Fox host Tucker Carlson kicked off an angry backlash after saying authorities were to blame for days of violent unrest in Wisconsin, which critics took as a defense of the vigilante gunman who shot two people dead on Tuesday.

Carlson’s segment on the ongoing protests and rioting in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Wednesday night largely took aim at state and local officials, arguing that those in positions of power were to blame for a spike in violence after leaving city residents to cope with the unrest on their own.

“Kenosha has devolved into anarchy because the authorities in charge of the city abandoned it,” he said. “People in charge from the governor of Wisconsin on down refused to enforce the law, they stood back and they watched Kenosha burn.”

So are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder? How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?

The segment came one day after 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly shot three individuals on Tuesday night amid ongoing protests, leaving two dead. Several graphic videos of the incident have emerged online, some showing the teen being chased by a number of armed demonstrators, however the exact circumstances surrounding the shooting remain unclear.

While Carlson maintained that only a court could decide whether Rittenhouse acted in self-defense – calling the shootings “murder” in the meantime – detractors have piled condemnation on the Fox host. Many appeared to interpret Carlson’s comments as a full-throated endorsement of the vigilante shooter, some deeming him a “white supremacist.”

“The first ten minutes of tonight’s Tucker Carlson Tonight are the closest thing I think I’ve ever seen to pure, unfiltered fascism in American public life. Going out to the largest cable news audience ever,”tweeted Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow at progressive outlet Media Matters.

Tucker Carlson is a white supremacist defending murder.

This goes beyond racism. Tucker Carlson is advocating and defending murder.

How shocked are we that Tucker Carlson is praising a murderer as some kind of vigilante hero?

Media outlets from the Huffington Post to the Daily Beast and the Guardian were soon reporting as flat fact that Carlson’s comments were a ‘defense’ and ‘justification’ of Rittenhouse’s actions, while critics sent #FireTuckerCarlson into the trends on Twitter – some compiling a list of the pundit’s advertisers in a bid to see him ‘canceled.’

Here are @TuckerCarlson top adv@officedepot@legacybox@StampsCom@Nutrisystem@SandalsResorts@WeatherTech@pray@QunolOfficial@LandOFrost Do you support white nationalist vigilantes murdering Americans?@TuckerCarlson who you support

Tucker Carlson defending Kyle Rittenhouse’s decision to murder 2 people in a Kenosha, Wisconsin.His show needs to be CANCELED.And so do his ADVERTISERS.#CancelTuckerCarlson

Some netizens weighed in to clarify the points advanced in Carlson’s Wednesday segment, however, noting that he never offered a defense of the shooting, but rather criticized authorities for failing to protect the city from violence and destruction.

“Tucker Carlson didn’t defend the Kyle kid, he made a comment on the unrest and posed a question asking if we were surprised. Grow up and start doing real journalism,” one user wrote, addressing the Guardian, which headlined its story ‘Tucker Carlson defends actions of teen charged in killings of Kenosha protesters.’

No, he’s saying In the absence of leaders taking control over rioting and looting, and police not controlling the situation, people will take matters into their own hands.

The Left wants to cancel Tucker Carlson (again) because he made some completely correct observations about the anarchy in our streets. We need to drown out their impotent whining by supporting the only guy on cable news who tells the unvarnished truth. #IStandWithTuckerCarlson

Like this story? Share it with a friend!