Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on his show Thursday night that the previous day’s Antifa attack on his home is also a general attack on free thought and free speech.
He said that the Antifa mob vandalizing his home, blocking off the streets and yelling about pipe bombs, and knocking on his doors aren’t engaged in the marketplace of ideas.
“I’ve characterized Antifa and the like as protesters. But they’re not. What are they protesting?” by rioting outside his home and painting anarchy symbols on the driveway, Mr. Carlson said via phone to substitute host Brian Kilmeade.
“They’re not trying to change my mind. They’re trying to threaten my family to get me to stop talking.”
He concluded that this means they are “a threat to freedom of expression … to all of us.”
Mr. Carlson said he was grateful for both the support of Fox News and many of his journalistic colleagues, on both sides of the ideological aisle (the show opened by highlighting tweets from CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Brian Stelter).
But “many other people don’t” have that kind of support and security and thus self-censor in the face of what Mr. Carlson called Antifa’s “totalitarian” attacks on speech it doesn’t agree with.
“They don’t want to convince you, they want to scare you into shutting up,” he said, adding that he would not be shutting up.
He added that he may even know one of the voices that could be heard on the tapes made by SmashRacismDC, the specific Antifa group that executed and documented the attack.
“I think we know who these people are,” Mr. Carlson said. “I think one of them was a guest on my program,” though he added that these matters are under investigation by D.C. police, ironically as a hate crime.
Mr. Carlson and Mr. Kilmeade said the substitute hosting Thursday evening was the result of a pre-planned vacation, but he came out swinging in the show’s first segment, calling Antifa’s actions a “home invasion.”
He said his wife is not a political person and he isn’t certain she knows who or what “Antifa” is. He added that he lives in a Washington, D.C., neighborhood where he’s certain that the “overwhelming majority” of his neighbors are Democrats who don’t agree with him politically.
“But normal people don’t like this,” he said, adding that he’d received numerous texts and calls from those Democratic neighbors Wednesday night telling him something was up at his home.
In that small way, he told Mr. Kilmeade, the previous 24 hours has “actually been really nice and affirming.”
“This was a few hundred masked lunatics. But most people are not like them … this was a great reminder of that,” he said.