Megyn Kelly defends Tucker Carlson after his house is targeted by protesters: 'This has to stop'

Megyn Kelly has her former colleague’s back. The ousted Megyn Kelly Today host offered support to Tucker Carlson after his house was swarmed by protesters Wednesday evening. Kelly, who worked with Carlson at Fox News for years, called him “tough” but added, “He does not deserve this.”

“It’s stomach-turning,” she tweeted.

Suzanne Scott, the CEO of Fox News, and Jay Wallace, President of Fox News, issued a joint statement Thursday:  “The incident that took place at Tucker’s home last night was reprehensible. The violent threats and intimidation tactics toward him and his family are completely unacceptable. We as a nation have become far too intolerant of different points of view.  Recent events across our country clearly highlight the need for a more civil, respectful, and inclusive national conversation. Those of us in the media and in politics bear a special obligation to all Americans, to find common ground.”

Carlson was at the studio at the time of the incident and received multiple text messages about a disturbance at his house. “I called my wife,” he told the Washington Post in a phone interview. “She had been in the kitchen alone getting ready to go to dinner and she heard pounding on the front door and screaming. … Someone started throwing himself against the front door and actually cracked the front door.”

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Megyn Kelly's rise to the top
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Megyn Kelly's rise to the top

Megyn Kelly was born in Illinois in 1970. She was a cheerleader throughout high school and told Katie Couric last year that at the time, she didn't have much ambition. Her father was a college professor and her mother was a nurse. Kelly's father died of a heart attack when she was 15.

Source: The Washington Post

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Kelly became more focused on her academics when she started college. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in political science in 1992 and went on to earn a JD from Albany Law School in 1995.

Source: Elle Magazine

FNC

Soon after, Kelly joined prominent law firm Bickel & Brewer as an associate. Later, she spent nine years working for Jones Day. She credits her background in practicing law with helping her stand her ground when interviewing politicians and CEOs.

Source: Fox News

(Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)

Kelly entered the media sphere in 2003, when she started working as a general assignment reporter for an ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C. She covered multiple stories of national interest, including the 2004 presidential race.

Source: The Washington Post and Fox News

(LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Kelly joined Fox News one year later, in 2004. Former CNN President Jonathan Klein told The New York Times in 2015 that he regretted not hiring Kelly when she was starting out because she was "the one talent you'd want to have from somewhere else."

Source: The New York Times

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Kelly quickly established herself as a leading voice in political journalism while at Fox. She provided wall-to-wall coverage of critical events like the 2013 government shutdown, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Source: Fox News

She also gained recognition for her take-no-prisoners approach to interviewing politicians and high-level officials from both sides of the aisle.

(Fox News)

In one attention-grabbing interview, she asked Republican strategist Karl Rove an awkward question when during the 2012 election, when he was forecasting the numbers Republican candidate Mitt Romney needed to win the election: "Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better, or is this real?"

Source: Business Insider

Her tenure at the network was not without controversy, though. Kelly attracted sharp criticism in 2013 following a segment during which she told the "kids watching at home" that "Santa just is white" and that "Jesus was a white man, too."

Watch the clip on YouTube »

Kelly was roundly criticized for the segment's historical inaccuracy — Santa Claus can be traced back to a real-life monk named St. Nicholas who was from Turkey — and for its racial undertones.

Source: The History Channel

(Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

The segment was lampooned by late-night political satire shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

"Who are you actually talking to?" Daily Show host Jon Stewart asked after playing Kelly's segment, during which she addressed "all you kids watching at home."

"Children who are sophisticated enough to be watching a news channel at 10 o'clock at night, yet innocent enough to still believe Santa Claus is real, yet racist enough to be freaked out if he isn't white?" Stewart asked, drawing cheers from the audience. 

(Comedy Central)

Critics have also accused Kelly, who came out as an Independent in 2015, of adopting a double standard in her reporting.

Source: Business Insider, Variety

(The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Megyn Kelly, host of America Live on set at Fox News studios in New York. Fox News Channel celebrated its 15th anniversary on the air on October 7th.

Things took a turn during a Republican primary debate in 2015 when Kelly became part of the news cycle itself. After she questioned then-Republican candidate Donald Trump about his behavior towards women, Trump implied Kelly had been vindictive and said she had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her...wherever."

(Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)

The remark, which many perceived as sexist, drew immediate and sustained criticism from observers, while Kelly garnered support from both sides of the political spectrum.

(Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) 

It wasn't all rosy for the Fox News anchor, though. Kelly told late night host Jimmy Fallon a few months later that she could "no longer go on Twitter" because of the harassment she experienced from Trump and his fans.

Source: The Tonight Show

(Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

The incident, and Kelly's pushback against it, made her something of a cultural icon during the election. She was even a featured guest during the 2016 "Women In The World" summit hosted by Katie Couric.

