One of the top writers for Tucker Carlson Tonight has resigned after it was revealed he was posting racist, sexist, homophobic and violent rhetoric on political forums under a pseudonym. The Fox News show is now under fire for employing Blake Neff up until this week. Many critics want to see Carlson and his show punished beyond Neff's resignation.
Neff has been using a pseudonym to post on a message board called AutoAdmit for years, according to an investigative report by CNN Business published this week. His posts there included racist slurs, calls to violence and posting private information of women, sometimes spurring on harassment from other users. Investigators found that there was an "overlap" between Neff's anonymous writing online and his work on Carlson's show. The investigators reached out to Neff for comment on Thursday night, and he resigned from Fox News on Friday morning.
New: Fox News executives issue internal memo condemning the "horrific" behavior of former top Tucker Carlson writer Blake Neff. pic.twitter.com/QoKDN4S9rD— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) July 11, 2020
On Saturday, Fox News CEO Suzane Scott and President Jay Wallace sent out a memo to employees where they condemned Neff's words as "horrific racist, misogynistic and homophobic behavior." It read: "Neff's abhorrent conduct on this forum was never divulged to the show or the network until Friday, at which point we swiftly accepted his resignation. Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our workforce."
Neff worked on Carlson's show for nearly four years and was known to most as Carlson's top writer. He had previously written for The Daily Caller — an online news outlet co-founded by Carlson. Carlson has repeatedly praised Neff as well, including in the acknowledgments of his book, Ship of Fools.
All the while, Neff was a prolific user of AutoAdmit, also known as XOXOhth. The forum is often compared to 4chan, and is a relatively unmoderated message board comprised mainly of lawyers and law school students. The site has come under fire for hosting racist and sexist conversations before and has even spawned defamation lawsuits as well.
Neff posted there under the username CharlesXII. He was reportedly "revered" by other users, and many knew who was really behind the keyboard — or at least knew where CharlesXII worked. He posted unfiltered political opinions there, often including the liberal use of racial slurs and stereotypes. Neff also maintained a single thread for five years there, where he constantly derided a particular woman and encouraged others to harass her in real life.
The revelations about Neff and his resignation have drawn more criticism than ever down on Carlson himself, and his show. Carlson is often condemned for his rhetoric on the air, with comedian John Oliver taking particular aim at him this year. Over the years, Carlson has frequently credited Neff as an essential collaborator to his work, leaving little doubt that Neff has influenced the content that has gotten Carlson into trouble. So far, Fox News has not announced any move to change Carlson's show, though he is set to comment publicly on Neff's resignation on Monday night.