“Well, we’re out of time,” Tucker Carlson said to end his Fox News program on Monday night, before delivering the news of his “long-planned” vacation in a slapdash manner. “Gonna spend the next four days trout fishing … this is one of those years where if you don’t get it in now, you’re probably not going to. Something dramatic happens, of course we’ll be back.”
By most TV producers’ definitions, a dramatic event might include the top writer of the highest-rated show in the history of cable news resigning after it was revealed that he had a long history of anonymously posting racial slurs and misogynistic comments on a message board. But the fallout over the resignation of Carlson’s head writer Blake Neff was not mentioned as a reason for the vacation. In an interview published this month, Neff said, “Anything [Carlson is] reading off the teleprompter, the first draft was written by me” — a claim that might explain why a prominent ex-white nationalist said last year that the Fox News host makes “white nationalist talking points better than they have.”
On the Monday night broadcast, the first since CNN reported on Neff’s other body of work, Carlson said that he does not “endorse” his writer’s comments and that “they have no connection” to a show that ran the following segment last week:
While the network “strongly condemn[ed]” Neff’s language, Carlson also condemned those celebrating the ouster of his former writer. “We should also point out to the ghouls now beating their chests and triumph of the destruction of a young man that self-righteousness also has its costs,” he said.
The abrupt announcement of a fishing trip in the midst of a racism-related crisis is becoming a summer tradition for the Fox News host. Last August, after facing condemnation for calling white supremacy a “hoax,” Carlson announced at the end of his program that he was heading “to the wilderness to fish” with his son.