Tucker Carlson denied the existence of hate speech on Monday in a confusing rant. (Watch the videos below.)
“What is hate speech by the way?” the Fox News host asked in a segment accusing Democrats of politicizing the hammer attack on Paul Pelosi. “All of a sudden, everyone in the media has, sort of without explaining why, agreed that there’s this thing called hate speech that’s real, and probably actionable. They can find a billion dollars’ judgment against you if you commit hate speech.”
“But just to remind everyone watching, there’s no such thing as hate speech,” he continued. “Hate speech is speech people hate, usually the people in power. The truth is, all speech, except speech that encourages people to imminent illegal action, like, “Go shoot that guy.” Short of that, there’s no hate speech. All of it’s allowed under the United States Constitution, which is our final hope.”
So he denied it’s a thing but then defined it ― wrongly we might add. He also threw in an apparent shoutout to Alex Jones after he got hit with a $1 billion judgment in losing a defamation suit. Jones, a far-right conspiracy theorist on the radio, spread lies that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged by actors, leading to vicious harassment of the victims’ families.
“Hate speech” is in the dictionary, too. “Speech expressing hatred of a particular group of people,” Merriam-Webster says. “Public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence toward a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation,” according to the Cambridge Dictionary.
Carlson also argued about the term’s legality and constitutionality.