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Fox News executives called protests outside Tucker Carlson’s Washington home Wednesday "reprehensible" after the host said demonstrators threatened his family and caused property damage.
Just hours before his nightly news show "Tucker Carlson Tonight," about 30 protesters from the anti-racist, anti-fascist group Smash Racism DC gathered outside his home to condemn what they saw as an effort from Carlson to spread racism and hate across the country, the Washington Post reported. Carlson said his wife, who was inside the house, locked herself in her kitchen pantry and called 911.
In since-deleted videos posted to Twitter, the demonstrators can be heard chanting, "Tucker Carlson, we will fight! We know where you sleep at night!" On Thursday, Fox News executives condemned their actions as "completely unacceptable."
"The incident that took place at Tucker’s home last night was reprehensible. The violent threats and intimidation tactics toward him and his family are unacceptable. We as a nation have become far too intolerant of different points of view," Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace said in a statement. "Recent events across our country clearly highlight the need for a more civil, respectful, and inclusive national conversation."
President Donald Trump’s favorite TV network is the latest to call for civility after several confrontations of public officials and other political figures. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen were both questioned about the administration’s family separation policy at the U.S. border with Mexico. Protesters also gathered outside the residence of White House senior adviser Stephen Miller.
The activists Wednesday said they were protesting an increase in violence they attributed to extreme right-wing ideology, citing a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the murder of two African Americans at a grocery store near Louisville, Kentucky, and the explosive devices sent to liberals and CNN. In a statement posted to its Facebook page, the group said it wanted to interfere with "those who make a platform for hate."
"Donald Trump, along with right wing pundits, like Tucker Carlson and Ann Coulter, have demonized millions of people, including immigrants, Muslims, ‘diversity’ (code for black), and the left," the post reads. "Carlson has been praised by known Nazis like Richard Spencer and the Hitler fans at the Daily Stormer, and has hired vocal white supremacists to his staff."
The group also denied Carlson’s claim that one of the protesters cracked his front door.
Soon after the video went up on Twitter, media figures jumped to Carlson’s defense. "How does Twitter allow this account to remain up? Not the first time they’ve openly threatened violence," The Hill media columnist Joe Concha wrote. The Twitter account for Smash Racism DC appears to have been suspended soon after midnight.
Trump has said the media bears responsibility for any rise in politically motivated violence across the country. The Fox executives appeared to agree at least in part, writing in their statement: "Those of us in the media and in politics bear a special obligation to all Americans, to find common ground."
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine