Recently rediscovered video footage from 2013 shows Fox News host Tucker Carlson – then a member of the morning show “Fox and Friends” – extolling the virtues of fly fishing for largemouth bass in Central Park to a local celebrity videographer.
The footage was taken by the late Joseph “Joey Boots” Bassolino, a member of the Howard Stern “Wack Pack” who achieved local infamy by filming people against their will in New York with a handheld camera, several years before the craze of vlogging and smartphone cameras.
Boots noticed Carlson calmly casting lures in Central Park in 2013, without recognizing the Fox News personality, and filmed him from a distance before approaching and initiating a conversation.
Carlson approached Boots cautiously to inquire why the latter was filming him with a video camera.
Though the conversation was tense and guarded at first, Carlson quickly became aware that Boots was taping the incident because he had never seen anyone fishing in Central Park, not because he wanted to politically harass Carlson.
“It’s not very good fishing, there’s too many people around,” Carlson quipped before explaining to Boots that there are largemouth bass in the Central Park Pond.
Carlson then showed Boots his box of fly fishing lures, which he tied himself.
“I learned [to fly fish] in later life, and it’s a great pleasure and a great sport,” Carlson said.
“It’s relaxing?” Boots queried, to which Carlson replied, “Very.”
A segment of the video footage went viral on social media this week.
Tucker is a legend for this. pic.twitter.com/1QhLYZKKcr
— Pete D’Abrosca (@pdabrosca) September 15, 2020
National File also found the full clip on the late Boots’ Youtube channel, in which Boots tells Carlson about how he came to prominence by pranking CNN with the fake name “Yosef Bootski” during a television interview.
When recapping the video, Boots said, “Turns out the guy is Tucker Carlson from Fox News, I just didn’t recognize him because he didn’t have on the snazzy bowtie that he always wears. Even when he left, I was like ‘What do you do for a living?’ He was like, ‘oh, I work in media.'”
Carlson told Boots he didn’t work for Fox News or have a Twitter account, though Boots recognized him later when editing the video.
“How odd is that, that I met up with this guy, who I didn’t even know who he was, I just thought he was some random New Yorker fly fishing in the middle of the city, which is really cool by the way, looked very relaxing like he said… and it turned out it’s f**king, it’s a guy from Fox News!”
The full video can be viewed below.