New report reveals how Tucker Carlson got the 'green light' to promote a racist conspiracy theory
On April 8, Fox News' Tucker Carlson set off yet another controversy when he promoted a conspiracy theory known as the Great Replacement, which is prominent in white supremacist ideology and claims that liberals are trying to "replace" white people with immigrants in various wealthy countries. Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch (Rupert Murdoch's oldest son) has denied that Carlson was encouraged to promote racism, but Media Matters' Matt Gertz, in an article published this week, argues that Murdoch gave Carlson the "green light."
Gertz explains, "When Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch replied, in April, to the firestorm caused by his star Fox News host Tucker Carlson passionately invoking the 'Great Replacement' conspiracy theory favored by White nationalists, Murdoch chose to lie. 'A full review of the guest interview indicates that Mr. Carlson decried and rejected Replacement Theory,' Murdoch wrote. This was obviously and insultingly false."
During that controversial April 8 broadcast, Gertz notes, Carlson said, "The Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World." And white nationalists, according to Gertz, "praised the Fox host for bringing their talking points to his massive audience."
"His boss' dishonest comment was a green light for Carlson to continue to promote that conspiracy theory, and the host took it as such," Gertz explains. "Over the past two months, as Carlson became the face of Fox, 'replacement' has proven a dominant theme of his program. It also spread to other Fox personalities and, increasingly, to Republican political operatives and politicians as well. Given Carlson's sway over both his network and the GOP, that trend is likely to continue."
Gertz goes on to cite "eight examples of Carlson pushing the White nationalist 'Great Replacement' theory in the two months since Murdoch claimed that he had actually repudiated it."
"While Carlson is generally careful not to directly say that Democrats want white people replaced by non-white ones, his remarks — referencing migrants from Congo, Haiti, and across the U.S.-Mexico border — leave no one confused that that is what he is talking about," Gertz writes.
"The Great Replacement" — or in French, "Le Grand Remplacement" — is the title of a 2011 book by French writer and white nationalist Renaud Camus, who claimed that in France, liberals and progressives were making a concerted effort to "replace" whites with non-white immigrants from Africa and the Middle East. The book became popular among members of France's far-right National Rally or National Front Party (led by 2017 presidential candidate Marine Le Pen) and is also highly regarded by racists in the United States, where white supremacists were chanting, "Jews will not replace us" at the infamous Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
Gertz writes, "Incendiary, xenophobic rhetoric like Carlson's can have dire consequences. Murdoch's statement came in response to a letter from the Anti-Defamation League's Jonathan Greenblatt, who noted that the theory Carlson espoused on April 8 is linked to 'explosive hate crimes, most notably the hate-motivated mass shooting attacks in Pittsburgh, Poway and El Paso, as well as in Christchurch, New Zealand.'"
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