Re-airing Abrams/Carlson segment, MSNBC left out part where Carlson admitted assault

››› ››› RYAN CHIACHIERE

On August 29, MSNBC twice re-aired a segment from the August 28 edition of Live with Dan Abrams, in which MSNBC host Tucker Carlson asserted, "Having sex in a public men's room is outrageous. It's also really common. I've been bothered in men's rooms." Carlson continued, "I got bothered in Georgetown Park," in Washington, D.C., "when I was in high school." As Media Matters for America noted, when Abrams asked how Carlson responded to being "bothered," Carlson said: "I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the -- you know, and grabbed him, and ... hit him against the stall with his head, actually." However, while both August 29 re-airings did include Carlson's claim that he had been "bothered in men's rooms," neither broadcast aired the portion in which Carlson claimed that he "went back with someone" and "hit him against the stall with his head." Both re-airings did include a portion of the segment in which Carlson asserted, "I'm not anti-gay in the slightest."

During the 9 a.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live, anchor Amy Robach introduced the Abrams/Carlson clip -- which did not include Carlson's claim to have assaulted the person who "bothered" him -- as follows: "Prominent Republicans have been quick to distance themselves from Idaho Senator Larry Craig following his arrest for lewd behavior in a men's bathroom. ... More than ever, the party of traditional values has to worry about hypocrisy. Dan Abrams talked about it with Tucker Carlson and [MSNBC's Morning Joe host] Joe Scarborough last night on MSNBC." After the clip ended, Robach plugged Abrams' show: "Well, you can catch Live with Dan Abrams weeknights at 9 p.m. Eastern here on MSNBC."

During the subsequent re-airing of the clip on MSNBC Live, anchor Monica Novotny introduced the video clip by asserting, "Craig's denials are drawing some comparisons to another famous D.C. sex scandal -- the Clinton-Lewinsky affair. Senator Craig had quite a bit to say about that back in the '90s." Novotny added, "Just a word of warning here, you may find out a little more about Tucker, well, than you ever wanted to know," apparently referring to Carlson's assertion that he'd "been bothered in men's rooms." However, despite that reference, the 4-minute and 35-second clip Novotny aired ended before Carlson claimed to have assaulted the person who "bothered" him. Novotny also ended the segment by plugging Abrams' show, asserting, "And you can catch Dan tonight at 9 on Live with Dan Abrams right here on MSNBC."

As Media Matters noted, Carlson issued the following statement through an MSNBC spokeswoman:

Let me be clear about an incident I referred to on MSNBC last night: In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men's room in Washington, DC. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men's room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived.

Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That's absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn't angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me.

From the 9 a.m. ET hour of the August 29 edition of MSNBC Live:

ROBACH: Prominent Republicans have been quick to distance themselves from Idaho Senator Larry Craig following his arrest for lewd behavior in a men's bathroom. Craig denies he did anything wrong and says he is quote, "not gay." But still GOP officials are assessing the damage this has done to their party's image. More than ever, the party of traditional values has to worry about hypocrisy. Dan Abrams talked about it with Tucker Carlson and Joe Scarborough last night on MSNBC.

[begin video clip]

ABRAMS: I want to play this piece of sound from Larry Craig on Meet the Press, back in 1999, talking about Bill Clinton.

CRAIG [video clip]: I will tell you that the Senate certainly can bring about a censure resolution, and it's a slap on the wrist. It's a "bad boy Bill Clinton, you're a naughty boy." The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy, a naughty boy. I'm going to speak out for the citizens in my state, who, in the majority, think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy.

[laughter]

ABRAMS: I can't listen to that enough!

CARLSON: It's too good.

ABRAMS: I could listen to that again --

CARLSON: It's too good.

ABRAMS: -- and again and again and again!

[laughter]

ABRAMS: Joe Scarborough, I guess the question, though, is -- on a somewhat serious note -- is you have, you know, you have him out there in 1999, preaching about Bill Clinton being a naughty boy, and you've got these other scandals, it seems, as of late. You got [Rep. David] Vitter [R-LA]; you got [former Rep. Mark] Foley [R-FL] -- and there's a lot of talk about hypocrisy, about the fact that you've got these pro-family value Republicans being accused or pleading guilty or whatever to things that pro-family people might not do.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, but, you know, the thing is, looking at that Meet the Press clip -- I mean, when I first saw it, I looked at it one way; but you look at it today, and it seems that he may have actually been stimulated by the fact that Bill Clinton was a dirty --

[laughter]

SCARBOROUGH: -- dirty -- I think he said, "nasty, naughty boy." It really is just such a joke. Here, you've got Larry Craig, who's going out and possibly soliciting gay sex in the Minneapolis airport, and then you have David Vitter, who's admitted going after prostitutes in Washington, D.C. -- before that, of course, Mark Foley going after male House pages.

ABRAMS: These are your peeps, Joe!

