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Poll: Fox’s Carlson Driving Republican Racial Agenda

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

A recent survey by Punchbowl News and Locust Street Group found that 87 percent of GOP congressional aides considered Fox prime-time host Tucker Carlson to be "the most influential Republican voice" outside of lawmakers and former presidents or vice presidents. The survey highlights the conservative star's meteoric rise in both right-wing media and Republican politics: The GOP has hitched its policy wagon to Tucker Carlson Tonight at the same time that Fox has gone all-in on branding Carlson as the face of the network. And the result is waves of culture war political posturing by Republicans that is informing everything from their tweets to legislation.

Fox has long been the communications arm for the GOP, and the revolving door between the Trump administration and the network laid bare the extent of the ties between the channel and Republican policymaking. With Donald Trump now out of office, the close relationship between Fox and the GOP continues -- with Tucker Carlson's monologues effectively becoming the party platform.

In April, the Republican Party released a memo outlining its intention to keep the party aligned with Trump and their mutual cheerleaders at Fox. The platform highlighted GOP priorities such as "anti-wokeness," the threat of China, and anti-conservative bias in Big Tech. The "traditional" issues of conservative politics -- taxes, deregulation, the national debt -- had disappeared, replaced by a list that reads more like a teaser for an hour of Fox News prime time.

Carlson has been curating the political priorities of his viewers for years. With an unofficial position as assignment editor to conservatism and a trademark "someone should do something" manner of presentation, Carlson has the ability to catapult virtually any topic to the top of the agenda. For instance, the recent panic over critical race theory that has seemingly possessed school districts overnight would have been impossible without Fox and Carlson. Notably, Carlson was responsible for platforming the harebrained drivel of Christopher Rufo, who served as director of the "initiative on critical race theory" at the Manhattan Institute and recently admitted that the goal of the hysterics is to turn the phrase into a dog whistle for myriad conservative grievances

In recent years, Rufo has made at least 15 appearances on Tucker Carlson Tonight -- the same show which has dedicated at least 71 segments to attacking critical race theory since June 5, 2020.

And it's not just Rufo using appearances on Carlson's show to get his message out; Republican politicians are also showing up to kiss the ring. In the last 18 months, they include GOP Sens. Josh Hawley (28 appearances), John Kennedy (13), Tom Cotton (8), and Marco Rubio (5), embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz (17), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (8), and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (6).

And Carlson has used their appearances to drive the manic coverage of a network that regularly sets the public agenda for GOP legislators. For example, a bill recently proposed by Republican state lawmakers sought to ban the teaching of critical race theory and enshrine "traditional history" in Texas' education system. Exactly what "traditional history" represents in this case, however, remains largely undefined. Instead, the bill and its components are a response to a fear manufactured by right-wing media. In other words, they echo long-standing tropes in the Fox cinematic universe: accusations that honest discussions about race are attempts at indoctrination or to rewrite history, suggestions that inclusive education is an attack on white students, and complaints that white people are the true victims of racism in America.

Curiously, the flurry of legislation in Texas and other states that would ban teaching "critical race theory" and other ideologies exists alongside ever-growing claims of anti-conservative censorship and repression that have swept Republicans over the course of the last year, with fearmongering from Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight at the center of both.

The contrived panic behind the Texas bill and others like it is emblematic of the legislative process of the modern GOP. In that process, Fox, led by frontman Carlson, latches onto an issue and carves it into the consciousness of viewers, leveraging their reach and influence to pull elected Republicans into the fold or drag them along if need be. Attacks on critical race theory are only the tip of the iceberg.

In just the first three months of this year, Fox News aired at least 72 segments on trans athletes, with Tucker Carlson Tonight once again setting the tone for the network's coverage. At the same time, a record-breaking number of anti-trans bills were also introduced in the United States this year, as at least 33states considered such measures and governors signed legislation against trans athletes into law in Arkansas,Mississippi, and Tennessee. Carlson himself gave cover to this extreme anti-trans legislation by lying about medical care for trans youth, and he even went so far as to describe the existence of trans people as "a challenge to the perpetuation of the species."

But the Fox host is also willing to attack Republican officials who didn't comply with his vision of the party platform. He savaged Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson in April for his initial veto of an anti-trans health care bill that the GOP leader described as a "step way too far." The month before, Carlson targeted South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem over "whether she was 'caving' to the NCAA by not signing a bill barring transgender women from competing in women's sports." Carlson followed up interviews with both Republican governors by continuing to criticize them in subsequent episodes, with right-wing media and anti-LGBTQ figures echoing his attacks.

