Lachlan Murdoch defended Tucker Carlson’s validation of white supremacy’s Replacement Theory yet laughably claimed Fox shares the values of the Anti-Defamation League “and abhors anti-semitism, white supremacy and racism of any kind." The ADL had the perfect response.
As we previously posted, Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO, wrote to Fox demanding that Carlson be fired after he explicitly endorsed the Replacement Theory. Today, Greenblatt got his answer. It was even worse than expected:
"Fox Corporation shares your values and abhors anti-semitism, white supremacy and racism of any kind," Murdoch wrote ADL chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt on Sunday. "In fact, I remember fondly the ADL honoring my father with your International Leadership Award, and we continue to support your mission.
"Concerning the segment of 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' on April 8th, however, we respectfully disagree," Murdoch continued in the letter, which the ADL provided CNN. "A full review of the guest interview indicates that Mr. Carlson decried and rejected replacement theory. As Mr. Carlson himself stated during the guest interview: 'White replacement theory? No, no, this is a voting rights question.'"
Murdoch is either stupid or lying or both if he really believes Carlson “decried and rejected” replacement theory in his remarks. Carlson “decried and rejected” replacement theory the way a racist insists he’s not racist, he hates racism and that some of his best friends are Black – as cover for expressing specifically racist animus.
Fortunately, Greenblatt didn’t buy it either. He had some choice for words for Murdoch, too. He responded:
Although I appreciate the sentiment that you and your father continue to support ADL’s mission, supporting Mr. Carlson’s embrace of the “great replacement theory” stands in direct contrast to that mission. As you noted in your letter, ADL honored your father over a decade ago, but let me be clear that we would not do so today, and it does not absolve you, him, the network, or its board from the moral failure of not taking action against Mr. Carlson.
With all due respect, Mr. Carlson’s attempt to at first dismiss this theory, while in the very next breath endorsing it under cover of “a voting rights question,” does not give him free license to invoke a white supremacist trope. In fact, it’s worse, because he’s using a straw man – voting rights - to give an underhanded endorsement of white supremacist beliefs while ironically suggesting it’s not really white supremacism.
While your response references a “full review” of the interview, it seems the reviewers missed the essential point here. Replacement theory is a concept that is discussed almost daily in online forums seething with antisemitism and racism. This so-called theory fueled the hateful chants of “Jews will not replace us!” in Charlottesville in 2017. And it has lit the fuse in explosive hate crimes, most notably the hate-motivated mass shooting attacks in Pittsburgh (11 killed), Poway (1 killed) and El Paso (23 killed), as well as in Christchurch, New Zealand (51 killed). I don’t know which experts you consulted in your review, but, as your letter rightly pointed out, we are the experts.
As background, “Replacement Theory” is a continuation of other theories of an impending “white genocide” that have been prevalent in the white supremacist movement for decades. The “Great Replacement” theory was absorbed and promoted by the white supremacist movement as it fit in with their wider belief about the impending destruction of the white race. It is also a variation on the rallying cry of the white supremacist movement: the “14 words,” which are: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” Since many white supremacists, particularly in the U.S., blame Jews for non-white immigration, the theory in more recent years has morphed into a toxic conspiracy theory that claims that Jews are trying “replace” the white race with non-white immigrants. Carlson did not accidentally echo these talking points; he knowingly escalated this well-worn racist rhetoric.
Greenblatt also laid out many other instances of Carlson supporting and promoting white supremacist ideology which Lachlan Murdoch “neglected to address.”
On Thursday Mr. Carlson lifted the already thin veil and embraced a foundational theory of white supremacy. At a time of intense polarization, this kind of rhetoric galvanizes extremists and lights the fire of violence. As a news organization with a responsibility to the public and as a corporation with a responsibility to its shareholders, it is time for you to act.
Last night, Carlson was defiant. We’ll have more on that coming up.
Meanwhile, in case you missed it, you can watch the commentary Lachlan Murdoch claims "decried and rejected replacement theory." It's from the April 8, 2021 Fox News PrimeTime, via Media Matters.
(Murdoch image via screen grab)