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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By David Lightman, McClatchy Washington Bureau (MCT)

Looks like Republicans will have at least 53, and more likely 54, seats in the Senate that convenes in January.

With all Alaska precincts reporting, Republican Dan Sullivan had a 4 percentage point lead over Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat. The Alaska Dispatch News reports Begich has not conceded. Thousands of uncounted absentee and early ballots have not been counted, and probably won’t be tallied until next week.

The account said Begich’s team is hoping to make big gains in rural areas, where he has traditionally done well. But he has “daunting” odds, the paper reported.

The official Senate count for the 114th Congress now stands at 52 Republicans, 43 Democrats, two independents who will caucus with Democrats, and three races outstanding. In Virginia, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner is ahead of Republican Ed Gillespie and is expected to win that race.

The last contest to be decided is in Louisiana, where no one got a majority. Republican Bill Cassidy is favored to defeat Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, in the December 6 runoff. Landrieu won 42 percent in Tuesday’s election, while Cassidy got 41 percent.

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.


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Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.


Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.