Carlson has emerged as the unequivocal leader of the Republican Party's war on democracy. From his Fox perch, he often railed against the pandemic-led increase in mail-in voting throughout 2020, often getting facts blatantly wrong. Weeks before the election, he launched a conspiracy theory that a cabal of Democrats were planning to use such ballots to launch a coup, clearly setting the stage for what was to come.

When it turned out that Trump lost and Biden won, Carlson continued with the lies, only embarrassing himself further. He briefly criticized Sidney Powell's election conspiracy theories, only to later suck up toPowell associate, and Carlson's leading advertiser, Mike Lindell for pushing virtually identical lies about the election. Carlson was named in Dominion's lawsuit against Fox News. On January 4, Carlson claimed"virtually every power center on Earth" rigged the election for Biden.

And then the January 6 attack happened.

Carlson immediately set up his show as a spin room for a defense of the insurrectionists as people protecting their rights, declared that the attackers were not terrorists and it was not an insurrection, suggested that antifa was behind it, mocked people who feared for their life, launched a conspiracy theory about additional security after the attack, lied about white supremacist involvement, and demanded "answers" to his question while attacking efforts to establish an investigative commission.

Carlson then somehow hit a new nadir in recent days. Jumping off a blog post from a former Trump speechwriter fired after attending a white nationalist conference, Carlson claimed that the federal government was behind the January 6 attack on the Capitol building. Of course, he and his source were blatantly misreading charging documents, but Carlson was undeterred.

The claim was immediately picked up by some Republicans. Embattled congressional representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greencalled for an investigation into the FBI, a stark contrast to the established anti-commission position of Republicans. As conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones jumped on board, Carlson is suddenly leading a "truther" movement about the attack.

The canary in the coal mine for this particular conspiracy theory was Carlson laughing about a plot during the height of the pandemic by right-wing extremists to kidnap Democractic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer.

And perhaps no area has Carlson's influence over GOP posturing been more clear than the COVID-19 pandemic. Carlson took the stance that COVID-19 should be apolitical and addressed with seriousness at the very start of the public health crisis. But then he spent the next 15 months acting as the misinformer-in-chief. After declaring the pandemic over in April 2020, Carlson joined other Fox hosts to promote untested antimalarial drugs; championed protests against coronavirus mitigation efforts; ignored the climbing U.S. death toll and baselessly suggested it may have been exaggerated; mocked warnings of future casualties; accused Bill Gates of attempting to engineer "mass social control"; claimed the CDC's vaccine distribution plan was "eugenics" against white people; denounced public health measures and the scientists who supported them; and helped turn face masks into a culture war flashpoint.

Carlson's influence throughout the pandemic was key to turning public health and safety measures into high-stakes battles for the soul of the republic -- not only in the minds of his audience but also among prominentelected Republicans.

More recently, Carlson has insinuated that the vaccines may not be safe or effective and that scientists who say otherwise are lying. Clips of Carlson promoting anti-vaccine rhetoric have spread widely across social media, earning millions of views on Facebook. His recent claim that the COVID-19 vaccine was killing dozens of people a day was the culmination of months of speculation and fearmongering.

So what does it mean that the most influential voice in Republican politics trafficks in white nationalism, conspiracy theories, and outright falsehoods while at the same time wielding the power to shape public and legislative opinion? The GOP now largely has to deal with issues on Fox's terms, and Carlson's bad-faith hysterics over critical race theory, transgender people, the coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter, anti-fascism, immigration, and myriad other issues have created a climate in which legislative priorities do not match the tangible needs of the American people. Instead, conservative politics has been consumed by a feverish race to the far-right on issues that appear in Fox News' prime time -- with Tucker Carlson setting the agenda and enforcing the new party orthodoxy.

Tucker Carlson’s Big Vaccine Lie Could Kill Thousands

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

On May 5, Fox News and Tucker Carlson added another entry to their laundry list of reckless and incendiary claims regarding COVID-19: "Official government data" indicates dozens of people a day are dying after receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.


Carlson inaccurately asserted that thousands of people have died after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, claiming that "between late December of 2020 and last month, a total of 3,362 people apparently died after getting the COVID vaccine in the United States" and that even though the data was "not quite up to date," we "can assume that another 360 people at that rate have died in the 12 days since. You put it all together, and that is a total of 3,722 deaths. That's almost 4,000 people who died after getting the COVID vaccines. The actual number is almost certainly higher than that, perhaps vastly higher than that."

