Tucker Carlson and Fox News Channel incite violence against Pulse massacre survivor

UPDATE 5/2/18: This Wednesday, May 2, Tucker Carlson responded to GLAAD’s action via a quote to The Wrap which further insulted Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf – going as far as calling Wolf a liar. GLAAD responded his statement via twitter here.

Brandon Wolf is an LGBTQ activist who the world needs to hear more from. He survived the Pulse nightclub attack and has since worked tirelessly to create a better, more accepting Florida for LGBTQ people. He’s spoken at the March For Our Lives and joined Parkland students in demanding gun reform.

Now he is receiving death threats from Fox News Channel viewers and others on social media.

You can watch the segment on Fox News' site

Last night Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson laughed and smiled during a discussion about the Pulse nightclub shooter and in doing so, unleashed a fury of online hate against Brandon Wolf. 

This past Saturday, Brandon appeared on an MSNBC segment in which Joy Reid apologized for posts that surfaced on Joy’s blog in which homophobic and transphobic language was used.

On Fox News Channel last night, Tucker Carlson said that the point of Brandon’s appearance on Joy’s MSNBC show was: “to make everything okay. And Wolf did this by explaining-- okay, maybe those comments were offensive, but they are nothing compared to Mike Pence.”

Within minutes of Carlson's on-air attack, Brandon’s social feeds were populated with Carlson viewers who wished violence and harm on Brandon.  

Here’s Tucker Carlson’s gleeful smile as his guest educates him that Brandon was a survivor of Pulse (who watched several of his friends get shot before his eyes). This is Tucker’s exact smile as his guest awkwardly jokes about the man who murdered 49 people at the Pulse nightclub: “The person who attacked Pulse nightclub did not pledge his allegiance to the Episcopalian caliphate.

Tucker’s guest Chadwick Moore, a gay former journalist who last year said the murder of Matthew Shepard was not a hate crime, made a case for who he views is the real victim in this discussion: “I feel very bad for Mike Pence. He handles these attacks with such grace and such decorum. I really don’t think there’s anything homophobic about Mike Pence.”

Carlson’s guest can think what he wants, but here’s a list of 66 anti-LGBTQ actions of the Trump/Pence administration including the fact that Mike Pence was cited as the driving force behind the administration's ongoing efforts to ban transgender soldiers from openly serving in any capacity within the United States armed forces. Even President Trump once pointed to Pence in a conversation about LGBTQ people and said: “Don’t ask that guy — he wants to hang them all!”

Maybe Carlson and his guest do not believe President Trump or haven’t taken the time to review the facts about Pence. Carlson’s guest continued by saying: “They want to believe he’s Captain Electroshock Therapy and that one’s not true either. Unfortunately.”   

Last time we checked, it’s a good thing that the Vice President of the United States doesn’t want to put LGBTQ people through electroshock therapy. Moore probably didn’t mean to say “unfortunately” at the end of that aside, but sometimes when you’re on national TV, you misspeak. In fact, Brandon Wolf already clarified that he meant to say that Vice President Pence wants to send LGBTQ people to conversion therapy camps on MSNBC, but he misspoke and said concentration.

Pence’s ties to conversion therapy, the discredited practice that falsely claims to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity, are well documented. Every mainstream medical and mental health organization has rejected the practice and eleven states have banned it - but Pence’s 2000 campaign site clearly stated: “Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

The RNC 2016 platform that Pence helped confirm included the line “we support the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment or therapy for their minor children.” Pence has never stated that he does not support conversion therapy, though he could – and he should.

Instead of giving Brandon Wolf the benefit of the doubt or the tiniest bit of empathy, Tucker Carlson and Fox News Channel went all in.

Tucker ended the segment by leaving his millions of viewers with a question about Brandon Wolf: “So he’s not actually a civil rights activist, he’s a political hack who will say anything to get his candidates elected?”

You’re wrong Tucker. Wolf is not a political hack. He’s a young American who overcame one of the most tragic experiences imaginable and deserves better than your belittling brand of smugness. He’s not getting paid millions like you.

This week there’s been a huge debate over whether Sarah Huckabee Sanders was victimized at the White House Correspondents Dinner because of a joke about her eye makeup. During this Fox News Channel segment, Carlson’s guest said Mike Pence was a victim because of remarks on MSNBC that referenced his documented beliefs.

The media can argue over who deserves apologies and who is the victim of an attack in the media, but let’s hope we can agree that what happened to the Americans in Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016 is not something that a host of a national nightly news program can or should make light of.

Can you imagine being a young LGBTQ person watching Tucker Carlson with your parents and seeing the host of their favorite nightly news show laugh about the Pulse nightclub shooting?

From putting a target on Brandon Wolf to laughing heartily at an asinine remark about the murderer of 49 people, Tucker Carlson, his producers, and Fox News Channel planned a disgusting, deliberate, and shameful attack on Brandon as well as all the victims, survivors, friends, and family of Pulse.

Brandon told GLAAD today: “Tucker Carlson should accept his personal responsibility for the indefensible harassment and calls for violence from his viewers and publicly demand that they end their social media assault.”

Commentators like Tucker Carlson are quick to call for apologies these days – so GLAAD is standing with Brandon in calling for one from them, and for Carlson to speak out against the hate and violence that his viewers directed at Brandon Wolf.