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

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Representative Ed Royce, the chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, on Tuesday introduced legislation to disapprove of the nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran.

Under the Iran Nuclear Review Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in May, the Republican-led Congress has until Sept. 17 to approve or disapprove of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers announced on July 14.

Royce’s announcement means lawmakers will try to pass a disapproval resolution, which could cripple the agreement, rather than a non-binding approval resolution.

The top Republican in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, said the Senate is also likely to consider a resolution of disapproval of the nuclear deal.

But Obama’s diplomatic initiative won important support in Congress among his fellow Democrats. That means even if Congress passes a resolution of disapproval, Republicans would not likely be able to muster enough votes to override a veto by Obama.

Democratic senators Tim Kaine, who co-authored the legislation giving Congress the right to review the deal, Barbara Boxer, one of the senior Jewish members of the Senate, and Bill Nelson, who some observers had considered a potential swing vote, all have said they will back the deal.

“As dangerous a threat as Iran is to Israel and our allies, it would pale in the threat posed to them and to us by a nuclear-armed Iran,” Nelson said in a Senate speech announcing his decision.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly opposes the nuclear agreement, calling it a threat to the survival of the Jewish state.

(Additional reporting by Emily Stephenson and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Photo: An image of Iranian leaders is projected on a giant screen in front of demonstrators during a rally apposing the nuclear deal with Iran in Times Square in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 22, 2015. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

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.