His monologue continued and included claims from an unnamed physician that we're currently living through the "single deadliest mass vaccination event in modern history":

In just the first four months of this year, the U.S. government has recorded more deaths after COVID vaccinations than from all other vaccines administered in the United States between mid-1997 and the end of 2013. That is a period of 15 and a half years. Again, more people, according to VAERS, have died after getting the shot in four months during a single vaccination campaign than from all other vaccines combined over more than a decade and a half. Chart that out. It's a stunning picture. Now, the debate is over what it means. Again, there is a lot of criticism of the reporting system. Some people say, well, it's just a coincidence if someone gets a shot and then dies, possibly from other causes. No one really knows, is the truth. We spoke to one physician today who actively treats COVID patients. He described what we are seeing now as the single deadliest mass vaccination event in modern history. Whatever is causing it, it is happening as we speak.

The sensational claims Carlson is parroting regarding a mass of unaddressed potentially COVID-19 vaccine-related deaths have been circulating online and on social media for months, and they are based on deeply unreliable data from the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS allows the public open access to report incidents of adverse reactions to vaccinations. As PolitiFact explained:

It's designed so that anyone — parents, patients and health care professionals — can freely report any health effects that occur after a vaccination, according to the CDC, whether or not those effects are believed to be caused by the vaccine. The reports are not verified before they're entered into the database. But anyone with a computer can search the data, download it, sort through the numbers and interpret them as they wish.
That makes VAERS fertile ground for vaccine misinformation that spreads widely on social media and elsewhere. Even though VAERS warns its users that reports should not be used on their own to determine whether a vaccine caused or contributed to a particular illness, many who tap into the system do that anyway, citing these government statistics to justify broader conclusions about what they consider the dangers of vaccines.

What Carlson brushed off as "criticism of the reporting system" actually relates to fundamental methodological decisions that are key to understanding what VAERS data actually measures, and they completely undercut Carlson's argument.

As radiologist Pradheep J. Shanker (incidentally, a contributor to the right-wing National Review) explained in a lengthy tweet thread, VAERS is intended to serve as a "catch all" system that allows for minor complications to be identified while also dealing with a significant amount of statistical "noise." VAERS' own data guide states that "a report to VAERS," including reports of death, "generally does not prove that the identified vaccine(s) caused the adverse event described. It only confirms that the reported event occurred sometime after vaccine was given. No proof that the event was caused by the vaccine is required in order for VAERS to accept the report."

A longer disclaimer on the VAERS website explicitly states that the data relies on self-reporting and should not be regarded as complete or authoritative: "While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. In large part, reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. This creates specific limitations on how the data can be used scientifically. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind."

VAERS screenshot disclaimer

VAERS disclaimer

VAERS requires people interested in exploring the dataset to acknowledge two separate disclaimers explaining the limitations of the data. When a person downloads VAERS data, they receive yet another disclaimer, stating that "the inclusion of events in VAERS data does not infer causality."

VAERS disclaimer warning

VAERS disclaimer warning

VAERS download disclaimer

In this instance, either Fox News, Carlson, and his team failed to even attempt to verify the numbers they were presenting viewers, or they knew of the VAERS methodological shortcomings, which users are required to acknowledge twice, and chose to brush them off in favor of a monologue designed to terrify their audience. And despite these clear limitations, Carlson repeated arguments, made by vaccine skeptic Toby Rogers no less, that the perceived under-reporting of adverse vaccine reactions to VAERS actually means that we have no way of knowing the true number of incidents, and that they're likely much higher. "Nobody [knows] and we are not going to speculate about it on the show," Carlson declared.

But that data does exist. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention oversees VAERS, it also runs the CDC's Vaccine Safety Datalink, which documents reports of adverse vaccine reactions through health care professionals and requires more rigorous standards of documentation and reporting. Despite Carlson's claims that "you are not allowed to" mention the nearly 4,000 deaths reported to VAERS for fear of being "pulled off the internet" if you do, the CDC itself addresses the reports on its website.

CDC VAERS

The CDC's comments about reports sent to VAERS were notably absent from Fox's broadcast. Carlson's assertion that the government won't "acknowledge" or investigate this alleged avalanche of mass death is even more starkly contradicted by the recent temporary removal of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from circulation while the CDC investigated a half-dozen reports of blood clots in recipients.

