After a week on his “preplanned” vacation that started just after his chief writer Blake Neff was outed and then ousted for pseudonymously posting all sorts of bigoted and misogynistic content online, Tucker Carlson returned and, in true Trumpist fashion, tried to turn the page—by creating a new controversy to change the subject by doxxing a New York Times reporter. Question: Who announces on a Monday he’s off for a “preplanned’ vacation starting that Tuesday. Answer: An embattled Fox News star, just like Laura Ingraham did after she made fun of Parkland survivor David Hogg or Sean Hannity after doubling down on Seth Rich or Judge Box of Wine after making bigoted anti-Muslim comments about Ilhan Omar. Or Bill O’Reilly a few times.
Speaking of things staying the same at Fox, just as the frozen fish heir was off from his week fishing, his name came up in a new sexual assault and harassment lawsuit filed by two Fox news employees, Jennifer Eckhart and Cathy Areu. In the lawsuit, Areu alleges that “Mr. Carlson, hardly making any effort to hide his intentions, began telling Ms. Areu that he would be alone in New York City that night, and specifically said that he would be staying alone in his hotel room without any wife or kids.” When Areu declined to meet him there, the suit continues, her appearances on his show all but stopped. Fox says that Areu’s claims are all false and without merit, even as the network had fired star reporter Ed Henry, whom Eckhart is accusing of assault and Areu is accusing of harassment.
This isn’t the first dance, or the second, or the third from the network that paid out $32 million to settle claims against Bill O’Reilly and $45 million more for claims against Roger Ailes. Those two are gone, but Carlson was back on the air this week, doing what he could do to present himself, once again, as the real victim. He said nothing about the sexual harassment allegations on his first night back, or about his Black colleagues’ concerns, on a call with company brass, about a “white supremacist cell” inside the news network. He didn’t reflect at all about how he ended up with a racist woman-hater as his chief writer. Instead he asked, “Why is The New York Times doing a story on the location of my family’s house? Well, you know why. To hurt us, to injure my wife and kids so that I will shut up and stop disagreeing with them. They believe in force. We’ve learned that.”