Leaked video published on Tuesday showed the fired Fox News host Tucker Carlson describing an unnamed woman as “yummy”, referring to his fans as “post-menopausal” and attempting to discuss sexual technique with British journalist Piers Morgan.
The first two remarks were previously reported by the New York Times. The clips were released by Media Matters for America, a progressive watchdog that on Monday released other video in which Carlson derided the Fox Nation streaming service.
In one clip, Carlson seemed to anticipate leaks, telling Media Matters: “Go fuck yourself.”
Carlson was suddenly fired by Fox News last week, in the aftermath of the network’s $787.5m settlement of a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems over its broadcast of Donald Trump’s electoral fraud lies.
The Times report about Carlson’s comments, as well as “highly offensive” messages redacted in filings in the Dominion case, was released amid widespread speculation about the reason for his firing. The Wall Street Journal, a Fox News stablemate, also reported that executives were angered by Carlson’s language.
In one video released by Media Matters on Tuesday, Carlson tells someone off-camera: “You wouldn’t. OK? I’m not … qualified on that score. I will say, I thought his girlfriend was kind of yummy.”
He also says he was “just kidding, in case this is being pulled off the bird”, meaning from a satellite, adding: “Hey, Media Matters for America, go fuck yourself.”
Carlson adds: “I don’t even know what his girlfriend looks like. And if I did, I would not find her yummy.”
In a second clip, Carlson says: “I can never assess my appearance. I wait for my postmenopausal fans to weigh in on that.”
In the clip with Morgan, from the British TalkTV channel, the two men engage in pre-interview small talk. Morgan expresses gratitude for his welcome in New York, where Fox News is based.
In words now laced with irony, Carlson says: “Yeah, they really mean it from the owners on down … you know, people are nice in this company, I think. They’ve always been nice to me, anyway.”
Morgan says it is “just great” to have Carlson on his show.
Carlson says: “I think it’s totally cool … if we’re going to talk about sex, I’d love to hit some of the fine points of technique, but, you know, but it’s your show. It’s totally up to you.”
Referring to The End of Men, a much-commented upon series Carlson made for Fox Nation, Morgan replies: “We can certainly talk about your sexual technique, especially after your tanning testicles last week.”
Carlson says: “Not mine! We’ll speak in more general terms, but I’ve got something to add.”
Fox News has declined to comment on the Media Matters leaks or Carlson’s firing.
The Times report said that the taped remarks aside, “private messages sent by Mr Carlson that had been redacted in legal filings showed him making highly offensive and crude remarks that went beyond the inflammatory, often racist comments of his primetime show and anything disclosed in the lead-up to the trial”.
A person close to Carlson, however, told the Guardian offensive language and comments about executives were not the reason for his firing by Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old Fox News owner.
“An elderly Australian man fired his top anchor with no warning because he was so offended by a dirty word? Stupidest explanation ever. Please. A big decision requires a powerful motive. Naughty words in text messages don’t qualify.”