Tucker Carlson has blasted a former Fox reporter who suggested the cable news host should be in jail for the content on his show.
Former Fox News reporter Carl Cameron told CNN over the weekend that Mr Carlson should be in jail or “end up in something worse” because of the inaccurate and possibly dangerous content of his programme.
“Maybe wind up in jail or maybe something worse”, Mr Carlson said on Monday night, quoting Mr Cameron.
“What’s ‘something worse?’” Mr Carlson asked after sharing a clip with his viewers of Mr Cameron’s CNN comments.
“We’re not sure what ‘something worse’ is – but it certainly feels like we’re moving toward it at a very high speed at this point,” Mr Carlson said, adding that it’s “the endpoint to talk like that – ‘something worse’”.
Mr Carlson has been criticised for comments that are in line with the so-called “great replacement” theory, which reportedly served as a source of motivation for the gunman in the Buffalo mass shooting. On 14 May, 13 people were shot, 10 of them fatally, at a supermarket. Eleven of the victims were Black.
The theory is also thought to have motivated the perpetrator of the 2019 New Zealand mosque mass shooting, in which 51 people were killed and 40 people were injured.
The theory, utilised by white supremacists, pushes the false claim that liberal political elites are trying to replace white Americans with non-white people through immigration, a theory Mr Carlson has been repeatedly accused of promoting on his programme.
“Rhetoric has its own internal logic,” Mr Carlson said. “We’ve experienced it – we can talk ourselves into things. We’ve all done that.”
“Democrats are doing it right now. And what they’re talking themselves into right now, is, quote, ‘something worse’. It’s scary”, he added.
“It is time to pull back, it is time to deescalate – otherwise this is going to get really ugly, really soon”, he said.
Mr Cameron left Fox News in 2017 and he has slammed the network for its opinion programming.
“The fact of the matter is, if you disturb the peace by starting a riot in a movie theatre, cops are going to arrest you and you might end up in jail or you might end up in something worse,” Mr Cameron told CNN.
“The president has to be more forceful and sooner or later the law enforcement and the US government is going to have to stop the lying because it’s causing people’s deaths,” he said.
“It’s not just Fox, it’s social media in general. It’s on the internet. And we have to remember that a good portion of what we read is coming from folks who aren’t Americans, pretending to be Americans in order to gaslight them even worse,” he added.
“In this particular case, Tucker has been screaming fire in a crowded movie house for years,” Mr Cameron said.
“That cliché really comes to the matter of what is free speech. And the fact of the matter is, if you disturb the peace by starting a riot in a movie theatre, cops are going to arrest you,” he added. “And you might end up in jail, or you might end up in something worse.”
Mr Cameron said action should be taken against Mr Carlson because he “puts out falsehoods that cause damage and violent, violent hate”.
Last week, Mr Camron said the president should be “taking some names and putting people in jail” after the racially motivated mass shooting in upstate New York.
“It really is kind of horrible to think that journalists with national and international capacity are putting together this type of nonsense,” he told MSNBC.
“I think the president did a great job,” Mr Cameron said of Mr Biden’s response to the mass shooting, calling out racism and hate. “I wish he had done a lot of this a lot sooner, and we need a lot more from the left and the middle, and we got to watch out because the Republicans have become the purveyors of misinformation, and when our two-party system is broken like that, democracy is seriously in trouble.”