Tucker Carlson’s top writer quits after secretly posting racist and sexist remarks in online forum

Just this week, the writer, Blake Neff, responded to a thread began by one other person in 2018 with the topic line, “Would u let a JET BLACK congo n****er do lasik eye surgery on u for 50% off?” Neff wrote, “I wouldn’t get LASIK from an Asian for free, so no.” (The topic line was not censored on the forum.) On June 5, Neff wrote, “Black doods staying inside playing Call of Duty is probably one of the biggest factors keeping crime down.” On June 24, Neff commented, “Honestly given how tired black people always claim to be, maybe the real crisis is their lack of sleep.” On June 26, Neff wrote that the one individuals who care about altering the title of the NFL’s Washington Redskins are “white libs and their university-‘educated’ pets.”

And over the course of 5 years, Neff has maintained a prolonged thread in which he has derided a girl and posted details about her courting life that has invited different customers to mock her and invade her privateness. There has at instances additionally been overlap between some materials he posted or noticed on the forum and Carlson’s present.

CNN Business contacted Neff for remark Thursday evening. After he or somebody appearing on his behalf handed that e-mail to Fox News spokespeople, a community spokesperson on Friday morning advised CNN Business that Neff had resigned. A Fox News spokesperson stated Carlson couldn’t be reached for remark. Neff didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark.

Neff labored at Fox News for almost 4 years and was Carlson’s top writer. Previously, he was a reporter at The Daily Caller, a conservative information outlet that Carlson co-founded. In a recent article in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff stated, “Anything [Carlson is] reading off the teleprompter, the first draft was written by me.” He additionally acknowledged the present’s affect, telling the journal, “We’re very aware that we do have that power to sway the conversation, so we try to use it responsibly.”

When requested in a 2018 look on Fox’s “The Five” concerning the writing course of for his present, Carlson stated he spends hours engaged on scripts, however referred to Neff by title, saying he was a “wonderful writer” and acknowledging his help. And Carlson credited Neff in the acknowledgments of his e book, “Ship of Fools,” for offering analysis. In the acknowledgments, Carlson stated that Neff and two others who helped with the e book “work on and greatly improve our nightly show on Fox.”

During the years that Neff wrote for him at Fox, Carlson has hosted probably the most influential exhibits on cable information. In the final quarter, Carlson had not solely the highest-rated program in cable information, however the highest-rated show in the history of cable news. Carlson additionally counts President Trump amongst his most loyal viewers. On a number of events, the President has tweeted out movies of Carlson’s program. Which is to say, the scripts that Neff probably helped write and form had been being shared by the President of the United States.
While working at Fox News, and whereas a reporter at The Daily Caller, Neff was a frequent poster on AutoAdmit. Also generally known as XOXOhth, it’s a comparatively unmoderated message board like 4chan geared toward attorneys and legislation college college students in which racism and sexism run rampant. The board’s vulgar content material was beforehand the topic of a lot criticism, and two Yale college students sued nameless posters on the location in 2007 alleging that they had defamed them and made threatening remarks. The Hartford Courant reported in 2009 that the lawsuit was quietly settled after among the posters had been recognized.

Neff, who posts on the board underneath the username CharlesXII, is extensively revered on the forum, with many posters understanding the particular person behind the account works on Carlson’s present. He has spent years posting about historical past, providing his political beliefs, and detailing points of his private life.

After studying of Neff’s posts on the board via an e-mail from an nameless tipster, CNN Business was capable of positively establish CharlesXII as Neff by reviewing messages he has posted all through the years on the forum and matching them up with publicly out there details about him.

Among the small print which clarify that CharlesXII and Neff are the identical particular person: CharlesXII indicated on the board that he had gone to Dartmouth; Neff is an alumnus. CharlesXII stated he had been working for almost 4 years in his present journalism job in Washington DC; Neff has been working for Carlson at Fox in Washington since February 2017, in line with his LinkedIn profile, which seems to have been eliminated after his resignation from Fox News. CharlesXII stated on the board that he acquired his begin in journalism after he turned down legislation college and as a substitute took a fellowship; Neff advised the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine that he took a fellowship with the Collegiate Network.

CharlesXII additionally wrote a parody model of the tune “We Didn’t Start The Fire” and posted about it on the board, together with a display screen shot of an e-mail he acquired from Carlson praising a lyric in the tune. Neff sang the parody tune at a Daily Caller Christmas celebration just a few years in the past, in line with an individual conversant in the occasion.

The Daily Caller declined to remark.