Watch Kelly's interview at the summit »

(Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)

"It is bizarre, it's surreal," Kelly said of her experience with Trump and covering the campaign. She added that she didn't enjoy seeing her own name in the headlines and that she looked forward to moving on from it.

(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Kelly again came under the spotlight later that year, when she defended former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who had accused Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of sexual misconduct.

(Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for TIME)

While other network powerhouses like Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly leaped to Ailes' defense, Kelly backed Carlson and even encouraged another female Fox News anchor to speak out about the alleged harassment she'd faced from Ailes.

Source: New York Magazine

REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES)

Kelly later wrote about her own experience with Ailes. At one point, he was "trying to grab me repeatedly and kiss me on the lips," she wrote in her book, "Settle For More."

Source: The Daily Beast

(Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)

After Carlson made her allegations against Ailes public, the network approached Kelly several times to defend the CEO, she wrote, but "there was no way I was going to lie to protect him."

Source: "Settle For More" via The Daily Beast

(Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)

Throughout the next few months, the network saw a string of high-profile departures that began with Ailes stepping down, host Greta van Susteren leaving to take a job at MSNBC, and finally, Kelly announcing her own departure to NBC.

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Her new, multi-year contract with the network gives Kelly several prominent roles, The New York Times reported earlier this year: she will host a daytime news and talk show, a Sunday night news program, and she will take point on covering prominent breaking stories and political events for the network.

Source: The New York Times

(Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Kelly had already stepped into her new position prior to debuting her daytime talk show on Monday. Earlier this year, she interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin in a segment that earned mixed reviews. Many critics felt she didn't press Putin hard enough on his record on human rights and Russia's election interference.

(Photo by Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images)

She also interviewed Alex Jones, an alt-right icon, strong supporter of Donald Trump, and the founder of far-right website InfoWars.

Source: NBC News

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

On Monday, she told her new studio audience that she was "kind of done with politics."

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

However, Kelly wore a shirt that had a "pussy bow," a feature that gained traction after the infamous Access Hollywood tape, during which Trump demeaned women and said he could "grab 'em by the p---y," leaked last year. So whether she really plans to stay away from the political fray remains to be seen.

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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Carlson’s wife, Susan Andrews, locked herself in the pantry and called 911, thinking it was a home invasion. The couple’s four children were not there at the time. Authorities responded within a few minutes.

“It wasn’t a protest. It was a threat,” said Carlson. “They weren’t protesting anything specific that I had said. They weren’t asking me to change anything. They weren’t protesting a policy or advocating for legislation. … They were threatening me and my family and telling me to leave my own neighborhood in the city that I grew up in.”

Smash Racism DC, a local anti-fascist organization tied to other demonstrations against prominent Republican figures, shared messages on social media about the protest, according to the Washington Post.

“Tucker Carlson, we are outside your home,” one person yelled in a video that has since been deleted. Using a bullhorn, the person accused Carlson of “promoting hate” and “an ideology that has led to thousands of people dying.”

“We want you to know, we know where you sleep at night,” the person said, before leading the group to chant, “Tucker Carlson, we will fight! We know where you sleep at night!”

The group purportedly called him a “racist scumbag” and demanded that he “leave town.” There were approximately 20 people gathered outside the Carlson residence. “Tonight you’re reminded that we have a voice,” a now-deleted tweet read. “Tonight, we remind you that you are not safe either.”

Twitter deleted the messages and suspended the group’s account early Thursday morning.

Carlson has received support from peers on both sides of the aisle. CNN’s Brian Stelter wrote in his newsletter, “Tucker Carlson does not deserve this.” He said, “You can love or hate Fox’s Tucker Carlson, but we should all be able to see that this protester behavior is wrong.”

Carlson told the Washington Post that he is worried about leaving his family at home. “How can you go out for dinner and leave the kids at home at this point?” he said. “If they’re talking about pipe bombs … how do you live like that?” The television personality says in one of the group’s deleted videos, a woman could be heard saying she wanted to “bring a pipe bomb” to his house.

“I don’t think I should be threatened in our house,” he added. “I think I should fight back, and I plan to. I’m not going to be bullied and intimidated.”

