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

Media

Tucker Carlson

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On Monday, Fox executives pitched the nation’s media buyers on purchasing the network’s ads for the next year at their annual upfronts presentation. The Fox brass were bound to desperately try to ignore the elephant in the room: The event opened roughly 48 hours after a white supremacist gunman whose manifesto details the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory popularized and mainstreamed by the network’s biggest star, Tucker Carlson, killed ten people in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

Those media buyers, like anyone else doing business with Fox, should recognize that the network’s highest priority is producing this brand of white nationalist propaganda. Their ongoing willingness to buy Fox’s ads is a crucial part of the network’s business strategy.

Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch and network CEO Suzanne Scott have ignored any number of warning signs and protests from inside and outside the network that Carlson’s white nationalist rants were dangerous, as The New York Times detailed earlier this month. They have an affinity for his views, appreciate his ratings and the money he generates — or both — and so have given him the green light to do as he pleases.

The only thing that could plausibly make them stop is if doing so stops being so profitable. Until that happens, Carlson knows they have his back, and he can laugh off people who point out that his show promotes the grievances and worldview of neo-Nazis.

I've been covering white supremacists' affinity for Tucker Carlson, and his eagerness to promote their depraved talking points, for more than five years. They consider him “our greatest ally,” as the neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin put it, because he brings their message to the masses. This is not the first time a white supremacist gunman has carried out a massacre because he shares the twisted ideology Carlson and his colleagues promote at the network — and it likely will not be the last.

As I wrote two weeks ago: “The Murdochs, Carlson, and their colleagues are not going to stop. They’re going to keep promoting white nationalism. And everyone in business with Fox should be clear-eyed that their ongoing participation is part of the network’s strategy.”

Media buyers and advertisers need to decide how comfortable they are with that. But at this point, there’s no denying it.


Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

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Rep. Elise Stefanik

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Saturday’s mass shooting in New York occurred less than eight months after a local newspaper scolded a Republican congresswoman for pushing the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory.

“A white 18-year-old wearing military gear and live-streaming with a helmet camera opened fire with a rifle at a supermarket in Buffalo, killing 10 people and wounding three others Saturday in what authorities described as ‘racially motived violent extremism.’ The gunman wore body armor and military-style clothing during the attack on mostly Black shoppers and workers at Tops Friendly Market,” the Times Union reported Saturday.

The suspect was identified by the newspaper as Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York.

Prior to the shooting, the white 18-year-old reportedly posted a 106-page manifesto citing the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory as motivation.

In September of 2021, the newspaper’s editorial board wrote about the conspiracy theory.

“Back in 2017, white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Va., carrying torches and chanting, ‘You will not replace us’ and ‘Jews will not replace us.’ Decent Americans recoiled at the undeniable echo of Nazi Germany,” began the editorial, which was illustrated with a photo of the notorious Charlottesville tiki torch march.

“That rhetoric has been resonating ever since in the right wing, repackaged lately in what’s known as ‘replacement theory,’ espoused by conservative media figures like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. And it has seeped into the mainstream political discourse in the Capital Region, where Rep. Elise Stefanik has adapted this despicable tactic for campaign ads,” the editorial board wrote.

Stefanik, the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, is the third-ranking Republican in Congress.

Saturday’s mass shooting in New York occurred less than eight months after a local newspaper scolded a Republican congresswoman for pushing the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory.

“A white 18-year-old wearing military gear and live-streaming with a helmet camera opened fire with a rifle at a supermarket in Buffalo, killing 10 people and wounding three others Saturday in what authorities described as ‘racially motived violent extremism.’ The gunman wore body armor and military-style clothing during the attack on mostly Black shoppers and workers at Tops Friendly Market,” the Times Union reported Saturday.

The suspect was identified by the newspaper as Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York.

Prior to the shooting, the white 18-year-old reportedly posted a 106-page manifesto citing the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory as motivation.

In September of 2021, the newspaper’s editorial board wrote about the conspiracy theory.

“Back in 2017, white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Va., carrying torches and chanting, ‘You will not replace us’ and ‘Jews will not replace us.’ Decent Americans recoiled at the undeniable echo of Nazi Germany,” began the editorial, which was illustrated with a photo of the notorious Charlottesville tiki torch march.

“That rhetoric has been resonating ever since in the right wing, repackaged lately in what’s known as ‘replacement theory,’ espoused by conservative media figures like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. And it has seeped into the mainstream political discourse in the Capital Region, where Rep. Elise Stefanik has adapted this despicable tactic for campaign ads,” the editorial board wrote.

Stefanik, the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, is the third-ranking Republican in Congress.

“Ms. Stefanik isn’t so brazen as to use the slogans themselves; rather, she couches the hate in alarmist anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s become standard fare for the party of Donald Trump. And she doesn’t quite attack immigrants directly; instead, she alleges that Democrats are looking to grant citizenship to undocumented immigrants in order to gain a permanent liberal majority, or, as she calls it, a ‘permanent election insurrection.’ Quite a choice of words, of course, considering that the country is still suffering the aftershocks of the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington by supporters of Mr. Trump who tried to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election,” the newspaper wrote.

The editorial board wrote that Stefanik knew what she was doing was wrong.

“The Harvard-educated Ms. Stefanik surely knows the sordid history and context of this. The idea of stoking racial, ethnic, and religious tribalism among voters dates back to this country’s earliest days. At various times, politicians have warned that Catholics, Jews, or Muslims were out to change the ‘culture,’ or that Irish, Italian, Asian or eastern European immigrants would take the jobs — to ‘replace’ white, Protestant Americans,” the editorial board explained. “If there’s anything that needs replacing in this country — and in the Republican party — it’s the hateful rhetoric that Ms. Stefanik and far too many of her colleagues so shamelessly spew.”

Stefanik did not mention racism in her statement on the shooting, but did mention National Police Week.

Stefanik is not the only Republican member of Congress with history on the issue.

Also in September of 2021, after the Anti-Defamation League called on the network to fire Tucker Carlson for pushing the racist conspiracy theory, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) declared the ADL “a racist organization” and claimed Carlson “is CORRECT about Replacement Theory as he explains what is happening to America.”



Reprinted with permission from Alternet.