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Tucker Carlson Ridiculed 'F---ing Annoying' Guest Who Said the Murdochs Dictated His Content

People logo People 2/21/2019 Adam Carlson
Tucker Carlson wearing a suit and tie: Tucker Carlson Ridiculed 'F---ing Annoying' Guest Who Said the Murdochs Dictated His Content © Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty; Fox Tucker Carlson Ridiculed 'F---ing Annoying' Guest Who Said the Murdochs Dictated His Content

Fox News host Tucker Carlson went viral on Twitter this week thanks to a segment cut from his show in which he cursed at a guest as their interview descended into argument — and on Wednesday night, Carlson explained what happened.

Video of one of half of the Feb. 11 interview was initially leaked to the news organization NowThis which shared it on social media this week. As of Thursday afternoon, the clip has been seen more than eight and a half million times.

The interview, with Dutch historian and author Rutger Bregman, was conducted remotely and not in the studio. Bregman shared video of his portion of the interview with NowThis. It recorded footage of Bregman in his remote location as well as Carlson speaking with him.

Near the end of the interview, after Bregman argued that Carlson was essentially ignoring the topic of higher taxes on the rich at the behest of the Murdoch family, which owns Fox News, Carlson grew defensive — and then profane.

Things took a turn when Bregman said, “What the Murdochs basically want you to do is to scapegoat immigrants instead of talking about tax avoidance.”

“Almost all of the pundits of this channel for years have been against higher taxes, right?” Bregman said, arguing, “I think the issue really is one of corruption and of people being bribed and of not talking about the real issues.”

“I’m taking orders from the Murdochs, is that what you’re saying?” Carlson replied, later retorting that he was now discussing the very issues Bregman said he was paid not to bring up.

Bregman countered that Carlson was only jumping on the bandwagon of progressive politicians such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but it wasn’t “very convincing.”

Then Carlson cut back in, according to the video of their exchange: “I wanna say to you why don’t you go f— yourself, you tiny brained — and I hope this gets picked up — because you’re a moron.”

“I tried to give you a hearing,” Carlson told Bregman, “but you were too f—ing annoying.”

On his show Wednesday night Carlson said that he had originally invited Bregman on to discuss recent comments Bregman made about the rich not being taxed and being hypocritical about climate change while at the World Economic Forum.

However, Carlson said, their exchange sourced when “Bregman launched into an attack on Fox News.”

However, Carlson said, the exchange sourced when “Bregman launched into an attack on Fox News.”

“He claimed that my corporate masters tell me what to say on this show and that was too much,” Carlson said. “Whatever my faults or those of this channel, nobody in management has ever told us what positions to take on the air — never, not one time. We have total freedom here.”

Carlson continued: “So I did what I try hard never to do on this show and I was rude. I called [Bregman] a moron and then I modified that word with a vulgar Anglo-Saxon term that is also intelligible in Dutch. In my defense, I would say that that was entirely accurate — but you’re not allowed to use that word on television, so once I’d said it out loud there was no airing the segment.”

In a statement shared with PEOPLE, a top producer on Carlson’s show said the decision was made not to air Bregman’s interview because of its lack of substance.

“Tucker is someone who appreciates many points of view,” said Justin Wells, senior executive producer of Tucker Carlson Tonight. “Sadly, the guest turned an opportunity to have a substantive, informative discussion into an obviously calculated personal insult campaign. We were disappointed in the segment and respect our audience’s time too much to consider airing it.”

Bregman, whom PEOPLE could not immediately reach for comment Thursday, said on Twitter that he had released the interview footage to NowThis.

“I chose to release it, because I think we should keep talking about the corrupting influence of money in politics,” he wrote. “It also shows how angry elites can get if you do that.”

Bregman wrote that while “I stand behind what I said … there’s one thing I should have done better.”

“When Carlson asked me how he’s being influenced by Big Business and tax-avoiding billionaires, I should have quoted Noam Chomsky,” Bregman wrote. “Years ago, when he was asked a similar question, Chomsky replied: ‘I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believe something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.’ “

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