Tucker Carlson joked about having sex with a “vulnerable” teenage beauty pageant contestant, newly unearthed audio has revealed, as advertisers turn their backs on the prominent Fox News presenter over a string of controversial comments.
The right-wing talk show host also said the Miss Teen USA contender would make a “a pretty good wife” because she was “so dumb”, in a series of misogynistic and degrading remarks during an interview with a US shock jock.
The audio, first published by social news provider Now This, is the latest of several clips recorded between 2006 and 2011 and released by left-leaning media watchdog Media Matters for America.
In other recordings from radio interviews with Bubba the Love Sponge, Carlson is heard defending statutory rape, describing women as "primitive", and saying he “love[s]” the idea of schoolgirls sexually experimenting. He also claimed “white men” deserve credit for “creating civilization” and describes Iraqis as “semi-literate primitive monkeys”.
Drug company AstraZeneca and sleepwear manufacturer Sheex this week announced they are pulling all advertising from Carlson’s show in light of the "inappropriate" comments. They join dozens of other advertisers that have reportedly cut ties with the programme in recent months over the presenter’s inflammatory remarks about immigrants and women.
In the latest recording, Carlson is heard making lewd comments about Caitlin Upton, who won the 2007 Miss Teen Carolina contest when she was 17. Ms Upton was subjected to ridicule online and in the media for an answer she gave to a question during the pageant – derision she later said left her suicidal.
During the interview with Bubba, Carlson says: “I gotta be honest, I thought she was kind of appealing.
“She’d probably be a pretty good wife ... Don’t you think, if you had a wife that dumb, would it be good or bad?”
Bubba replies emphatically: “Good.”
Exclusive: Tucker Carlson's sexual comments about a Miss Teen USA pageant are some of the most shocking yet - in new unearthed audio. pic.twitter.com/QCOzaYVYIC— NowThis (@nowthisnews)March 13, 2019
Later in the exchange, Carlson suggests without evidence that actor and Miss Teen USA host Mario Lopez had sex with Upton after the pageant. He jokes the contestant would be easy to trick into sex because “she’s so dumb”.
“She’s vulnerable,” he adds. “She’s like a wounded gazelle separated from the herd.”
Asked by Bubba, who believes the teenager was underage, if it would be “a problem legally if Mario f***ed it,” Carlson responds: “No. No are you kidding. He’s like James Brown.
“The normal laws for that kind of thing don’t apply to him. He gets a pass.”
Carlson has not commented on the latest clip, but has previously refused to apologise for his remarks on Bubba the Love Sponge Show and vowed he "will never bow to the mob".
In a statement posted on Twitter this week, he said: "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.”
The Independent has approached Fox News for a comment.