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Tucker Carlson Admits Assaulting Man Who Hit on Him in Restroom

On MSNBC Live last night, MSNBC General Manager Dan Abrams, Tucker Carlson, and Joe Scarborough discussed the Larry Craig story. As the other anchors laugh, Carlson recounts how he once returned with a friend to a public men's room where a man had "bothered" him and proceeded to assault the guy.

Transcript via Media Matters.

CARLSON: I have. I've been bothered in Georgetown Park. When I was in high school.

ABRAMS: Really?

CARLSON: Yes.

SCARBOROUGH: Wow.

[[DIALOGUE OMITTED]]

ABRAMS: Tucker, what did you do, by the way? What did you do when he did that? We got to know.

CARLSON: I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the -- you know, and grabbed him, and -- and --

ABRAMS: And did what?

CARLSON: Hit him against the stall with his head, actually!

[laughter]

CARLSON: And then the cops came and arrested him. But let me say that I'm the least anti-gay right-winger you'll ever meet --

[laughter]

CARLSON: -- but I do think doing this in men's rooms appears to be common. It's totally wrong, and they should knock it off. I mean that. I think it's -- I can't bring my son to the men's room at the park where he plays soccer because of all these creepy guys hanging around in there. I actually think it's a problem. I'm sorry.

UPDATE:

Daily KOS is calling on MSNBC to fire Carlson, and for Abrams to acknowledge the incident and apologize for giving the impression that premeditated violence is not only appropriate but amusing.

Tucker Carlson sent a statement to Media Matters this afternoon through an MSNBC spokeswoman, revising the story:

"Let me be clear about an incident I referred to on MSNBC last night: In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men's room in Washington, DC. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men's room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived. Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That's absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn't angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me."

A pretty drastic change in the story, don't you think? But I guess this version may not have garnered the hearty laugh that it got from the other anchors.

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Comments

  1. Tucker Carlson is a swine and a prude. His sickening and cowardly behavior in getting a friend to help him assault the guy who 'bothered' him is rightly condemned by all of us.
    However I was amazed to find that his prudishness and uberchristian revulsion for promiscuity and gay sexuality are shared by a few gay men. Yesterday in the discussion of the Craig arrest they climbed out of the woodwork to insist that no gay man, ‘in’ or ‘out’ should ever look for sex anywhere but in a bar or on the net.
    What a bizarre idea. There are, as of 1530 GMT on August 29th, 2007 about 302,703,021 Americans, so that means there are about 15 to 30 million gay men, give or take a million. There just isn’t room for us in the bars. Not all of us live in cities, we’re not all 18, some of us works our asses off and take it (safely) where and when we can find it, some of us just don’t like bars, and some of us do like roaming around looking for (safe) sex. What millions of us have in common is that we don’t want to listen to this barely disguised christian bullshit about sex and nudity and all that ‘dirty’ stuff being verboten. That’s why we don’t go to church, or temple, or face Mecca, or dance with rattlers, etc. Hopefully these judgmental prigs will climb down off their hobby horses and show a little respect. If not they’ll just have to trot on down St. Patrick’s and say a novena for our lost souls. Just remember not to tap you toes when you get into the confessional. You could be arrested.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Aug 29, 2007 3:09:57 PM


  2. Tucker is such a butch thing, isn't she?

    Posted by: Esther Blodgett | Aug 29, 2007 3:11:54 PM


  3. I'm so glad that these two assured us that they are straight--especially with all the tittering and giggling.

    Posted by: db | Aug 29, 2007 3:24:57 PM


  4. Wonder what public bathrooms would be like if they were all open and unisex... straight people groping each other in all hideous sorts of places. Because, clearly, only GAY men engage in such behavior.

    Posted by: jeff | Aug 29, 2007 3:28:06 PM


  5. "I'm so glad that these two assured us that they are straight--especially with all the tittering and giggling."

    Yea at first I figured that was just a joke. But when I saw how straight faced they BOTH were after saying it, I realized they were completely serious.

    The fact that they felt the need for a disclaimer like that is really pathetic. Do they really feel like they can't talk about anything within 6 degrees of homosexuality without clearly stating that they are not gay?

    Posted by: Wes | Aug 29, 2007 3:33:26 PM


  6. I live in NYC. I can't imagine having sex or soliciting for it in the public restrooms. They are dirty places that reek! I do know, however, that these can be places that married 'straight' men think of as trolling grounds. It is unfortunate that we are all painted with the same brush.

    And Tucker Carlson deserves to be Deliverance-d.

    Posted by: Gary | Aug 29, 2007 3:35:23 PM


  7. Memo to Mob Bearing Torches: Tucker said, "bothered." While he COULD have meant groped, rubbed up against, or in some other way actually touched against his will, he did not say that. So we are free to believe that he and his prep school homeys "hit him against the stall with his head" simply for Carlson being offended.

