For months, Tucker Carlson has been promoting the racist "great replacement" conspiracy theory. The concept, which is embraced by white nationalists and neo-Nazis, is that there is a secret plot to "replace" whites with non-white immigrants. It has been cited by mass murderers — in El Paso, New Zealand, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere — to justify violence. Its roots can be traced to a French novel, Le Camp des Saints, the urtext of modern white supremacist discourse.
Carlson has dabbled in white nationalist rhetoric for years. But he explicitly adopted the "great replacement" conspiracy in an April 8, 2021 broadcast of Tucker Carlson Tonight, a show which attracts about 3 million viewers to Fox News each weeknight.
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. But they become hysterical because that's what's happening actually. Let's just say it: That's true…
[E]veryone wants to make a racial issue out of it. Oh, you know, the white replacement theory? No, no, no. This is a voting right question. I have less political power because they are importing a brand new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that?
In response, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a prominent anti-hate organization founded in 1913, wrote a letter to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott demanding that Carlson be fired. The ADL cited Carlson's "open-ended endorsement of white supremacist ideology."
The ADL received a response not from Scott but from Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of the Fox Corporation. In his letter, Murdoch claimed that a "full review" of the segment showed that "Carlson decried and rejected replacement theory." Murdoch cited the line: "Oh, you know, the white replacement theory? No, no, no. This is a voting right question." He claimed that meant Carlson was rejecting the "replacement theory."
This was not a credible interpretation of Carlson's comments and the ADL swiftly rejected it. But in a segment last week, Carlson removed any ambiguity.
What Joe Biden is doing now will change this country forever. So again, why is he doing it? There's only one plausible answer. You're not allowed to say it out loud, CNN will attack you if you do. The social media companies will shut you down. The Southern Poverty Law Center will call you dangerous, you could lose your bank account. The left has become completely unhinged and hysterical and that's how you know it's true. They only censor the true things...
In political terms, this policy is called "the great replacement," the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries. They brag about it all the time, but if you dare to say it's happening they will scream at you with maximum hysteria.
So Carlson does not "decry and reject" the "great replacement" theory. Carlson says the "great replacement" — which he defined as "the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries" — was a "policy" that Biden is "doing now."
The ADL has renewed its call for Carlson to be sacked. "For Tucker Carlson, host of one of the most-watched news programs in the country, to use his platform as a megaphone to spread the toxic, antisemitic, and xenophobic ‘great replacement theory’ is a repugnant and dangerous abuse of his platform," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.
Carlson appears unmoved. "The ADL? Fuck them,” Carlson said on Friday.
In response to a series of racist and offensive comments over the last several years, major advertisers have largely abandoned Tucker Carlson Tonight. The advertisements on his show consist almost entirely of in-house promotions for other Fox News programming, ads for right-wing conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell's pillows, and spots for obscure nutritional supplements.
Major brands, however, continue to run advertising on other Fox News programs.
But this isn't a Tucker Carlson problem. It's a Fox News problem.
Fox News and Tucker Carlson are inseparable
Tucker Carlson is the face of Fox News. His coverage and persona impact every aspect of Fox News' programming. For example, shortly after Carlson promoted the racist "great replacement" theory on his show, a full transcript of his rant was featured on the homepage of FoxNews.com.
The headline of the article refers to a clip of Biden from 2015 that Carlson took badly out of context. In reality, Biden noted that immigrants have been coming to America since the 1700s and the resulting diversity contributed to the strength of the nation. Carlson said that the 2015 clip constituted proof that the racist "great replacement" conspiracy theory was real.
Carlson also claimed that Biden said "non-white DNA" was "the source of our strength." Biden, of course, said no such thing. "All humans share almost all the same DNA" and the idea that race reflects fundamentally different genetic makeup is another racist myth.
But Carlson's influence on Fox News extends far beyond its homepage. Carlson's commentary is featured extensively on Fox News' other programming, including its "news" shows. A Media Matters study found that between November 2020 and May 2021, Fox News "aired clips from his shows in at least 134 weekday segments on other programs, and he’s made a dozen guest appearances." When Carlson launched a show on Fox News' streaming service, Fox Nation, earlier in 2021, "Fox gave him more than nine and a half hours of promotion on other programs."
Fox News' biggest advertisers
The top advertiser on Fox News this year, besides Fox News' own ads and a supplement manufacturer that was admonished by the FDA for allegedly making false claims, is Liberty Mutual Insurance.
The company is advertising extensively on Fox News — a network dominated by Tucker Carlson — while claiming on its corporate website to be a champion of diversity:
At Liberty Mutual, diversity is about all of us. We believe that recognizing, appreciating and applying the unique insights, perspectives and backgrounds of each person cultivates an atmosphere of trust and respect. It’s also key to our success in engaging with all people and possibilities.
Another top-10 advertiser on Fox News this year is the job site Indeed. The company has pledged to "use our global platform to stand against racism."
Indeed's chief economist, Jed Kolko, wrote a column for the New York Times stressing that international migration is key to economic growth. Yet its ad dollars are supporting a network that promoting the idea that immigration is part of a conspiracy to replace white people.
Other top advertisers on Fox News this year include USAA, Nutrisystem, Progressive Insurance, Applebees, and ADT. '