Tucker Carlson's "It's Not How White Men Fight" Text Leak
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Tucker Carlson's "It's Not How White Men Fight" Text Leak refers to a text message reportedly sent by former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson in which he criticized three "Trump guys" beating up a purported Antifa protestor with the phrase "It's not how white men fight." According to news reports, the text message, which leaked in early May 2023, alarmed Fox News executives and was one of the reasons for Carlson's sudden departure from the network in April.
Tucker Carlson "Parts Ways" with Fox News
On April 24th, 2023, Fox News sent out a press release (shown below) stating that the network planned to "part ways" with Tucker Carlson without specifying a reason, leading some on social media to believe a scandal involving Carlson was about to be made public.
Many believed that it was potentially connected to Fox News' recent Dominion lawsuit, in which the news organization settled with Dominion Voting Systems for $787 million after the company sued Fox for spreading falsehoods about its machines. Several of Carlson's text messages were made publicly available in the trial, including texts in which he described women working at Fox, including senior executives, in "misogynistic terms" and texts in which he disparaged Donald Trump as a "demonic" force.
"Not How White Men Fight" Text Message Leak
On May 2nd, 2023, the New York Times published a text Carlson sent to a producer after the January 6th Capitol attack in which he describes seeing three "Trump guys" beating up one "Antifa kid." The full text reads [emphasis added]:
A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington. A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight. Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?
According to the New York Times, the Fox News board of directors saw the text a day before the Dominion trial was about to start and were "alarmed" by the potential scandal should the text go public during the trial. This prompted the board to hire an outside law firm to look into Carlson. The Times reported that the message, along with other issues, led to Carlson's dismissal.
After the article was published on May 2nd, 2023, many online were critical of but not surprised by Carlson's text, as the Fox News host had long incorporated what many perceived as racial bias into his talk show Tucker Carlson Tonight.
For example, on May 3rd, Twitter user @golikehellmachi posted that they had heard nazis use similar language, gaining over 40 retweets and 490 likes in less than 12 hours (shown below, left). Others were not convinced the text was the singular reason for the Fox board's decision, as Carlson was known for espousing similar views on television. Twitter user @namwella1961 opined on May 3rd that the text was likely not the reason Carlson was fired, as he had said "far worse" on air, gaining over 60 retweets and 150 likes in three hours (shown below, right).
Others disagreed with the sentiment itself that Carlson expressed, as some pointed to white mob lynching incidents and the January 6th storming of the Capitol as perceived evidence that "ganging up" is how "white men fight." For example, on May 2nd, 2023, Twitter user @matthewlgunning posted a map of white mob violence in America from 1850-1964, gaining over 70 retweets and 210 likes in 12 hours (shown below, left). The following day, user @keithboykin posted a clip from January 6th to disprove Carlson's assertion, gaining over 210 retweets and 650 likes in three hours (shown below, right).
 New York Times – Carlson’s Text That Alarmed Fox Leaders ‘It’s Not How White Men Fight’
 Twitter – golikehellmachi
 Twitter – namwella1961
 Twitter – matthewlgunning
 Twitter – keithboykin
 Fox News – FOX News Media, Tucker Carlson part ways
 Fox News Media – FOX NEWS AND DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS REACH SETTLEMENT
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May 03, 2023 at 01:44PM EDT
May 03, 2023 at 02:11PM EDT
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