Fox Corporation Chief Executive Officer Lachlan Murdoch brushed aside the Anti-Defamation League’s call for Fox News to fire Tucker Carlson, claiming in a letter to the group that Fox had no issue with Carlson’s comments that have been seen as a defense of the racist “Great Replacement” theory.
In a letter first obtained by CNN, Murdoch wrote to ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt that Fox shares the organization’s values and “abhors anti-semitism, white supremacy and racism of any kind.” Murdoch also noted that he “fondly” remembers the group honoring his father Rupert with its International Leadership Award.
“Concerning the segment of ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ on April 8th, however, we respectfully disagree,” Murdoch added. “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.’”
Greenblatt, who previously said Carlson had made a “full-on embrace of the white supremacist replacement theory” during a Thursday evening Fox News segment, rejected Murdoch’s excuse in a follow-up letter on Monday.
“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,” Greenblatt stated.
Responding to Murdoch’s claims that Carlson rejected “white replacement theory,” Greenblatt wrote, “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.”
The ADL chief continued: “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.”
During his guest appearance on Fox News Primetime last Thursday, Carlson drew condemnation from the ADL and other Jewish groups for seemingly espousing the same racist conspiracy that inspired the white supremacist mass murders in Christchurch, El Paso, and Pittsburgh.
“Now, 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,” Carlson declared on Thursday night. “But they become hysterical because that’s what's happening actually. Let’s just say it. That’s true.”
And after he supposedly dismissed “white replacement theory” by instead claiming it was a “voting-rights question,” Carlson went on to say this: “I have less political power because they are importing a brand new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that? The power that I have as an American guaranteed at birth is one man, one vote, and they are diluting it. No, they are not allowed to do it. Why are we putting up with this?”
Calling Carlson’s remarks “anti-Semitic, racist and toxic,” Greenblatt called on the Fox News star’s ouster, saying “Tucker must go.” Progressive Jewish group J Street said it was “horrifying that Fox News continues to empower Tucker Carlson and other white nationalist ideologues to broadcast this kind of hateful poison into the homes of tens of millions of Americans.”
Just as he did in his initial letter to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott calling for Carlson’s termination, Greenblatt brought up several other instances where Carlson has sparked controversy with his racist or xenophobic commentary in his message to Murdoch.
“At a time of intense polarization, this kind of rhetoric galvanizes extremists and lights the fire of violence,” Greenblatt concluded. “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.”
Carlson, meanwhile, kicked off his top-rated primetime program on Monday night by doubling down on his comments while simultaneously mocking anyone who took offense at them.
“It is amusing to see them keep at it,” the Fox News star laughed over the ADL’s calls that he be taken off the air. “They get so enraged! It’s a riot!”
Insisting that his “original point” on Thursday night is “true,” Carlson then spent roughly 20 minutes defending his assertion that the Democratic Party is actively “replacing” Americans with immigrants, largely from Latin America.
“Demographic change is the key to the Democratic Party’s political ambitions,” he said. “In order to win and maintain power, Democrats plan to change the population of the country.”
“A nation’s leadership admitting they hope to replace their own citizens? It seems grotesque,” Carlson added in his lengthy monologue. “If you believed in democracy, you would work to protect the potency of every citizen’s vote, obviously. You wonder if people even debate questions like this in countries that don’t hate themselves.”