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ADL urges Fox to fire Tucker Carlson for defending white supremacist conspiracy

Jonathan Greenblatt denounces popular TV host’s claim that Democrats are trying to replace to current voters with immigrants as ‘anti-Semitic, racist and toxic’

Tucker Carlson, host of 'Tucker Carlson Tonight,' poses for photos in a Fox News Channel studio, March 2, 2017 in New York (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Tucker Carlson, host of 'Tucker Carlson Tonight,' poses for photos in a Fox News Channel studio, March 2, 2017 in New York (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

JTA — Tucker Carlson, a popular Fox News host, defended a white supremacist conspiracy theory on the cable network, spurring the head of the Anti-Defamation League to tweet “Tucker Must Go.”

Appearing Thursday on “Fox News Primetime,” Carlson said Democrats are coordinating a “replacement” of current US voters with immigrants from the “Third World.”

“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 said. “But they become hysterical because that’s what’s happening actually. Let’s just say it: That’s true.”

Anti-extremism watchdogs said Carlson’s comments echo an idea popular among white supremacists that has inspired multiple anti-Semitic and extremist attacks. White supremacists falsely claim that Jews are orchestrating a so-called “Great Replacement” of the largely white populations in Western countries with nonwhite immigrants.

Marchers in the 2017 far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia chanted “You will not replace us” and then “Jews will not replace us.” The idea that Jews were conspiring to destroy white people through nonwhite immigration also inspired the shooter in the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, which killed 11 people.

Similar theories also fueled the far-right shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Christchurch, New Zealand. The gunman in the 2019 Poway synagogue attack, which killed one person, was likewise inspired by the Pittsburgh and New Zealand shootings.

Tweeting the Fox News clip, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt wrote, “Tucker must go.” An ADL spokesperson confirmed that Greenblatt is calling on Carlson to either resign or be fired. Carlson’s nightly show is one of the most-watched across cable news, with an average of more than 3 million viewers, according to Deadline.

“@TuckerCarlson: “replacement theory” is a white supremacist tenet that the white race is in danger by a rising tide of non-whites,” Greenblatt wrote. “It is antisemitic, racist and toxic. It has informed the ideology of mass shooters in El Paso, Christchurch and Pittsburgh.”

Amy Spitalnick, executive director of the nonprofit Integrity First for America, which has sued participants in the Charlottesville rally, also called out Carlson’s “replacement” comments. She tweeted that Carlson was “openly and explicitly promoting the very same white supremacist conspiracy theory that fueled the Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, Christchurch, Poway, and El Paso attacks (among others).”

Later in the segment, Carlson claimed that the idea he was advocating was not racist.

“I mean, everyone wants to make a racial issue out of it,” he said. “Oh, you know, the white replacement theory? No, no, no. This is a voting rights question. I have less political power because they’re importing a brand new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that?”

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 2, 2017. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

In recent years, Greenblatt has repeatedly called out Carlson for promoting white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideas, or downplaying the threat they pose.

On February 24, after Carlson said there was “no evidence that white supremacists were responsible for what happened on January 6,” when a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol, Greenblatt tweeted that the claim was “blatant disinformation” as well as “dangerous and irresponsible.”

In 2019, Greenblatt wrote an NBC News column criticizing Carlson for his demonization of progressive Jewish billionaire megadonor George Soros, as well as for a segment unabashedly praising Henry Ford, the automaker and a prominent anti-Semite. The segment praising Ford then pivoted to condemning hedge-fund investor Paul Singer, who is Jewish, as a practitioner of “vulture capitalism.”

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