    Even had the other guy exposed himself to Carlson, or shown himself masturbating, which, believe it or not, is common behavior among experienced tearoom queens, all that was assaulted was Carlson's homophobic sensitivities. HIS and his friend's VICTIM could have pressed assault and batter charges against but had the sense to know that nothing would happen, or to expect that they would invoke the "gay panic" defense.

    Adams and Scarborough probably got major boners and sticky boxers listening to Carlson do his own momentary variation on Jason Patric's character in "Your Friends & Neighbors." His "predator" was lucky that Carlson and his manlier friends didn't rape or beat him to death. Remember Elizabeth Vargas still wants the world to believe that Matthew Shepard contributed to his own death by making a pass at his killers [which even THEY have recanted].

    Actual pedophiles should be locked up and have the key thrown away, but MSNBC is contributing to self-righteous violence against gay men AS gay men.

    I knew it was a mistake for Hillary not to keep Carlson at his promise to eat his REAL shoe.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Aug 29, 2007 3:40:23 PM


  8. I really expected better of Dan Abrahms. He has usually appeared to be a voice of reason. I wonder if any of these clowns personally or professionally know ANY gays; and if so, do they also associate them with pedophilia and perversion?

    Posted by: BigBaller | Aug 29, 2007 4:32:33 PM


  9. Tucker Carlson jokingly admits to commiting battery against a man who thought he was 'up for it'.

    Why aren't you, or some other former Editor's of National Magazine's; finding out all the details and possibly having him named at the perp he is??????? Although the statute of limitations has run out he admitted to committing a hate crime.

    I'm gay. I accompany newphews and male charges into public restrooms and other hidden areas as a point of safety. Too bad their children aren't worth as much to them.

    Posted by: lexxicuss | Aug 29, 2007 4:47:35 PM


  10. Leland - I completely agree.

    Would it be ok to beat someone up because they flirted with you but you are not attracted to them? Should ugly women be assaulted by men because the ugly women's advances "bothered" them?

    I've been to a nude beach in New Jersey many times, so I have seen my fair share of trolls waving their dicks at me, both on the beach and in the bathroom there. I ignore them and move on.

    Someone finds you attractive, and makes their attraction known. Granted, it can be repulsive and disgusting. But it does not call for assault!

    Posted by: Gregg | Aug 29, 2007 4:56:11 PM


  11. A hate crime?...more like misguided self-defense. AS long as we of the gay community make continue excuses for bathroom-trolling we're just condoning illegal behavior that in the end hurts our community. It's a public bathroom stall, not a gay bathouse cubicle; and what's appropriate for one is not in the other....regardless of straight or bi, open or closeted.

    What might be exciting and erotic behavior in the backroom toilet of a sleazy gay club or a Titan porn-video is not acceptable behavior in a public restroom. And "just call the cops" either gets ignored in the real-world; or you wind-up getting tarred with the same broad-brush as the troll.

    As for me, an unwelcome advance by a troll in an inappropritate melieu, especailly if I'm cornered, might just result in his getting at-least a well-deserved broken wrist.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Aug 29, 2007 5:17:52 PM


  12. Jeff brings up a really interesting point with the unisex bathroom think. I think straight men do far worse than any gay men do in bathrooms. The way they treat random women on the street is really repulsive. Whenever I spot some guy staring down some poor girl and making lewd remarks I make sure he catches me staring at him so he knows what it feels like. I love the sheepish looks they always get when just a second ago they were being so gross. They know exactly what they are doing. Anyway, back to point. i don't see straight guys getting trouble or being demonized for the s**t they pull. They think they are morally superior when they are just as bad and they don't have the decency to do it in a closed stall.

    Posted by: MT | Aug 29, 2007 5:30:29 PM


  13. Dan Abrams is hot. That is all.

    Posted by: Jordan | Aug 29, 2007 5:55:09 PM


  14. Something about Tucker's story is a little off. The Georgetown Park is mall near Dupont Circle. He went to HS in RI and college in CT and was born in San Fran. His dad was involved in PBS so I could see him living near DC but the Georgetown Park is a high end mall and not an arcade and McDonald's mall. It's not the place a teenager would hang out.

    Something about the whole story just smells fishy to me.

    Posted by: Ed | Aug 29, 2007 5:55:51 PM


  15. "UPDATE: Media Matters received the following statement from Tucker Carlson by email from an MSNBC spokeswoman:

    Let me be clear about an incident I referred to on MSNBC last night: In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men's room in Washington, DC. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men's room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived.

    Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That's absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn't angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me."

    I'm sorry, but according to the transcript, grabbing his 'you-know-what' and hittng his head against the stall does NOT sound like the way to make a citizen's arrest to me.


    Posted by: gayjaybird | Aug 29, 2007 6:13:53 PM


  16. Tucker Carlson should go to jail for assault and battery, unless of course he made the whole story up in which case he should lose his job at MSNBC for intentionally misleading viewers with his on-air comments...