What's clear is that Carlson has become the network's nexus of vaccine skepticism, spending months denouncing the effort to get the public vaccinated and insinuating that the drugs may not be safe or effective and that scientists who say otherwise are lying.

Fox News has abandoned all pretext of being a news and information channel in favor of unrestrained reactionary politics with Carlson as the centerpiece. Nearly half of Republicans now say they don't want a COVID-19 vaccine, and there is no doubt that Carlson and Fox played a part in creating that number. Advertisers and cable companies supporting Fox are propping up the nation's most prominent vaccine skeptic -- and they bear just as much responsibility for the consequences as the Murdochs and Carlson's enablers at Fox.

Meanwhile, Pfizer, which of course makes one of the COVID-19 vaccines that Carlson is scaremongering about, is currently one of Fox News' leading advertisers-- meaning that the company is essentially subsidizing baseless accusations against its wildly successful product.

Update (5/6/21 10 p.m. EDT): On his show the following evening, Carlson doubled down on his inaccurate segment, without engaging with any of the myriad criticisms that has been aimed at him in the ensuing 24 hours.

Carlson repeated his claim that "more deaths have been connected to the new COVID vaccines over the past four months and to all previous vaccines combined." Carlson again blatantly misinterpreted VAERS data, instead blaming the entire episode on the Biden administration (even as people across the political spectrum try to correct his lies), and finally sarcastically declaring that "anyone who asks" about the potential harms of the vaccine "is immoral."


Carlson blamed "partisans" for widespread criticism of his remarks, backlash comes from people across the political spectrum as well as fact-checkers. Prominent conservative figures, including Carlson's own colleagues, criticized the segment, notably off the air.

Dr. Nicole Saphier, Fox News medical contributor:

Jonah Goldberg, Fox News contributor:

Misinformer, Meet Liar: Correcting Maria Bartiromo’s Latest Trump Interview

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

On March 16, Fox News Primetime and Fox's Maria Bartiromo hosted former President and Celebrity Apprentice host Donald Trump for a friendly interview full of the kind of lies and misinformation for which both interviewer and interviewee are known.

Bartiromo spent most of the interview lobbing softball questions and letting blatant lies go unchecked while the former president rattled off a series of lies and delusions. In several instances, Bartiromo herself was a source of false information.

Below is a list of some of the lies and distortions uncritically aired by Fox.

Trump's Phone Calls To Georgia Officials Conflated

Bartiromo misrepresented a correction issued by The Washington Post regarding a conversation between Trump and Georgia election investigator Frances Watson, asserting that the correction was in regard to the now-infamous conversation between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

The Post reported that Watson had a conversation with Trump in which the then-president pressured Watson to "find the fraud" and said she would become a "national hero" if she did so. The statements turned out to be false, meriting correction, yet Trump and right-wing media have used the error to excuse and vindicate Trump's behavior during the 2020 election and the aftermath.

As explained by Vox:

According to a newly surfaced recording of the call with Watson, Trump did not in fact use those exact words. He did say she could find "dishonesty" in Fulton County, and that "when the right answer comes out, you'll be praised." But the language of the quotes the Post attributed to Trump were not accurate. As a result, the Post had to run a prominent correction. Trump and conservatives are now scorning the paper, and even some mainstream reporters are looking askance and wondering how it happened.
The correction was merited — it's important for reporters (and their sources) to be careful in attributing exact language in quotes. And it is unfortunate that these incorrect quotes spread so widely.
...
However, Trump has used the correction to claim in a statement that "the original story was a Hoax, right from the very beginning," which is untrue. The original story that got so much attention was Trump's call with Raffensperger, for which we had the full and accurate transcript all along. It has not been corrected. Furthermore, it remains the case that Trump did in fact call Watson to insist he won the state and that she should turn up evidence revealing fraud. "The country is counting on it," he said.

More Lies About The 2020 Election

Trump stated that "our Supreme Court and our courts didn't have the courage to overturn elections that should have been overturned." Courage had nothing to do with it; in fact, of the 62 lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies in a desperate and embarrassing attempt to delay the inevitable, all but one were rejected.

The Supreme Court itself declined to take up two Trump-supported lawsuits over the election, rejecting a major one from Texas as lacking standing and saying all other pending motions were "moot."

