Social Media Erupts After Tucker Carlson Tells Viewers to Call Cops on Masked Kids, Saying It's 'Child Abuse'
The ultra-conservative Fox News commentator caused an uproar on social media after telling viewers to confront people wearing masks outdoors and to call the police on children who are masked in public.
The internet exploded with renewed calls for the firing of Fox News host Tucker Carlson after he told viewers Monday night to confront people wearing masks outdoors and to call police on kids with face coverings, saying it was "child abuse."
During “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the ultra-conservative commentator told his prime-time audience to approach people wearing masks outside to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and tell them to remove the coverings.
“Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid at Walmart,” Carlson said. "Call the police immediately, contact child protective services."
Carlson cited false claims that wearing a mask reduces oxygen levels and thereby constitutes "child abuse."
Angry responses quickly erupted on social media, sending the hashtags #TuckerMustGo and #FireTuckerCarlson into viral status on Twitter.
Earlier this month, the head of the Anti-Defamation League called for Fox News to fire Carlson, after the television host said immigration would “dilute the political power” of Americans. Carlson has a history of race-baiting, said Jonathan Greenblatt, the league's chief executive officer.
The head of Fox Corp., Lachlan Murdoch, later rejected that demand, saying an internal review concluded Carlson's statements were not racist.
There was no immediate response from Fox on Monday's controversary.
Carlson began Monday's broadcast by saying people who wore masks outside were “neurotic” liberals and "aggressors" who were part of a "charade" that face coverings should be worn outdoors.
“They’re the aggressors,” he said. “It’s our job to brush them back and restore the society we were born in. So the next time you see someone in a mask on the sidewalk or on the bike path, do not hesitate. Ask politely but firmly, ‘Would you please take off your mask? Science shows there is no reason for you to be wearing it. Your mask is making me uncomfortable.’”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children older than 2 years old wear masks when outside the home, and for adults to wear face coverings in public and practice social distancing.
President Joe Biden is expected to announce Tuesday that the CDC will relax guidance on wearing masks outdoors for those who are fully vaccinated.
Those who took to social media to criticize Carlson's latest remarks said they feared his calling police and confronting adults would overburden 911 and law enforcement and incite violence in an already deeply divided country.
"This is really, really dangerous. Listen to his tone of voice, and what he’s instructing. He’s moving from his viewers passively consuming his propaganda to having them act on it — against their neighbors," wrote one poster.
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