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A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Facing mounting controversy for declaring the very real problem of white supremacy in America to be a “hoax,” Tucker Carlson announced at the end of his Wednesday night Fox News show that he will be taking a vacation.

“By the way,” he said, “I am taking several days off – headed to the wilderness to fish with my son.” Carlson added, “Politics is important, fishing with your son, sometimes more important. So I’m doing it.”

Fox insists vacation had been in the works

I spoke to a Fox News spokesperson shortly after Carlson announced that he was heading out on vacation. The Fox spokesperson said the vacation had been in the works before Carlson had made his controversial remarks. The spokesperson added that Carlson will return back on the air from his vacation on August 19.

But there is a long history of Fox hosts going on vacation amid controversy

There is, of course, a long history of Fox hosts heading out on vacation as they become engulfed in controversy for inflammatory comments.

– Laura Ingraham announced she was going on vacation in March 2018 after mocking Parkland survivor and gun control activist David Hogg…

– Sean Hannity went on vacation in May 2017 after losing advertisers for promoting the Seth Rich conspiracy theory

– Jesse Watters headed out on vacation in April 2017 after making a comment widely criticized as lewd about Ivanka Trump

– Bill O’Reilly went – and never returned from – a vacation in April 2017 after NYT reported he had settled five sexual harassment allegations for millions of dollars…

Board stays silent

I reached out to Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, Anne Dias Roland Hernandez, and Paul Ryan – the people who make up the Fox Corporation board – on Wednesday to see if they had any comments about the bold untruths Carlson conveyed to his audience Tuesday night. I did not get any comment back…

– Fox spokesperson Hope Hicks did not provide a comment on behalf of either Rupert Murdoch or Lachlan Murdoch…

– Roland Hernandez answered my call, but when I started to ask my question, abruptly hung up. He did not reply to a follow-up text message…

– A representative for Paul Ryan referred me to Fox. Hicks did not provide me a comment on his behalf…

– Anne Dias did not respond to requests for comment

– And the seventh member of Fox’s board, Jacques Nasser, could not be reached because I could not find a working telephone or email for him.

Meanwhile, Fox News itself stayed silent on Wednesday, not releasing any statements about the controversy…

Carlson tells critics: “Calm down”

Before announcing his vacation, Carlson addressed the controversy surrounding his remarks. “We want to take a second to pass on a sincere message to official Washington, and particularly to our colleagues on other cable news channels, and it’s this: Please, for the sake of the nation, calm down,” Carlson said.

Carlson then listed other problems facing America, such as a “fading middle class” and the national debt. Carlson added, “This is not a white supremacist country plotting the slaughter of its own people. It’s a kind country full of decent people of all races who like all people everywhere make bad decisions from time to time. But they mean well and they generally try their best.”