There’s mystery surrounding Tucker Carlson’s emergency back surgery, and little of that has to do with the surgery itself. Rather, it’s the fact that Tucker had this surgery (which reportedly followed weeks of severe pain, according to Page Six) on Wednesday morning and then returned to the air on Wednesday night to drop a whopper on critical race theory. According to Vice’s Motherboard blog, he described the incident as “one of the most traumatic things that’s ever happened to me in my whole life, ever.” The surgery was confirmed by Vice with a statement from Fox News, and then there was an added detail, which was that Tucker had told his production team that he “understands America’s opioid crisis in a deeper way” because his treatment included fentanyl and other powerful opioid-painkiller medication.
Following word of those remarks (and it was apparently a very lengthy, rambling speech), Tucker subsequently sat out his Wednesday night episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight, and Jesse Watters filled in. For what it’s worth, Watters made that revelation in the early evening hours.
— Jesse Watters (@JesseBWatters) November 4, 2021
The Independent is reporting that Tucker “cancelled” his nightly appearance. There’s been no confirmation that he definitively cancelled, but he wasn’t on the air for sure. Certainly, he wouldn’t feel so great after surgery, and he probably should have sat out Wednesday night as well. Via Vice, here’s part of the transcript of his leaked backstage remarks on opioids:
“They gave me fentanyl this morning, that did not cure it-they gave me intravenous fentanyl,” he said. “And they gave me all kinds of other sh*t. I was like, ‘Fine, go for it.’ And then it only ended when they gave me propofol, and I went out. Then I woke up and I was like, I felt totally fine. I haven’t taken a single Advil.”
The remarks continued after Carlson apparently expressed his intent to not take opioids again, and he detailed how the drugs made him feel different than usual fearless self:
“I had this spirit of fear within me, which I don’t have,” he said. “I’m not bragging, I don’t have it. And I think you can feel it. I don’t have it, I think that’s why I’m successful, cause I’m just not afraid. I felt afraid just of like life or something. It’s interesting.
“It was super deep. And I just haven’t had those feelings since I was in a plane crash 20 years ago this month. I’ve never had those feelings. I’m always like ‘Yeah I’m gonna die, I don’t care.’ And I mean it. But last night I was like, ‘Oh sh*t.’ Fear-just like anxiety. People who have anxiety, that’s what I felt. And it was from those drugs. And they extinguish the spirit within you. And they make you feel like you’re running away. You’re hiding. It’s so f*cking deep. I’m lying in bed filthy with dog toys on my pillow, and it doesn’t bother me. And I’m not that way. Like I am a f*cking–in real life, I wash the sheets every day. I’m that guy. I shower every day.”
Tucker’s dad previously detailed the plane crash (in an email to a Washington Post) that his son was referencing. And neither Tucker nor Fox News have commented on these reported leaked remarks.