Speaking last night on Fox News, the TV host and political commentator made a number of statements expressing scepticism about the verdict and suggested Chauvin was convicted because jurors were “intimidated” by the threat of a “mob”.
He said: “After nearly a year of burning, looting, and murder by BLM [the consequence of an acquittal] was never in doubt.No mob has the right to destroy our cities. No politician or media figure has the right to intimidate a jury. We must stop this current insanity. It’s an attack on civilization.”
It comes after a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty for the death of George Floyd on three counts – second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He could face up to 75 years in prison when he is sentenced in the coming weeks.
Carlson cuts a controversial figure due to his conservative and often contrarian views.
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He has also argued that Democrats are seeking “demographic replacement” through “a flood of illegals” to increase their voter base and has said white supremacy is a “hoax”.
And after protests started in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, he questioned the motives of protestors. As a result, companies including Papa John’s withdrew adverts from his programme. He also claimed “there was no physical evidence” that Floyd was killed by Chauvin, and falsely claimed he died of a drug overdose.
Continuing his rant later on his show last night, Carlson abruptly ended an interview with a former New York corrections officer who said Chauvin’s use of force was “excessive”, while laughing.
On Monday, a day before the verdict was made, he accused the media of “lynching” Chauvin.
He said: “Americans have heard quite a bit about George Floyd over the last year and formed their own opinions, but most still cannot say with any specificity just how he died.
“When unpopular people seem guilty, you just go ahead and punish them, that’s the new rule. Years ago we called this lynching, now we call it equity.”
Reacting to his outbursts, people on social media were quick to criticise him:
Carlson wasn’t the only figure on Fox News who attracted controversy for their comments following Chauvin’s conviction. Greg Gutfeld appeared to shock even his own colleagues after the verdict was announced.
Appearing on The Five shortly after the announcement, he said: “I’m glad he was found guilty on all charges, even if he might not be guilty of all charges.” The comment provoked an audible groan and criticism from the others on the show, with one also audibly saying: “Oh my god.”
Sadly Gutfeld and Carlson were not alone with their terrible takes on Chauvin’s conviction. The outspoken Ben Shapiro chose the moment to criticise CNN’s Don Lemon after the host had said “justice has been served.”
Meanwhile, Tomi Lahren, despite agreeing with the verdict, suggested that there would be further riots and looting in Minneapolis as a result.
It would appear that, even in the face of law and justice, that the American right-wing still find ways to be deplorable.