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Tucker Carlson through the years
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Tucker Carlson through the years
Tucker Carlson of the Weekly Standard during a CNN National Town Meeting on the Media discussing coverage of the White House sex scandal, Arlington, Virginia, January 28, 1998. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)
Tucker Carlson at The Creative Coalitions' 'Freedon of the Press During Wartime' panel discussion at Chadwick Restaurant in Beverly Hills, Ca. Thursday, June 20, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect
Carl Bernstein, William Baldwin, Charles Koones, Tucker Carlson, Michael Isikoff and Peter Bart at The Creative Coalitions' 'Freedon of the Press During Wartime' panel discussion at Chadwick Restaurant in Beverly Hills, Ca. Thursday, June 20, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect
WASHINGTON - JUNE 4: (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT)(L-R) U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, an unidentified member of his security detail, Democratic presidential candidate Reverend Al Sharpton, and CNN Crossfire host Tucker Carlson attend a CNN pre-party for the White House Radio and TV Correspondents Association annual dinner June 4, 2003 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 15: Politicians Partisans and Parasites (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images)
Tucker Carlson of Crossfire (Photo by Linda Spillers/WireImage for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli)
CENTURY CITY, CA - JULY 8: Talk show host Tucker Carlson attends the Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Westin Century Plaza Hotel on July 8, 2004 in Century City, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images).
UNITED STATES - JULY 27: CNN's Tucker Carlson, makes a phone call in a hallway in the Fleet Center, on the night Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., was nominated as the vice presidential candidate,at Democratic National Convention 2004, in Boston. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 31: (L-R) Producer Lawrence O'Donnell, moderator Tucker Carlson and Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas take part in an Art$, Education and the 21st Century Economy panel discussion at Carolines August 31, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
Tucker Carlson (Photo by Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagic)
Tucker Carlson and Patricia Duff during The 2005 Do Something BRICK Awards - Inside Arrivals at Capitale in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Robin Platzer/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON - APRIL 29: (U.S. TABS & HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Tucker Carlson and Christopher Buckley attend the Creative Coalition and The Atlantic Media Company reception April 29, 2006 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Nancy Ostertag/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 18: DANCING WITH THE STARS - Tucker Carlson, (right) MSNBC news anchor -- and often controversial -- conservative political TV pundit and columnist, will be partnered with professional dancer Elena Grinenko (left), who makes her series debut this season on ABC Television Network's 'Dancing with the Stars.' (Photo by James Sorensen/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 01: DANCING WITH THE STARS - Tucker Carlson, MSNBC news anchor -- and often controversial -- conservative political TV pundit and columnist, rehearses partnered with professional dancer Elena Grinenko, who makes her series debut this season on ABC Television Network's 'Dancing with the Stars.' (Photo by Talley Lach/ABC via Getty Images)
Tucker Carlson & Harry Hamlin (Photo by Ron Wolfson/WireImage for TMG (The Marketing Group))
Nick Kosovich, Vivica A. Fox, Tucker Carlson & Rashel Pouri (Photo by Ron Wolfson/WireImage for TMG (The Marketing Group))
TV Personality Tucker Carlson at the Field & Stream Magazine's Heroes of Conservation Awards Gala September 20, 2007 at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage)
WASHINGTON - APRIL 26: Tucker Carlson arrives for an after-party hosted by Bloomberg following the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 26, 2008 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 1: Tucker Carlson, Ariana Huffington, guest, guest and guest pose for a photo September 1, 2008 at the Nicollet Island Inn in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Scott A. Schneider/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 02: Tucker Carlson, a correspondent for General Electric Co.'s MSNBC unit, speaks during Rally for the Republic, an event in support of Ron Paul, a Republican representative from Texas who lost to Senator John McCain of Arizona in winning the Republican presidential nomination, at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008. The protest convention was held on day two of the Republican National Convention (RNC), which took place in nearby St. Paul. (Photo by Keith Bedford/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 7: Tucker Carlson, a conservative pundit, at the office of the new website, the Daily Caller, on January 6, 2010, in Washington, DC. The site, at which Carlson is the editor-in-cheif, has been branded as a 'conservative Huffington Post.' (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 09: Tucker Carlson of CNN, checks his messages on North Capitol Street, NW, Feb. 09, 2010. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - The Huffington PostÃs Arianna Huffington and Fox News Contributor Tucker Carlson join the ÃMorning Mixà to discuss current events on 'Good Morning America,' 9.9.10, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images) TUCKER CARLSON, ARIANNA HUFFINGTON
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 4: FOX News meteorologist Rick Reichmuth (L) and FOX & Friends Weekend co-host Tucker Carlson attend 'FOX & Friends Christmas Special' 2013 at FOX Studios on December 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: (L-R) 'FOX & Friends' co-hosts Steve Doocy as Captain America, Kimberly Guilfoyle as Wonder Woman, Tucker Carlson as The Incredible Hulk and Maria Molina as Bat Girl attend 'FOX & Friends'' 2014 Halloween Celebration at FOX Plaza on October 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: (L-R) Tucker Carlson, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, actress Bella Thorne and Brian Kilmeade pose onstage during 'Fox & Friends' at FOX Studios on April 2, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02: (L-R) Tucker Carlson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade appear on a cooking segment of 'Fox & Friends' at FOX Studios on June 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 01: Musician Trace Adkins (2nd L) talks with co-hosts Tucker Carlson (L), Clayton Morris (2nd R) and Ainsley Earhard during 'FOX & Friends' All American Concert Series outside of FOX Studios on July 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
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