On Wednesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson justified the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who shot and killed two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the demonstrations protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake. Carlson placed the blame onto the Wisconsin government.

“Kenosha devolved into anarchy because the authorities abandoned the people. Those in charge, from the governor on down, refused to enforce the law. They’ve stood back and watched Kenosha burn,” said Carlson.

“How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?” Carlson said. He implied that Rittenhouse was acting in self defense, though he admitted that he did not know everything about the situation.

Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional homicide. He was arrested in Antioch, Illinois, and he had crossed state borders with a semiautomatic rifle to get to Kenosha.

The response to Carlson’s comments has drawn criticism from the public and from his fellow journalists. One reply asked, “Is there any question at all that Tucker is a straight up white nationalist? Any at all?”

“How shocked are we that Tucker Carlson decided he had to maintain his fussy depravity when no one else would dare by giving a thumbs up to murder,” tweeted Kara Swisher, co-founder of Recode and a contributing opinion writer at The New York Times.

“I promise that if this man was not white, Tucker Carlson would not be praising him for murdering people,” tweeted Jennifer Wright, columnist for the New York Observer and the New York Post.

Matthew Gertz of the Media Matters for America tweeted that Tucker’s comments were “the closest thing I’ve ever seen to pure, unfiltered fascism in American public life.”

Last year, Carlson denied that white supremacy was a problem in America, saying that it was only a “hoax, just like the Russia hoax.” Carlson had also ranted about Black Lives Matter protesters previously, describing the Minneapolis protests in the wake of George Floyd‘s death as “a threat to every American.”

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