And in a 2017 Washington Post Date Lab article that includes Neff, he dropped a variety of Easter eggs for the board, together with referencing an “alcohol is poison” meme that he has repeatedly posted about and carrying a e book on Catherine the Great to a date. His username on the forum, CharlesXII, is a reference to Charles XII of Sweden, a king identified for his army victories and who abstained from intercourse and alcohol. Neff, a historical past buff in wars and army battles, has repeatedly disclosed on the forum that he hardly ever drinks and The Post story stated he hardly ever dates.

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Even extra clearly figuring out, nonetheless, had been pictures that CharlesXII posted to the forum in 2018 to the forum after visiting a museum in Egypt. In three of the pictures, a mirrored image of Neff is seen snapping the photographs in the artifacts’ glass enclosures.

While at Fox News, Carlson has been accused by critics of creating racist and inflammatory feedback on air. His present has lengthy appealed to extremists who agree along with his hardline views on immigration, his emphasis on the preservation of Western tradition, and his commentary on subjects of race.

Carlson has at a number of factors in his Fox News profession discovered himself in scorching water when commenting on such subjects. In August 2019, as an illustration, Carlson turned engulfed in controversy when he stated the very actual drawback of white supremacy in America was a “hoax.” Most just lately, Carlson noticed extra advertisers — together with Disney and T-Mobile — flee his program in June after he stated the Black Lives Matter motion was “not about black lives” and warned viewers to “remember that when they come for you.” (A Fox News spokesperson later stated Carlson was referring to Democratic leaders, not Black Lives Matter protesters, when he made the feedback.)
Carlson himself has in the previous pushed again in opposition to allegations of racism. He advised The Atlantic in December 2019 that such accusations are “so far from the truth” that it has “no effect at all other than to evoke in me contempt for the people saying it” as a result of he thinks “it’s that dishonest.”

Bigotry and vitriol

In 2015, Neff began a thread on AutoAdmit mocking a girl, with whom he was mates on Facebook and whom he described as an “Azn megashrew,” sharing posts she had written about her courting life. He has continued to submit to the thread and mock the girl, whom CNN Business just isn’t figuring out, as just lately as late final month. In his first submit in 2015 beginning the years-long thread, he defined that “through circumstances” he could not “quite recall,” he turned Facebook mates with the girl and thought her posts about courting had been amusing.

“So, I thought I’d post them,” Neff wrote. “I won’t put up a pic but it’s probably relevant to say that she’s a slightly overweight Azn woman who is in her mid-30s and definitely looks it.”

Through the years, the thread has generated almost 1,000 feedback — lots of which used vulgar racist, sexist, and dehumanizing language to mock the girl. Neff additionally stated he didn’t need different posters to harass her, however didn’t cease them from figuring out her and posting hyperlinks to her account. He additionally posted some pictures from her account that didn’t present her face and continued posting about her courting life for years after the opposite posters had recognized her.

Reached for remark, the girl advised CNN Business, “When I was recently made aware of Blake’s posts about me on racist websites, I was overcome with disappointment which eventually mixed with bewilderment that he spent years dedicated to creating a false narrative based on my satirical writing about my life. The nature of online media is that your identity, while nominally under your control, is vulnerable to being misused. Any public figure can attest to this problem.”

In March 2020, Neff began one other prolonged thread mocking a separate girl with whom he was related on social media. The girl had posted about freezing her eggs, and Neff apparently discovered that value deriding in the AutoAdmit forum. He started posting about her in March of this yr, in a thread he titled “Disaster: WuFlu outbreak endangers aging shrew’s quest to freeze eggs.” Neff posted to the thread, which racked up dozens of feedback as customers ridicule the girl, as just lately as June 28.

On the forum, Neff has additionally expressed bigoted views. In 2014, he joked about “foodie faggots.” And in the identical yr, he began a thread titled, “Urban business idea: He Didn’t Do Muffin!” He joked one merchandise could possibly be, “Sandra Bland’s Sugar-free Shortbreads!” In August 2019, a person began a thread titled, “We should just buy Canada and kick the Canadians out.” Neff commented, “Okay but what do we do with the millions of Chinese people.”

More just lately, in February 2020, Neff referred to as Mormonism “an inherently cucky religion.” On June 5, a person on the forum commented in a thread, “Didn’t Michael Brown rob a store and attack a police officer? And wasn’t [George Floyd] a piece of shit with a long criminal record? Jfc libs.” Another particular person commented, “It doesn’t matter to these people.” Neff then replied, “It does. The violent criminals are even MORE heroic.” On June 16, a person began a separate thread a couple of video exhibiting a Black man assaulting an aged white girl in New York. Neff commented on the thread, “And to think, if this guy got killed in some freak incident while being arrested, we’d have to endure at least three funerals in his honor.”