Lies About Voting Bights Bill HR-1

V

Trump echoed Fox News's drumbeat of misinformation around HR-1, or the For The People Act, which would expand voting rights and increase campaign finance transparency across the country. Trump echoed Fox's claim that the For The People Act is not constitutional, despite legal precedent and even though experts have affirmed that H.R. 1 is a constitutional exercise of Congress' power. In the interview, Baritomo gave Trump free reign to echo right-wing media attempts to falsely paint the legislation as a corrupt attempt to seize power from Republicans and state legislatures.

Lies About Immigration


Trump said immigrants coming through the southern border would "destroy our country if they don't do something about it." He also claimed that there was an influx of migrants arriving from the Middle East. The claim likely relates to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's recent statement that migrants at the border are "not just people from Mexico or Honduras or El Salvador. They're now finding people from Yemen, Iran, Turkey. People on the terrorist watch list they are catching, and they're rushing in all at once."

There is no concrete evidence backing this assertion. In fact, according to The Washington Post, Trump's own State Department debunked the claim:

The Trump administration first asserted this in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, offering a range of misleading statistics to buttress the claim that terrorists from the Middle East were filtering through the U.S.-Mexico border. But administration officials never offered any proof or identified a single terrorist.
In reports issued during the Trump administration, the State Department said that there was "no credible evidence indicating that international terrorist groups have established bases in Mexico, worked with Mexican drug cartels, or sent operatives via Mexico into the United States" and that "there have been no cases of terrorist groups exploiting these gaps to move operations through the region."

COVID-19 Vaccine


Trump claimed that he and his administration "came up with the vaccine, which is going to save the world." Of course, that's incorrect, and the COVID-19 vaccine went into development almost as soon as the coronovirus's genetic sequence was made public.

The claim also sits uncomfortably amid Fox News's reticence to encourage its viewers to actually get vaccinated. Hosts on the network are regularly sowing doubt and distrust in vaccinations, Tucker Carlson accused President Joe Biden of "vaccine coercion," and Laura Ingraham called Biden's COVID-19 relief speech "vaccine propaganda." The network is caught between indignation that Trump doesn't receive enough gratitude for the existence of the vaccine and assertions that the vaccine itself should not be trusted.

That being said, it is objectively good that Trump told his supporters to take the vaccine, especially given that others at Fox have been suggesting otherwise.

Fox Features White Nationalist Miller As Immigration ‘Expert’

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Former Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller finds himself a leech without a host, and Fox News is perfectly content to let him latch on. As the network scrambles, Fox has run back to more familiar territory: fearmongering about immigration. And Miller — who has a documented affinity for white nationalism and was a key figure behind the Trump administration's family separation policy — has fit in comfortably at Fox.

Miller has appeared on Fox weekday programming at least 10 times in 2021, according to a review by Media Matters, in almost every instance as part of segments fearmongering about President Joe Biden's immigration plans. Miller's near-weekly recent appearances on Fox have served as a regular drumbeat of lies and distortions about undocumented immigration in the United States, with an almost exclusive focus on attacking immigrants from Latin America.

Miller has claimed that the Biden administration is prioritizing the protection of "hardened criminals," defended the Trump administration's catastrophic child separation policy, claimed that undocumented immigrants are infiltrating American high schools and endangering American children, and accused the Biden administration of enabling human trafficking.

These are lies, and they have been repeatedly debunked by experts, who have pointed out that noncitizens do not commit crimes at higher rates than native-born citizens. A study by the Cato Institute examining 2015 arrest rates in Texas found that noncitizens were less likely to be perpetrators of criminal activity than native-born citizens. Fox News itself admitted in a 2017 op-ed that it was difficult to find evidence of an illegal immigrant crime wave. Immigration officials have also been explicit in their intent to continue investigating and prosecuting allegations of human trafficking and sexual abuse.

Miller's appearances on Fox have served the dual role of propagating distortions about the Biden administration's immigration policy and excusing the actions of Miller and the Trump administration. On the March 4 edition of The Ingraham Angle, Miller claimed that the Trump administration had created a "safe, secure, humane border" and that immigrants were apprehended and returned "safely" to their home countries. (Under the Trump administration, deaths of migrants in U.S. custody increased dramatically.)


In a January 21 appearance, Miller claimed that changes made by the Biden administration to Trump's immigration policy had relegated native-born Americans to the status of "second class citizens" and permitted immigrants to "do whatever [they] want, including committing crimes against U.S. citizens."



