Fox News is facing growing pressure from the Anti-Defamation League and other anti-hate groups calling for Tucker Carlson’s removal from the network, after a segment on his nightly programme invoked the white supremacist “great replacement” theory as he argued that immigrants entering the US would “dilute the political power” of Americans.
“I think we’ve really crossed a new threshold when a major news network dismisses this or pretends like it isn’t important,” Mr Greenblatt said. “This has deadly significance.”
On Fox, Mr Carlson sought to argue that immigration is a voting rights issue – dismissing the sweeping restrictions on ballot access under consideration in state legislatures across the US, and instead claiming he is the one who is “disenfranchised” by new people entering the electorate.
On a 8 April broadcast, he said: “I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement,’ if you suggest 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. But they become hysterical because that’s what’s happening actually. Let’s just say it: That’s true.”
He then referenced the “theory” by name – conjuring the violent, antisemitic and racist history from a false belief central to white supremacism that white people are targeted for “replacement” with immigrants, people of colour and Muslims as part of a Jewish plot, according to the ADL.
“Everyone wants to make a racial issue out of it,” Mr Carlson said. “Oh, you know, the ‘white replacement theory’? No, no, no ... I have less political power because they are importing a brand new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that?”
In a letter to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott, Mr Greenblatt pointed to Mr Carlson’s “pattern of increasingly divisive rhetoric” on the network, including a defence of QAnon in the wake of the Capitol insurrection, calling white supremacism a “hoax”, and anti-immigrant attacks, among other examples.
“Tucker Carlson has a history of sanitising stereotypes and of spreading this kind of poison, but what he did on Thursday night really was ... a new low,” Mr Greenblatt told CNN.
Mr Carlson is among the most-viewed personalities on the network, with his Tucker Carlson Tonight averaging 3.4 million viewers within the first quarter of 2021, according to the network.
“There is a reason why people like Richard Spencer or David Duke praise Tucker Carlson,” Mr Greenblatt said. “He has taken their talking points and literally used his prime-time platform to mainstream them for millions of Americans.”
Fox News has not responded to The Independent’s request for comment.