On the Fourth of July, Neff began a thread in which he jokingly “rated” members of the neighborhood utilizing photos from a 1990s online game from the makers of “Oregon Trail” that was pulled from the market attributable to its racist depictions of slaves. In the sport, customers play as slaves attempting to interrupt free and escape north. Neff assigned customers on the forum photos from the sport, lots of which depicted Black slaves utilizing racist stereotypes. For occasion, Neff assigned one person a picture of a slave catcher, to which the person replied “[thank you] massa Charles for dis.”

On May 27, Neff wrote that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib — identified collectively as “The Squad” — need to “MAKE YOUR COUNTRY A DUMPING GROUND FOR PEOPLE FROM THIRD WORLD SHITHOLES.” Responding to a thread on June 27 about whether or not “whites fear what’s going to happen to them in 10-20 yrs,” Neff wrote that he has “no plans to stay” in the nation “that long.” In December 2019, he stated that “once Democrats have the majorities to go full F**K WHITEY, things are going to get really wacky really quickly.” He argued on the time that there’s a “large minority of whites who are fully supportive of a F**k Whitey agenda” and that “there’s a suicidal impulse to Western peoples that honestly feels almost biological in origin.”

When not making his personal bigoted feedback, Neff has proven a willingness to reply to others who had been, with out expressing any hesitation, a lot much less disgust, about what they’ve stated. For occasion, in 2016 he replied to a thread with the title, “Mary Poppins getting raped by a pack of wild ni***rs at the park; kids watching.” That identical yr, he commented on a thread titled, “DIKES get wrong CUM at CUMBANK. N****R pops out.” Just final month, Neff replied to a touch upon the thread that stated, “And the n**s are always honor students or some bullshit.” (The language on each posts was not censored on the forum.)

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Last month, Neff mocked a person who stated they had been leaving the board over issues concerning the rampant racism on it. In a now-deleted remark, the person implored others to “consider the current environment,” writing, “The country is undergoing a great awakening to racist injustices throughout society. Maybe you should take this opportunity to consider whether continuing to post here is morally defensible at all, even if you aren’t posting deranged shit? I don’t think it is defensible, which is why I am leaving.”

On June 16, Neff responded by quoting the person’s phrases and including, “LMAO if you think this shit will save you when the mob comes for you. Good riddance.” The language notably echoed Carlson’s remark, eight days earlier than, when he had stated “remember that when they come for you.”

In February 2018, a person on AutoAdmit posted, “At some point in the future, all ur xo posts (w/IRL name) will be public record.” One particular person commented, “I stand by every poast.” Neff upvoted that remark.

Easter eggs

When he had simply began working at Fox News, Neff was apparently much less cautious and extra keen to threat exposing his identification for an opportunity to point out off to his fellow posters.

One evening in February 2017 — which, in line with his LinkedIn, would have been Neff’s second month with Carlson at Fox News — Carlson tripped over his phrases as he launched a visitor. The phrase Carlson was attempting to say was, even for the host’s florid model, slightly misplaced: “Sweet treats of scholarship.”

Within minutes, Neff was posting to AutoAdmit about Carlson’s use of the phrase, which different posters gleefully famous was a reference to one thing stated on the forum.

Neff’s warning since then could have resulted in fewer Easter eggs being slipped into Carlson’s scripts. But there has nonetheless been at the least some overlap between the forum and the present, together with in latest weeks.

Sometimes, materials Neff encountered on the forum discovered its manner on to Carlson’s present. For occasion, on June 25, Neff responded to a submit that quoted a information story about coronavirus-related curiosity in Montana actual property. He wrote on the forum, “Interest in real estate in Bozeman, Missoula, and the Flathead Valley has been on the rise for years.” That evening, in his monologue, Carlson stated, “You’re starting to consider maybe moving to Bozeman, and why wouldn’t you?”

In some instances, language Neff used on the forum ended up on the present. The evening of June 15, in commenting on a soccer coach who was the topic of controversy over a sweatshirt he’d worn, Neff wrote on the forum, “[I]t is your f***ing right as an American to wear whatever T-shirt you want, and hold whatever political views you want. Christ.” The subsequent evening on his present, Carlson stated, “And they can wear whatever shirts they want. You thought that was true. You thought that was your right as an American.”

Other instances, Neff could have used information he had gained in his job at Fox News to submit to the board. On the afternoon of July 1, Neff began a thread titled, “Two GOP senators propose replacing Columbus Day w/Juneteenth.” In the thread, he wrote, “Coming out this afternoon if it isn’t out already.” That afternoon, it was public; that evening, the proposal was mentioned on Carlson’s present.

— Additional reporting by CNN’s Sergio Hernandez.

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