Fox Corporation chief executive Lachlan Murdoch dismissed the Anti-Defamation League’s demand that the company fire host Tucker Carlson, telling the organization in a letter that his company saw no problem with comments Carlson made about the racist “great replacement” theory.
“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.’”
In a letter of its own, the ADL responded Monday to Murdoch.
“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,” Greenblatt wrote.
“As you noted in your letter, ADL honored your father over a decade ago,” Greenblatt continued, “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 said Carlson’s “attempt to at first dismiss” the replacement 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,” Greenblatt argued, “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.”
Appearing on Thursday during a segment on immigration with his friend Mark Steyn, who was filling in at 7 p.m. ET, Carlson invoked the great replacement theory.
“Everyone wants to make a racial issue out of it,” Carlson said. “Ooh, the white replacement theory.”
“No, no, no,” Carlson insisted. “This is a voting rights question.”
“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 added. “But they become hysterical because that’s what’s happening actually. Let’s just say it: That’s true.”
Steyn did not object to Carlson’s comments.
Greenblatt pointed out to Murdoch in his letter that “replacement theory is a concept that is discussed almost daily in online forums seething with antisemitism and racism” and that Carlson “did not accidentally echo these talking points; he knowingly escalated this well-worn racist rhetoric.”
Greenblatt also highlighted several other instances in which Carlson has ignited controversy for his anti-immigrant comments and in which he dismissed the threat of white supremacy.
“At a time of intense polarization, this kind of rhetoric galvanizes extremists and lights the fire of violence,” Greenblatt wrote at the conclusion of his letter. “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.”