Tucker Carlson apologizes for vulgar language during interview but says he 'meant it with total sincerity'

Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson apologized for the "vulgar" language he used during a heated, unaired interview with Dutch historian and author Rutger Bregman, but added that his underlying message was made in "total sincerity."

"I did what I try hard never to do on this show, and I was rude," Carlson said in a video uploaded on Fox News' website on Tuesday. "I called him a moron, and then I modified that word with a vulgar Anglo-Saxon term."

But Carlson defended the reason why he launched into the verbal tirade, where at one point, he characterized Bregman as "too f---ing annoying" and suggested he "go f---" himself.

"In my defense, I would say that that was entirely accurate," Carlson said in his message. "But you're not allowed to use that word on television. So once I said that out loud, there was no airing the segment."

"There is some profanity, and I apologize for that," he continued. "On the other hand, it was genuinely heartfelt. I meant it with total sincerity."

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)

The interview in question began with an amicable tone, according to video recording obtained by NowThis News. Carlson could be heard laughing and agreeing with Bregman, who at one point noted it was "hypocritical" for wealthy people to fly on private airplanes to discuss the effects of global warming at the Davos, Switzerland economic conference in January.

But it went off the rails after Bergman began questioning President Donald Trump's unreleased tax returns and suggested the Murdoch family, which owns Fox News, controlled the editorial content of the news station.

"What the Murdochs basically want you to do is to scapegoat immigrants instead of talking about tax avoidance," Bergman said. "So I'm glad you're now finally raising the issue."

"And I'm taking orders from the Murdochs? Is that what you're saying?" Carlson replied.

"No, it doesn't work that directly," Bregman said.

"It works by you taking their dirty money," he continued. "You are a millionaire funded by billionaires, that's what you are."

He later told Carlson that he was "part of the problem."

"Why don't you go f--- yourself, you tiny brain ... and I hope this gets picked up because you're a moron," Carlson replied. "I tried to give you a hearing, but you were too f---ing annoying."

"You can't handle the criticism, can you?" Bergman asked as he laughed.

Screen Shot 2019 02 20 at 6.19.34 PMFox News

In his rebuttal on Wednesday, Carlson brushed off the suggestion that his program's content was governed by the Murdochs.

The Murdoch family has become influential in the media and entertainment landscape. Rupert Murdoch, the founder of media giant News Corporation, has been reported to have connections with political figures, including President Donald Trump.

"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. And we're grateful for that."

"This show, thanks to Fox, we get to say exactly what we think is true — for better or worse," Carlson added. "But there was no convincing Rutger Bregman of that. He knew what he knew."

Following the dispute, Bergman reached out to Carlson asking why the interview never aired. The Fox News host replied in an email that although he admired Bergman's insight at Davos, he "turned out to be far dumber, more dogmatic and less impressive than I expected," according to screenshots of the exchange uploaded by Bergman.


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