UPDATED Thursday, 7:45 p.m.: As the term “FireTuckerCarlson” trended on Twitter, the Fox News host seemed to double down on his criticism of protesters Thursday.
Carson was accused on Wednesday night of giving the “thumbs up” to murder when he said of the teen shooter who allegedly killed two protesters in Kenosha, WI, “are we really surprised this looting and arson accelerated to murder? How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”
During a conversation on Thursday, controversial former Trump Administration official Michael Anton told Carlson that “Antifa and other rioters” were “a nihilistic evil that has no justification for itself at all.”
'Last Week Tonight': John Oliver Addresses RNC Lies, The Party's "Barely Disguised Racial Panic" And "Infuriating" Events Of Kenosha
Carlson’s rejoinder? “How long do normal people continue to put up with this?”
“That’s another one that I sweat over all the time because I stopped wanting to put up with it a long time ago,” said Anton, “and I’m waiting for sort of the rest of America to come along. I feel a turn now. I will see if I’m right about that.”
You can watch the full segment here.
PREVIOUSLY on Wednesday: During a lengthy segment on the violence in Kenosha that resulted in the killing of two people, Fox News host Tucker Carlson seemed to blame not the kid with the long gun — or the parents who assumingely put it in his hands — but local officials.
“At one point,” related Carlson, “the 17-year-old who has now been charged tired to run from the mob. He tripped and fell. A man ran up and smashed him in the head with a skateboard. The 17-year-old then fired his gun.”
While acknowledging that he did not know what transpired before that point in the conflict, Carlson said the incident “reached its inevitable and bloody conclusion.”
“Kenosha has devolved into anarchy, the authorities in charge of the city abandoned it,” the Fox News host maintained. “People in charge, from the governor of Wisconsin on down, refused to enforce the law. They stood back and watched Kenosha burn.”
“So are we really surprised this looting and arson accelerated to murder?” he continued. “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would? Everyone can see what was happening in Kenosha. It was getting crazier by the hour.”
That drew a swift rebuke from longtime conservative Bill Kristol who replied, “How shocked are we that 51 year olds with Fox shows decided they had to go the last disgraceful step and justify…murder?”
Journalist and Recode founder Kara Swisher also weighed in writing, “How shocked are we that Tucker Carlson decided he had to maintain his fussy depravity when no one else would dare by giving a thumbs up to murder?”
Hollywood then joined in.
John Cusack went on a daylong Twitter jag, starting with Carlson and then moving onto Donald Trump.
When asked for comment, Fox News pointed to Carlson’s tweet and provided a full transcript of the segment, which is below.
What does that amount to? We’re unsure, a court will decide whether what you just saw qualifies as self-defense. We don’t have more details. We do know why it all happened, though. Kenosha has devolved into anarchy, the authorities in charge of the city abandoned it. People in charge from the governor of Wisconsin on down refused to enforce the law. They stood back and watched Kenosha burn. So are we really surprised this looting and arson accelerated to murder. How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would. Everyone can see what was happening in Kenosha. It was getting crazier by the hour. Watch this scene from last night.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.