Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League has written to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott, demanding that Tucker Carlson be fired for promoting the dangerous white supremacist theory that people of color are “replacing” whites.
It seems impossible that Carlson could find any new low, and yet he keeps doing so.
Media Matters has a good explanation of Carlson’s latest new low:
On the April 8 broadcast of Fox News Primetime, Carlson offered perhaps his most explicit justification yet for the core belief of the “great replacement” conspiracy theory: that a wave of “Third World” invaders is coming to replace you and reshape your environment, and that you, the audience, should do something about it.
The Fox News host claimed that “what’s true” is that “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 no one should “sit back and take that.”
The great replacement theory has inspired a bloody trail of horrific events across the world. The racist mass shooters in both Christchurch, New Zealand, and El Paso, Texas, wrote of their belief in the theory. The neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, did so to chants of “Jews will not replace us” and “You will not replace us.” These events shocked people around the globe, but the beliefs that motivated them are not confined to the dark corners of online message boards; they are increasingly present in the mainstream right-wing lexicon, especially where Carlson is involved.
You can see Carlson’s exact comments, uttered to a nodding Mark Steyn, below, via Media Matters.
According to AP, Greenblatt has previously written to Fox News about Carlson but this is the first time the ADL has asked Fox to fire him. Given that Fox obviously disregarded the ADL’s previous complaints, I think it’s a safe bet that little to nothing will come of this, either.
CNN host Brian Stelter was equally skeptical when he interviewed Greenblatt on Sunday’s Reliable Sources show. He noted that Carlson’s racist rhetoric is nothing new and yet Fox has promoted and elevated him. “He is the biggest star on the channel, the highest-rated host,” Stelter added.
Greenblatt did not seem deterred. From the CNN transcript (with minor editing):
GREENBLATT: Well, look, Father Coughlin got great ratings in the 1930s with anti-Semitic and racist rants, until he was taken down, right?
And, you know, people like Lou Dobbs on the Fox network, or Glenn Beck before him, got great ratings with their wild, racist and ugly conspiracy theories.
So, what do we want Fox to do? I mean, first and foremost, Tucker has got to go. Again, it is a risk not just to the corporation, it's a risk to our society to be promoting these anti-Semitic and racist myths that literally were used by people on January 6th to try to not just interfere with the election, but to murder lawmakers.
I mean, I think we've really crossed a new threshold when a major news network dismisses this or pretends like it isn't important. This has deadly significant.
So, number one, Tucker has got to go. And I think, secondly, Brian, Fox needs to look at their entire primetime lineup and finally ask themselves, does this work?
Because at the end of the day, let's acknowledge, Fox isn't alone in this. They have advertisers, they have affiliates, right? There are cable companies who carry their signal.
If Fox won't act, it may be time for the advertisers to act. It may be time for again the affiliates and the cable companies to act to finally once and for all say that America is, simply put, no place for hate.
Why is this even a debate anymore, Brian?
STELTER: But you know how it goes. Tucker just says, I'm talking about voting rights, and then the Murdochs will say, we don't cancel people. They'll say, you're trying to engage in cancel culture.
That's what -- I can actually hear them in my ears because that's exactly what they would say.
GREENBLATT: Well, look, this is not cancel culture. Let me be -- let me be unambiguous about it. There has always been room for fringe ideas in America. That's a function of our First Amendment and I embrace that.
The question is does Fox -- Fox should take the fringe ideas and put them where they belong, on the fringe. Not place them in primetime where they serve as a gateway drug to tens of millions of Americans, right? To literally conscript them into this conspiracy theory of violent white supremacy.
We can't afford to look away any longer, Brian. It's incumbent upon, again, from advertisers, to the cable companies, to the shareholders, to say there is just too much risk in his racism and he's got to go.
But the problem is, the Murdochs obviously don’t care how dangerous Carlson is. And, as Stelter pointed out in his introduction to the Greenblatt interview, “men like Paul Ryan sit silently on the Fox Corporation Board of Directors.”
STELTER: Murdoch knows better. Ryan knows better. They know Tucker is cynically preying on his audience's fears -- their fears of being replaced, fears of a changing growing America.
But the show goes on. The profits go on. They act like Tucker's invincible. They seem to think he's the boss, when in fact they are the bosses.
STELTER: There is a lack of leadership that is emphasized by the fact that Lachlan Murdoch is basically living in Sidney, Australia, now, what is that? Fifteen time zones away from Fox News headquarters in New York.
You can watch Stelter and Greenblatt below from CNN’s April 11, 2021 Reliable Sources, via Media Matters, below.