In a February 11 appearance on Fox & Friends, Miller accused the Biden administration of creating a public health crisis by releasing immigrants with COVID-19 into American communities. The claim that migrants are bringing diseases into the country, also made by Fox host Jeanine Pirro, is a common anti-immigrant trope among white nationalists that was previously cited by Miller during his time in the Trump administration as a pretext to close U.S. borders. A study by the Cato Institute found no correlation between COVID-19 infections and the immigrant share of a country's population, and a recent report by NBC News and Telemundo found a lower positivity rate among immigrants released from custody at the border in Brownsville, Texas, than in the overall county.


Appearing on the March 2 edition of Fox's Tucker Carlson Tonight, Miller fear-mongered that immigrants "pretending to be minors" are "just saying they're 17 to get into the country," and "some of those adults are going to end up in high schools around America. … This is a fundamental safety issue for America's children."


Fox's increasing reliance on Miller as "the most deeply informed person … on the question of immigration," as Carlson described him above, means the network's audience is being informed by Miller's well-documented fondness for white nationalist ideology, which was reported through leaked emails by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2019.

In a series of emails disclosed by the SPLC between Miller and former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh, Miller discussed conspiracy theories about immigration, including referencing the white nationalist "great replacement" conspiracy theory that white people are being systematically "replaced" by non-white immigrants. He suggested that evidence for the claim was being suppressed "because elites wanted to keep the country in the dark about immigration." The SPLC discussed the "source material that has influenced Miller's visions of policy":

That source material, as laid out in [Miller's] emails to Breitbart, includes white nationalist websites, a "white genocide"-themed novel in which Indian men rape white women, xenophobic conspiracy theories, and eugenics-era immigration laws that Adolf Hitler lauded in "Mein Kampf."
Miller's perspective on race and immigration across the emails is repetitious. When discussing crime, which he does scores of times, Miller focuses on offenses committed by nonwhites. On immigration, he touches solely on the perspective of severely limiting or ending nonwhite immigration to the United States. Hatewatch was unable to find any examples of Miller writing sympathetically or even in neutral tones about any person who is nonwhite or foreign-born.

The nativist ideology Miller so gleefully circulated to colleagues and news outlets meshes perfectly with Fox News' coverage of immigration. In one message to McHugh in September 2015, Miller praised a Tucker Carlson Tonight segment criticizing Republican senators who appeared too sympathetic to asylum seekers and refugees as "a good chance" to attack pro-immigration talking points. The network in turn celebrated Miller's immigration work attacking immigration under the Trump administration.


In his emails, Miller also shared content from white nationalist sites VDare and American Renaissance while previewing the rhetoric of some Fox News hosts who have avidly pushed the "great replacement" conspiracy theory and other racist talking points. Prime-time host Tucker Carlson, for example, has become Fox's most prominent mouthpiece for white nationalism by decrying immigration and diversity for "radically and permanently changing our country." And in 2019, Carlson's comments on Indigenous Peoples' Day and Columbus Day directly mirrored the language of American Renaissance's Jared Taylor, a well-known white supremacist.


Tucker Carlson's Indigenous Peoples Day talking points are White Supremacist talking points www.youtube.com

Enabled by Fox, Miller and the network's prime-time lineup have succeeded in creating a steady broadcast of racist tropes regarding undocumented immigration. By hosting the architect of Trump's family separation policy to fan the flames of xenophobia while its own hosts portray immigrants as criminals, gang members, child traffickers, and abusers, Fox is once again spreading white nationalist talking points and buttressing a climate that endangers migrants and the people around them.

Fox Canceled Lou Dobbs — And He Won’t Be Missed

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Lou Dobbs Tonight has been canceled at Fox Business. Host Dobbs, who had joined Fox after his birtherism led to him being forced out at CNN, became known at Fox for his over-the-top pro-Trump propaganda. Former President Donald Trump frequently tweeted about and made decisions based on Dobbs' program.

The news about his departure comes only a day after Dobbs and Fox News were named in a nearly 2.7 billion dollar lawsuit filed by voting technology company Smartmatic; there are indications that a similar suit from Dominion Voting Systems is forthcoming. The sudden schism is the culmination of an erratic, conspiratorial, and very bigoted career that became increasingly deranged throughout the Trump era. Here are some of the moments that defined what Dobbs' show had become during the Trump era.

