‘The Rundown’: Tucker Carlson rips Spencer Cox

Everything you need to know for Monday morning.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gov. Spencer Cox gets ready to provide updates on the ongoing pandemic as he speaks at a news conference in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

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Monday, April 19

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Tucker Carlson vs. Spencer Cox

(Screengrab via Grabien)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson tore into Gov. Spencer Cox for defending a Utah Jazz scholarship program for minorities.

Background: Cox was on a radio show when a caller asked him if he thought a scholarship program was racist for excluding white children and what he intended to do about it.

“The Utah Jazz is excluding white children for consideration for their scholarship program. Do you think this is racist? And what will you do to prevent the Utah Jazz from acting in this racist matter?” asked the caller.

Cox disagreed with the caller’s point.

“I’ll tell you what I’m going to do about the Utah Jazz: Absolutely nothing because you know what? I believe in the Constitution, and I believe in the freedom of businesses to make decisions and decisions that are right for them. Your kid or my kid, they have no right to the Utah Jazz’s money, and the Utah Jazz and Ryan Smith can do the things that they want to do with their funds and their revenues,” said Cox.

Enter Fox News host Tucker Carlson:

“The team’s program gives out a scholarship to one of Utah’s in-state universities every time the team wins a game. That’s great,” said Carlson.

“Here’s the part that’s hard to believe. It’s legal and totally immoral that scholarship is given on the basis of skin color,” continued Carlson. “Kids with the wrong skin color, no matter how disadvantaged they are, no matter how qualified they are, could not get a scholarship because of the wrong color.”

[Eric Walden: ‘Governor, what are you gonna do about the Utah Jazz being racist to white people?’ is a thing that really happened]

“There are a lot of dumb people in this country. The problem is when they become governor,” said Carlson, who noted Cox declined an invitation to appear on the program. Not surprisingly, Cox’s office declined to comment about Carlson’s verbal broadside when contacted by The Tribune.

Questionable donations

Two members of Utah’s Congressional delegation face questions about political donations from embattled Florida Republican Matt Gaetz.

Rep. Burgess Owens received $2,000 from Gaetz during his 2020 race against Democrat Ben McAdams. Sen. Mike Lee held a joint fundraiser with Gaetz and Colorado Rep. Lauren Bobert at Mar-a-Lago in March. Gaetz’s election committee donated $4,000 to Lee at that event.

Gaetz is under investigation by the Justice Department for alleged sex trafficking crimes and exploitation of a 17-year-old girl.

Neither Owens nor Lee’s campaign responded to questions from The Tribune about whether they plan to hang on to the donations.

So far, three members of Congress have said they will either return donations from Gaetz or give the money to organizations that fight human trafficking or the exploitation of minors.

What you need to know for Monday morning

  • NASA’s small helicopter dubbed Ingenuity successfully flew on Mars. The chopper reached a height of about 10 feet [WaPo].

  • Gov. Spencer Cox says the state will “likely” sue if President Joe Biden expands the boundaries of two national monuments in the state [Tribune].

  • Members of Utah’s congressional delegation discussed efforts to fight the scourge of human trafficking at a conference on Saturday [Tribune].

  • Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine varies across Utah. It’s difficult to find a vaccine in some areas, while some are much more hesitant [Tribune].

  • How a Salt Lake City pharmacy helped provide the drugs used in a 2011 execution in Idaho [Tribune].

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday the nationwide pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is likely to be lifted on Friday [WaPo].

  • Senate Democrats will likely push for raising the corporate tax rate to 25% to help pay for President Joe Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal. Biden wanted to raise the tax rate to 28% [Axios].

  • Whoa! Members of the far-right paramilitary Oath Keepers group say they are being trained by active-duty members of law enforcement [CBS News].

  • The Biden administration reversed a Trump-era ban on federally funded research using fetal tissue from abortions [Politico].

  • The two sides in the ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin trial will present their closing arguments on Monday [Star-Tribune]. Minneapolis and other cities across the country are bracing for unrest when the verdict comes down [WaPo].

  • 12 of the world’s biggest soccer clubs are forming a breakaway European “super league.” The move is prompting backlash throughout the soccer world [WSJ].

Monday’s Utah news roundup


Hospitalizations down again, and no new COVID-19 deaths reported in Utah - Tribune

Navajo Nation has no COVID-related deaths for seventh day in a row - AP via Tribune


‘Less about issues, more about style’ — Inside the rift between Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney - Deseret News

Local government

As Ogden debates renewable energy proposal, impact on power rates a big unknown - Standard-Examiner

On the opinion pages

Samuel Green: Opposing abortion is truly loving and compassionate - Tribune


Utah’s budget surplus is set to grow. What will lawmakers do with extra cash? - Tribune

Utah Republicans plan in-person convention despite cash crunch and coronavirus risk - Tribune

Here are five things Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said he would do in his first 100 days. Did he do them? - Tribune

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox plans to focus on these 3 things in his next 100 days - Tribune

Biden backtracks after backlash, vows to keep pledge to let in more refugees - Tribune

‘Utah Politics’ podcast: On this issue, Rep. Blake Moore says he’d work with Democrats - Tribune

You say it’s your birthday!

Belated birthday wishes to Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson; Marty Carpenter, former director of communication for Gov. Gary Herbert; and Randy Dryer, an attorney and professor at the U’s S.J. Quinney College of Law.

If you have a birthday you’d like to add to our calendar, drop us a line.

— Karina Andrew contributed to this newsletter.