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, and also [former Rep.] Duke Cunningham [R-CA] -- another peep of mine -- who actually would go to poker matches and apparently take part in this trading of sex for votes.

And Tucker and I both want to know what kind of job you have to have in Washington, D.C., to have that type of power to be able to trade a vote for sex.

And you know what? It is -- of course, the media is going to be critical and the Democrats are going to be critical. The biggest problem here is that you're going to depress turnout among your conservatives, members of the evangelical base, who feel like saying, "You know what? Enough already. I don't believe you guys anymore. I have no reason to stand in line and vote for you."

ABRAMS: But, Tucker, your position has long been on these kinds of stories that their personal lives are not our business. Does this case qualify for that, in your mind, as well?

CARLSON: Let me be clear, Dan. I am not gay. I have never been gay. I overreacted and made a poor decision.

SCARBOROUGH: And you love your -- you love your wife, Tucker. Let me just say for the record, I am not gay, either.

CARLSON: I mean, let me -- let me put it this way. Whether he's gay or not actually is not our business, and I do think it's indefensible that the newspaper in Idaho spent a year interviewing 300 people to answer the question: Is he gay? That's none of your business. Having sex in a public men's room is outrageous. It's also really common. I've been bothered in men's rooms. I think people who do --

SCARBOROUGH: Really? Have you, really?

CARLSON: Yeah, I think -- and, you know what?.

SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Dan?

CARLSON: Let me just say.

SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second.

ABRAMS: Wait. Wait.

CARLSON: Yeah, I have.

SCARBOROUGH: Dan? Hold on.

CARLSON: And I -- and let me just say. I think they should knock it --

SCARBOROUGH: Dan, I don't mean to take over, but have you been bothered in public restrooms, Dan?

CARLSON: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: Because I know I haven't.

CARLSON: I have. I got bothered in Georgetown Park when I was in high school.

ABRAMS: Really?

CARLSON: Yes.

SCARBOROUGH: Wow.

CARLSON: And let me just say, I think -- they --

SCARBOROUGH: That's something.

CARLSON: -- people should knock that off. I'm not anti-gay in the slightest, but that's really common, and the gay rights groups ought to disavow that kind of crap because, you know, that actually does bother people who didn't ask for being bothered. So, yeah, I think it's outrageous that he did that, and also this specter of him getting up there and blaming other people is so Clintonian. You know, if he just said, "I'm not going to talk about it," that'd be one thing --

ABRAMS: And this notion --

CARLSON: -- but he's clearly crazy.

ABRAMS: -- and this notion that he pled guilty, and yet he's saying, "Oh, you know what? I never should have done that."

SCARBOROUGH: It was the newspaper's fault.

CARLSON: Well, it's ridiculous. It's ridiculous.

ABRAMS: Well it's the newspaper -- it's everyone's fault except his own. I mean, I've never heard of -- I mean, you're a U.S. senator, and you're thinking you're going to make it go away --

SCARBOROUGH: But, hold on a second, though, Dan --

ABRAMS: -- by pleading guilty after you're busted in a public bathroom?

SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second. You have Bill Clinton, who actually went out and did the same exact thing. He showed defiance. He said, "I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky," and he continued that line not only for months in the press, but then he went before a grand jury and said the same thing, and it -- you know what? Here's the thing. It worked for Bill Clinton. His wife went on TV and she blamed, remember, the vast right-wing conspiracy that's been trying to take down her husband.

I don't dredge this up to knock the Clintons. That is history, and it's a -- ugh -- it is a nasty part of our history, and I'm glad it's behind us. I just bring it up to say, you know what? Deny, deny, deny seems to work.

[end video clip]

ROBACH: Well, you can catch Live with Dan Abrams weeknights at 9 p.m. Eastern here on MSNBC.

From the 11 a.m. ET hour of the August 29 edition of MSNBC Live:

NOVOTNY: But Craig's denials are drawing some comparisons to another famous D.C. sex scandal -- the Clinton-Lewinsky affair. Senator Craig had quite a bit to say about that back in the '90s. And last night, on Live with Dan Abrams, Dan, Joe Scarborough, and Tucker Carlson had a lot to say about all of it. Just a word of warning here, you may find out a little more about Tucker, well, than you ever wanted to know.

[begin video clip]

ABRAMS: I want to play this piece of sound from Larry Craig on Meet the Press, back in 1999, talking about Bill Clinton.

CRAIG [video clip]: I will tell you that the Senate certainly can bring about a censure resolution, and it's a slap on the wrist. It's a "bad boy Bill Clinton, you're a naughty boy." The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy, a naughty boy. I'm going to speak out for the citizens in my state, who, in the majority, think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy.

[laughter]

ABRAMS: I can't listen to that enough!

CARLSON: It's too good.

ABRAMS: I could listen to that again --

CARLSON: It's too good.

ABRAMS: -- and again and again and again!

