A man confronted Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday while he was out shopping at a fishing shop in Montana.
The man told him he was “the worst human being known to mankind,” according to video of the interaction posted to social media. Carlson appeared to be with his family, because the man said he didn’t care that Carlson’s daughter was there.
Fox News was appalled that Carlson would be bothered while going about his normal, everyday life.
“Ambushing Tucker Carlson while he is in a store with his family is totally inexcusable – no public figure should be accosted regardless of their political persuasion or beliefs simply due to the intolerance of another point of view,” a Fox News spokesperson told media website Mediaite in a statement.
Fox News is outraged when their big-name hosts are ambushed, but it is totally fine with its big-name hosts doing the ambushing. Ambushes were a central part of the show of Bill O’Reilly, who was Fox’s most prominent host for years. (He left in 2017, under the disgrace of a series of sexual harassment allegations.)
Fox News also continued to promote Jesse Watters, O’Reilly’s henchman who went out and did many of the ambushes. In 2009, O’Reilly sent Watters out to harass me while I was on vacation for the weekend in Virginia.
Even after multiple attempts to contact Fox News, the network never offered any explanation or apology for what happened. There was no outrage that I was accosted while going about my personal life, simply because O’Reilly didn’t like that I pointed out that he had made gross comments about a woman who was raped.
I was far from the only person subjected to the Fox News ambush machine. In the three years before O’Reilly went after me, his producers – such as Watters – went after about 50 people. And the ambushes continued after my encounter. There were other journalists, college professors, judges, lawyers, bureaucrats and educators – some of whom were hardly even public figures, especially for a national TV audience.
I was ambushed outside my hotel on vacation. Many others were accosted at their homes. In my case, no one from O’Reilly’s show ever reached out to me beforehand for comment.
Watters also accosted regular, non-public individuals on the street for the sole purpose of making them look foolish. In 2016, he produced a racist segment mocking Asian Americans he “interviewed” in New York City’s Chinatown. After an uproar, he eventually apologised but said it had been intended to be “tongue-in-cheek.”
Fox News did not immediately return a request for comment on why ambushing me was fine, but ambushing Carlson was not.