Here’s what happened…
Fox News host Tucker Carlson drew criticism for saying white supremacy is “actually not a real problem in America” and that claims to the contrary are a “hoax” only three days after a white supremacist killed 22 people in El Paso, TX. Advertisers have since left Carlson’s show and even Fox News as a whole.
Carlson announced that he was “taking several days off — headed to the wilderness to fish with my son.” A Fox spokesperson later insisted to CNN’s Oliver Darcy that Carlson’s vacation was preplanned and he will return to his show on August 19. This isn’t the first time a Fox News host has abruptly taken a vacation while embattled:
- In March, Jeanine Pirro’s show was taken off-air for two weeks after she questioned Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) patriotism, suggesting that Omar’s hijab means she opposes the Constitution. It is unclear whether her absence was a formal suspension or a vacation; Fox did not confirm the suspension, and Pirro did not announce a vacation. Pirro’s Fox Nation show 10 Minute Justice has not returned since the controversy.
- In March 2018, Laura Ingraham announced she was going on vacation after drawing criticism — and consequently losing advertisers — for mocking Parkland survivor and student activist David Hogg. Inrgaham also apologized to Hogg on her show after facing mounting pressure.
- In May 2017, Sean Hannity went on a vacation after losing advertisers for continually pushing a conspiracy theory about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, which had led Rich’s family to sue Fox News.
- Jesse Watters went on vacation in April 2017 after making a comment about presidential adviser and daughter Ivanka Trump that was widely criticized as inappropriate.
- In April 2017, then-host Bill O’Reilly went on a vacation after The New York Times reported that he settled five sexual harassment allegations for millions of dollars. O’Reilly was fired before he came back and Fox moved Carlson to his time slot.