. I mean, it’s—it’s kind of an issue for rich people, is it not?” Trans people disproportionately face high rates of poverty, limited job opportunities and housing insecurity, worsened by the discrimination they face in everyday life and lack of legal protections.
—Refused to apologize for using the slur “faggot” on air after audio clips resurfaced years later.
—Insulted transgender professor and Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund executive director Jillian Weiss on his show, saying he could claim to be a woman the “tomorrow,” made unsubstantiated claims about a multibillion-dollar gender-specific program, and said of trans people, “I’m saying don’t give $11 billion of way to people who are faking.”
—Believes anyone who discusses their transgender identity should be barred from military service. A Pentagon study found that two-thirds of active-duty troops support trans military service, and 71% of Americans support trans service members.
The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.
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For GLAAD Media Institute Alum Kevin Anderson, interviews with journalists have become increasingly prevalent in…