Why Tucker Carlson attacked me on TV

Jon Ward
6 min readJan 6, 2022

Over the past few days, I texted with Tucker Carlson, my old boss at the Daily Caller, to ask him questions about his “Patriot Purge” special. I wanted to make sure I had my facts straight before I published a piece I was working on for Yahoo News.

On Monday, January 3, I texted him this.

I’ve blocked out Tucker’s response because I asked him if he wanted his comments to be on the record, or off the record, and he said he did not want to be quoted. So I’m respecting his wishes. But as you can see from my response, he mentioned a man named Ray Epps, who is mentioned in the story that I ended up writing, which you can read here.

I started working on this piece a little while ago, and was picking it back up this week to do final fact-checking. Tucker and I went back and forth a few more times after this. He brought up a few more things. I responded. It was pretty unspectacular and ho-hum (you can see the full text exchange at the bottom, or at least my half of it).

Tuesday, I texted Tucker again to follow up. We still hadn’t published the piece. I responded to one of the points he had made the previous day, and then I brought up the issue of his rhetoric in the special about violence. His response to me here was sharper and more aggressive.

Today, January 5, we were still working on fact-checking the piece. It was still not published. In the afternoon, he responded to my last question, and his tone was again more hostile. He shared a link, along with a personal dig. Then I again asked him if he had any comment on the question about violence.