Main | Wednesday, August 29, 2007

GLAAD: Tucker Carlson And MSNBC
Must Apologize

GLAAD has issued a statement demanding that Tucker Carlson and MSNBC apologize for "remarks made Tuesday night that appear to condone violent assault." As several JMG readers noted in the post below this one, today Carlson issued this statement, written in response to GLAAD's complaint:
Let me be clear about an incident I referred to on MSNBC last night: In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men's room in Washington, DC. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men's room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived.

Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That's absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn't angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he
assaulted me.
GLAAD's response:
The statement is not only a failed attempt to justify Carlson's advocacy of violence, but also changes key details of the previous night's on-air story. First, Carlson does not repeat his assertion that he "hit him against the stall with his head," instead changing his story to say that he "seized the man and held him down until a security guard arrived." The security guard element is also newly invented. In his on-air statement, Carlson said that "the cops came and arrested him."

"Carlson's story was difficult to watch on two levels," said GLAAD Senior Director of Media Programs Rashad Robinson. "To see someone brag on national television of returning, with an accomplice, to the scene of an unwanted advance to violently attack the person who made it is incredibly disturbing. But it was also hard to watch because of the sheer absurdity of most of what Carlson was saying."

"Whether Abrams and Scarborough were laughing with Carlson or laughing at him, the fact remains that MSNBC and NBC News have some explaining to do about their standards and practices," Robinson said. "They need to explain whether bragging about physically assaulting a man in response to an unwanted advance is appropriate on-air behavior for one of their employees, and whether laughter by two others is an appropriate on-air response."
GLAAD suggests writing or calling NBC News and MSNBC to demand Carlson's apology and ask if his comments are reflective of network standards and practices.

Allison Gollust
Senior Vice President of Communications, NBC News

Jeremy Gaines
Vice President of Communications, MSNBC

Leslie Schwartz
Director of Media Relations, MSNBC

Tucker Carlson
Host, "Tucker"

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