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Tucker Carlson has apologized for the “vulgar” language he used in an unaired shouting match with a guest who accused him of being a pawn for the rich. The Fox News host was mocked on Twitter after the exchanged was leaked online.
The embarrassing verbal battle occurred during an interview with Dutch historian and author Rutger Bregman, whose no-baloney lecture to billionaires at Davos earned him internet stardom.
Although it appears Carlson invited Bregman onto his show in order to praise the Dutchman for his exploits, the admiration wasn’t mutual.
In footage that was later leaked to NowThis News, Bregman tears into Carlson, accusing him of taking orders from Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch and accepting “dirty money” to champion conservative causes.
“What the Murdochs basically want you to do is to scapegoat immigrants instead of talking about tax avoidance,” Bergman said, adding that Carlson was a “millionaire funded by billionaires” who is “part of the problem.”
Carlson fired back with a torrent of insults, describing Bregman as a “tiny brain” who is “too f***ing annoying.” He then urged him to “go “f***” himself.
The exchange – which never aired but was secretly recorded – was leaked by Bregman.
“You can’t handle the criticism, can you?” Bergman responded. In a segment addressing the leaked footage, Carlson apologized for his behavior.
“I did what I try hard never to do on this show, and I was rude,” Carlson said. “I called him a moron, and then I modified that word with a vulgar Anglo-Saxon term.”
However, he stood by his feelings towards Bregman, which he described as “entirely accurate.”
“There is some profanity, and I apologize for that,” he acknowledged. “On the other hand, it was genuinely heartfelt. I meant it with total sincerity.”
The leaked exchange – as well as Carlson’s apology – was not well received by Twitter. Many on social media marveled at how the Fox News host, who prides himself on purportedly talking sense to hysterical liberals, displayed such thin skin.
“Interesting that Tucker Carlson went on the attack when Bregman said he was a millionaire just parroting what billionaires have told him to say. Tucker is clearly very sensitive about all the ‘dirty money’ he’s gotten for being a professional parrot,” one Twitter user quipped.
“Tucker, Tucker, Tucker. You could have at the very least attempted to deny Bregman’s claims rather than call him names as he dragged you out to the woodshed. But I guess your skill in prevarication broke down under the weight of the truth,” another netizen wrote.