    Posted by: Robert In WeHo | Aug 29, 2007 6:27:47 PM


  17. I should think that all this big macho guy should have to say is "leave me alone". But then again I have always said that I do not worry when guys hit on me, I worry when they stop hitting on me.

    Posted by: Jeff | Aug 29, 2007 6:33:20 PM


  18. I'm no fan of Tucker Carlson, and even lessa fan of solving shall we say 'disagreements' with physical aggression.

    But this is ludicrous. Aside from the fact that we're talking about something that happened when he was in high school, the simple fact of the matter is that--hello?!--using public restrooms as a place to have sex is deeply inappropriate! In fact, it's sick. Grabbing random strangers or soliciting them to join you is even more so. I don't blame Carlson for his reaction then or now.

    If Carlson gets fired for this it will be an absolute mockery. And the fact that so many of you are railing against him is just deeply sad. How misguided are we as a community when we defend the right of someone to try to fuck in a public restroom in a park. THIS IS NOT A HATE CRIME. Don't denigrate the experience of being the victim of a hate crime by construing this as one. SOLICITING PEOPLE FOR SEX IN A RESTROOM SHOULD NOT BE PROTECTED BY HATE CRIME LAWS. Give me a break.

    Posted by: John | Aug 29, 2007 6:51:37 PM


  19. I did lots of research for a national sex foundation and Tearoom solicitors don’t grab people nor do they approach people they haven’t gotten signals from, most usually repeated heavy eye contact and nodding, winking or smiling.

    Posted by: novocentro | Aug 29, 2007 6:56:21 PM


  20. Let's cut Tucker some slack. He is not an enemy. He supports gay marriage. He does not support Bush or his foreign policy. He supported the Iraq war but soon disavowed it. He has called the National Review and the Washington Times "rags." He supporsts Ron Paul (the best of the worst, but still).

    If indeed Tucker's story is accurate, remember that he was in high-school (well, boarding school) when this happened. he's 38 now. Let's, for the sake of argument, say he was 16 at the time, and the year would have been 1985. Can we expect that he would have reacted much differently from the way he did, really? I did a number of things when I was a teen that I regret now. I know that my straight teen-age son would just ignore this kind of crap and go on about his business, but it it is 2007, 22 years later.

    I am not trying to excuse anything about that past incident. Should he have assaulted the man -- much worse leave to get a friend to help him? Of course not. But should a man be skulking in a public restroom propositioning boys?

    According to his explanation, he and a friend grabbed the perv and held him while the police came. I don't see anything wrong with that.

    Posted by: nic | Aug 29, 2007 6:58:59 PM


  21. I'm a gay man that has been hit on a time or two. I cannot condone someone putting ones hands on somebody uninvited-gay, straight or otherwise.

    But violence as a response-other to defend oneself-is not so funny. And this constant snickering by nice straight men over the notion that gay men hang out in washrooms to assault boys is kinds old. If grabbing people for sex was such a huge issue straight men would lead the way as the exposed perpetrators...my sister has told me all about it!

    My partner and I taught our two sons about not putting uninvited hands on people...very simple.

    Posted by: malcolm | Aug 29, 2007 7:37:00 PM


  22. Tucker Carlson evidently has a very active fantasy life, because as a figment of his imagination is the only way this entire episode sounds remotely plausible.

    Posted by: Frank L | Aug 29, 2007 7:58:29 PM


  23. I have been accosted in a public restroom and when I was 17. It's not nice and it it's degrading. I threatened physical violence against the person, because he reached over and grabbed my dick. Str8, gay or otherwise, thats sexual assult.
    Tucker was a teenager, teenagers are not always **mature** as several of you seem to think he should have been. They also don't always stop to rationalise a situation, just as some of you are doing in your defense of a man who grabs underage kids cocks in a PUBLIC restroom. I have no sympathy for the guy....he got what he deserved.....and it should be the same for str8 guys who pull stunts like this as well.
    As to his being mad because he feels he can't take his son to use a PUBLIC restroom because of the creepy guys....well, he's right.....creepy guys should be creeping in the baths or adult bookstores or whereever they can meet other creepy guys, not in PUBLIC restrooms. Trying to equate this disgusting behaviour with how str8 men treat women makes you look like a fool.....just because **they** do it, dosen't mean it's any more ok.

    What really makes me angry about this, is the reaction of Abrams and Scarbough.....there is no excuse for GROWN, MATURE adult men in their public profession to act the way they do.......they, not Carlson owe us and the public a very public apology and possibly suspension or firing from those positions they hold.

    Posted by: Joshua | Aug 29, 2007 8:32:18 PM


  24. Wait a minute... Was Larry Craig the guy in the bathroom?

    >;@

    Posted by: Br!on | Aug 29, 2007 8:33:40 PM


  25. Even if we are to take Mr. Carlson at his word on how and if this happened it would have been best had he gone to the police immediately rather than going, getting a friend and coming back to hold the guy down. It does seem kind of odd.

    Posted by: db | Aug 29, 2007 8:41:18 PM


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