[laughter]

ABRAMS: Joe Scarborough, I guess the question, though, is -- on a somewhat serious note -- is you have, you know, you have him out there in 1999, preaching about Bill Clinton being a naughty boy, and you've got these other scandals, it seems, as of late. You got Vitter; you got Foley -- and there's a lot of talk about hypocrisy, about the fact that you've got these pro-family value Republicans being accused or pleading guilty or whatever to things that pro-family people might not do.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, but, you know, the thing is, looking at that Meet the Press clip -- I mean, when I first saw it, I looked at it one way; but you look at it today, and it seems that he may have actually been stimulated by the fact that Bill Clinton was a dirty --

[laughter]

SCARBOROUGH: -- dirty -- I think he said, "nasty, naughty boy." It really is just such a joke. Here, you've got Larry Craig, who's going out and possibly soliciting gay sex in the Minneapolis airport, and then you have David Vitter, who's admitted going after prostitutes in Washington, D.C. -- before that, of course, Mark Foley going after male House pages.

ABRAMS: These are your peeps, Joe!

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, and also Duke Cunningham -- another peep of mine -- who actually would go to poker matches and apparently take part in this trading of sex for votes.

And Tucker and I both want to know what kind of job you have to have in Washington, D.C., to have that type of power to be able to trade a vote for sex.

And you know what? It is -- of course, the media is going to be critical and the Democrats are going to be critical. The biggest problem here is that you're going to depress turnout among your conservatives, members of the evangelical base, who feel like saying, "You know what? Enough already. I don't believe you guys anymore. I have no reason to stand in line and vote for you."

ABRAMS: But, Tucker, your position has long been on these kinds of stories that their personal lives are not our business. Does this case qualify for that, in your mind, as well?

CARLSON: Let me be clear, Dan. I am not gay. I have never been gay. I overreacted and made a poor decision.

SCARBOROUGH: And you love your -- you love your wife, Tucker. Let me just say for the record, I am not gay, either.

CARLSON: I mean, let me -- let me put it this way. Whether he's gay or not actually is not our business, and I do think it's indefensible that the newspaper in Idaho spent a year interviewing 300 people to answer the question: Is he gay? That's none of your business. Having sex in a public men's room is outrageous. It's also really common. I've been bothered in men's rooms. I think people who do --

SCARBOROUGH: Really? Have you, really?

CARLSON: Yeah, I think -- and, you know what?.

SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Dan?

CARLSON: Let me just say.

SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second.

ABRAMS: Wait. Wait.

CARLSON: Yeah, I have.

SCARBOROUGH: Dan? Hold on.

CARLSON: And I -- and let me just say. I think they should knock it --

SCARBOROUGH: Dan, I don't mean to take over, but have you been bothered in public restrooms, Dan?

CARLSON: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: Because I know I haven't.

CARLSON: I have. I got bothered in Georgetown Park when I was in high school.

ABRAMS: Really?

CARLSON: Yes.

SCARBOROUGH: Wow.

CARLSON: And let me just say, I think -- they --

SCARBOROUGH: That's something.

CARLSON: -- people should knock that off. I'm not anti-gay in the slightest, but that's really common, and the gay rights groups ought to disavow that kind of crap because, you know, that actually does bother people who didn't ask for being bothered. So, yeah, I think it's outrageous that he did that, and also this specter of him getting up there and blaming other people is so Clintonian. You know, if he just said, "I'm not going to talk about it," that'd be one thing --

ABRAMS: And this notion --

CARLSON: -- but he's clearly crazy.

ABRAMS: -- and this notion that he pled guilty, and yet he's saying, "Oh, you know what? I never should have done that."

SCARBOROUGH: It was the newspaper's fault.

CARLSON: Well, it's ridiculous. It's ridiculous.

ABRAMS: Well it's the newspaper -- it's everyone's fault except his own. I mean, I've never heard of -- I mean, you're a U.S. senator, and you're thinking you're going to make it go away --

SCARBOROUGH: But, hold on a second, though, Dan --

ABRAMS: -- by pleading guilty after you're busted in a public bathroom?

SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second. You have Bill Clinton, who actually went out and did the same exact thing. He showed defiance. He said, "I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky," and he continued that line not only for months in the press, but then he went before a grand jury and said the same thing, and it -- you know what? Here's the thing. It worked for Bill Clinton. His wife went on TV and she blamed, remember, the vast right-wing conspiracy that's been trying to take down her husband.

I don't dredge this up to knock the Clintons. That is history, and it's a -- ugh -- it is a nasty part of our history, and I'm glad it's behind us. I just bring it up to say, you know what? Deny, deny, deny seems to work.

[end video clip]

NOVOTNY: And you can catch Dan tonight at 9 on Live with Dan Abrams right here on MSNBC.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBTQ
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Tucker Carlson, Amy Robach, Monica Crowley
Show/Publication
MSNBC Live, Tucker
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.