Tucker's Traumatic Bathroom Experience [Steve Clemons]

I will avoid today discussion of the reasons why so many men chose to look for sex partners in public bathrooms, gyms, and the like over the last few decades.  Most engaged in this kind of sex would probably have preferred socially supported venues for relationship and sexual development -- in the clubs, restaurants, public places galore that the heterosexual world has to walk together, to talk, to hug, to kiss, and to 'do it.'

Andrew Sullivan has much better dexterity with this subject than I do -- but it is disgusting that while so many are now cringing at the thought of gay man having tearoom sex that they are at the same time so obsessive about trying to stop same sex marriage between committed individuals.

Tucker Carlson brought this home in an interview he did yesterday in which he got "bothered" in a public restroom when he was a high school student and then got a buddy and went back to beat up the guy before he was arrested.  To be fair to Carlson, we haven't yet heard whether the "botherer" grabbed Tucker's crotch or just tapped his foot under the stall.

But Carlson's comment that he chose to beat up the trespasser "after the fact" in a vigilante action says much.

This from Media Matters:

On the August 28 edition of MSBNC Live, hosted by MSNBC general manager Dan Abrams, Tucker Carlson, host of MSNBC's Tucker, asserted, "Having sex in a public men's room is outrageous.

It's also really common. I've been bothered in men's rooms." Carlson continued, "I've been bothered in Georgetown Park," in Washington, D.C., "when I was in high school."

When Abrams asked how Carlson responded to being "bothered," Carlson asserted, "I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the -- you know, and grabbed him, and ... hit him against the stall with his head, actually."

Read the full transcript (or watch the video clip) which is pretty disgusting, not just because Tucker Carlson, self-described as "the least anti-gay right-winger you'll ever meet", admits to beating up someone trolling for sex in a public bathroom -- but because Dan Abrams and Joe Scarborough just laugh.

Someone should go look for evidence of the arrest that Tucker Carlson mentions.

-- Steve Clemons


Tucker Carlson responds:

Let me be clear about an incident I referred to on MSNBC last night: In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men's room in Washington, DC. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men's room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived.

Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That's absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn't angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me.

Sorry Tucker -- guess I misunderstood the banter and your comments here:

ABRAMS: Tucker, what did you do, by the way? What did you do when he did that? We got to know.

CARLSON: I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the -- you know, and grabbed him, and -- and --

ABRAMS: And did what?

CARLSON: Hit him against the stall with his head, actually!


CARLSON: And then the cops came and arrested him. But let me say that I'm the least anti-gay right-winger you'll ever meet --

Tucker -- use your fame and opportunity for influence more wisely.  You conflate your views toward gays with a bad bathroom experience with someone who came on to you.  What lessons do you think you convey in your banter with Scarborough and Abrams?  Vigilanteism is cool. Gays lurk in bathrooms -- watch out! It's OK to assault someone after they have done something inappropriate.

I'm sure you were shocked -- but you turned your opportunity to educate Americans as the "least anti-gay right winger" into frat boy banter.  But thanks for the clarification.

-- Steve Clemons