Lou Dobbs defended insurrectionists at the U.S. Capitol: They "were walking between the rope lines" [MMFA, 1/6/21]

Lou Dobbs told Sidney Powell that "we will gladly put forward your evidence" that the 2020 election "was a cyber Pearl Harbor" [MMFA, 12/10/20]

Lou Dobbs suggested Republicans should just say "we're not going to accept the results of this election" [Twitter, 11/13/20]

The day after the 2020 election, Lou Dobbs demanded that Republicans "surround" Philadelphia and exert a "demanding presence" [MMFA, 11/4/21]

Lou Dobbs suggested that China is shipping fake IDs into the United States so that people can fraudulently vote [Twitter, 10/30/20]

Lou Dobbs: Elected Democrats are "quite simply, the enemies of the people" [MMFA, 10/27/20]

Lou Dobbs attacked Joe Biden for saying he won't debate Trump if he's contagious with COVID [MMFA, 10/7/20]

Lou Dobbs warned of a possible "civil war in this country," suggesting that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) could be responsible for it [Twitter, 9/21/20]

Lou Dobbs said that the country may need to re-do the presidential election if mail-in voting is allowed [MMFA, 8/24/20]

Dobbs claimed that the arrest of Steve Bannon aboard his patron's yacht by Postal Service agents was a "deep state" plot [MMFA, 8/20/20]

Dobbs attacked health experts for not praising Donald Trump's "leadership" [MMFA, 4/1/20]

Lou Dobbs: "The president was right and frankly Fauci was wrong" about hydroxychloroquine [MMFA, 3/23/20]

Dobbs ran a Twitter poll asking if Trump's pandemic response was "SUPERB," "GREAT," or simply "VERY GOOD" [Twitter, 3/18/20]

Lou Dobbs poll asks if Trump's response to coronavirus has been

Lou Dobbs warned that there "will not be a quiet surrender" if election results aren't overturned [MMFA, 12/2/20]

Lou Dobbs and Rudy Giuliani claimed that Black Democrats "love their people less" than they hate Trump [MMFA, 2/5/20]

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Dobbs was upset after being told by "management" that he can't show a Trump campaign rally instead of doing his show [MMFA, 1/28/20]

Dobbs compared Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) to Benedict Arnold for criticizing the Trump administration's military briefing on Iran [MMFA, 1/8/20]

Lou Dobbs: "It will be century after century of veneration for this president" [MMFA, 12/20/19]

Lou Dobbs: Democrats "are waging war on everything American, our Constitution, our president, the American people" [MMFA, 12/19/19]

Dobbs praised Trump for thanking Dobbs at a rally [Twitter, 11/5/19]

Lou Dobbs claimed that Donald Trump never talks about himself [MMFA, 10/28/19]

Lou Dobbs said that Democrats are trying to "destroy" Trump because of their "hatred of American values, and our heritage" [MMFA, 10/18/19]

Lou Dobbs: "I said we can claim" victory over ISIS and Al Qaeda, "I didn't say it was true"[MMFA, 10/9/19]

Dobbs claimed that Trump makes great weekends "possible for us all." [Twitter, 9/13/19]

Lou Dobbs attacked journalists for not reporting on how much fun is being had inside the White House: "The joint is hopping" [MMFA, 9/12/19]

Lou Dobbs: George Soros' "tentacles reach out" in order to "work against sovereignty"[MMFA, 9/11/19]

Lou Dobbs said that special counsel Robert Mueller was part of a plot to help Democrats "steal" the 2018 midterms [MMFA, 5/29/19]

Lou Dobbs: The southern border is a "battlefield" and the military needs more guns there for when they get "a shot" [MMFA, 4/24/19]

Lou Dobbs calls for the jailing of Americans who investigated Russia's hacking of Democrats [MMFA, 4/18/19]

Lou Dobbs on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN): "Who is she representing? Because it isn't America"[MMFA, 4/17/19]

Lou Dobbs praises ICE employee for driving his car into a group of protesters [MMFA, 8/15/19]

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Lou Dobbs asks if it's "time for the Trump administration to outright defy the activist" Supreme Court over census ruling [MMFA, 6/27/19]

Lou Dobbs endorsed Kris Kobach's proposal to put asylum seekers in a "camp" [MMFA, 4/2/19]

Lou Dobbs warns that immigration could "consign tens of thousands, perhaps millions of Americans to their deaths" [MMFA, 3/29/19]

Lou Dobbs called on Attorney General Barr to investigate Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts [MMFA, 2/14/19]

Lou Dobbs: Democrats "would love to carry out an actual coup d'état" [MMFA, 2/13/19]

Lou Dobbs calls for war with China, compares hacking and IP theft to Pearl Harbor [MMFA, 12/20/18]

Lou Dobbs calls climate change a United Nations plot "to take over the world" [MMFA, 12/4/18]

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Lou Dobbs: Robert Mueller "is trying to kill" Donald Trump [MMFA, 12/4/18]

Lou Dobbs suggests with no evidence that sweeping Democratic victories in 2018 were due to migrants who voted illegally [MMFA, 11/5/18]

Lou Dobbs claimed that birthright citizenship led to an "explosion" of welfare in the 1960's[MMFA, 11/1/18]

Lou Dobbs: Law enforcement agencies investigating bombs are "not doing things the American way" [MMFA, 10/25/18]

Lou Dobbs and Tom Fitton claimed that "radical Islamist terrorists" are part of the migrant caravan [MMFA, 10/22/18]

Lou Dobbs: Hurricane Maria death toll is a "farce" and "an amazing tortured inflation"[MMFA, 9/13/18]

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Lou Dobbs: "It's a disgrace" that anyone argues police brutality is an issue [MMFA, 9/4/18]

Dobbs defended Infowars and Alex Jones [MMFA, 7/27/18]

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Lou Dobbs credits Trump presidency with increase in Christmas displays and holiday joy[MMFA, 12/15/17]

Lou Dobbs: "U.S. Marshals should follow" Obama and bring him back when he criticizes Trump while abroad [MMFA, 12/1/17]

Lou Dobbs: Barack Obama "unleashed" Bangladeshi immigrants into the United States[MMFA, 12/11/17]

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Lou Dobbs: "The left in this country is trying to kill America" [MMFA, 6/15/17]

Lou Dobbs: "The secular left" and "national left-wing media" are a "threat to domestic order" [MMFA, 6/14/17]

Lou Dobbs said that there is "a partisan shroud" around the family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich [MMFA, 5/16/17]

Dobbs claimed Trump is a victim of a "Mormon Mafia" [MMFA, 10/27/16]

White Nationalist Facing Election Indictment — And Carlson Defends Him With Lies

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

On January 27, the Department of Justice announced that it had filed charges against Douglass Mackey, alias "Ricky Vaughn," regarding allegations that he had interfered with the 2016 election. Mackey, a white nationalist who was eventually banned from Twitter, allegedly conspired to use social media to spread false information about voting in 2016 – specifically, claiming that people could text in their votes. Parts of the misinformation campaign appeared to target Black and Latino people. The complaint alleges that "at least 4,900" telephone numbers did just that.

Fox host Tucker Carlson ignored what Mackey's actual charges claim and instead shouted that Mackey had merely "hurt [the] feelings" of liberals. Carlson said that Mackey's arrest was proof that the First Amendment is "effectively suspended," and he declared that "we are clearly living under some form of martial law at the moment."

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Carlson was flatly pushing lies. He either didn't read the one-page Department of Justice press release explaining the charges of voter disinformation or decided to just flat-out lie given that his own network argues no reasonable viewer takes him seriously anyway. Mackey's posts solicited people to text a specific number to vote, and there is evidence a large number of them did. There are no "meme" or "LOLz" exceptions for breaking the law.

It wasn't just Carlson either. Far-right figures coalesced around the idea that Mackey's arrest was political, part of a "war on Trump supporters" by the Biden administration. Michael Tracey, best known for surviving a close encounter with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), derided the charges as well.

Mackey had a long history of explicit bigotry that Carlson simply elided. Carlson failed to mention that under his "Vaughn" pseudonym, Mackey amassed a large following on social media through which he became a prominent source of white nationalist and anti-Semitic content.

"Vaughn" at one point spoke of his support for creating all-white communities and the shunning of interracial marriages "to maintain our unique culture and racial heritage." Mackey rebranded as a pro-Trump account in 2016, promoting content that pushes fear of Muslim refugees and other immigrants, and supported Donald Trump's lie that thousands of American Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks in New Jersey.

Ricky Vaughn 1

It would be hard for Carlson not to have an idea of Mackey's history given that if you simply ran a Google search for his name, you would find multiple profiles and reports that examined his white nationalist views.

It's unclear why Carlson didn't acknowledge what is plainly obvious. Maybe he didn't want to alienate his core audience, or maybe he is still on the hunt for a new head writer.

Far Right, Proud Boys Cheer Trump’s Call To ’Stand By’

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

During Tuesday's presidential debate, President Donald Trump was asked by Fox News anchor and moderator Chris Wallace to condemn white supremacist groups, and the president responded with a direct plea to the violent, neo-fascist "Proud Boys" gang, telling them to "stand back and stand by."

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