Lachlan Murdoch backs Tucker Carlson in ‘white replacement’ furore

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Martin Pengelly in New York
·3 min read
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<span>Photograph: Richard Drew/AP</span>
Photograph: Richard Drew/AP

The chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League told Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch on Monday an award it gave his father a decade ago “does not absolve you, him, the network, or its board from the moral failure of not taking action” against the Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Jonathan Greenblatt has called for Carlson to be fired for advocating “white replacement” theory, a racist trope which holds that the Democratic party favours unlimited immigration in order to boost its vote.

On Monday night, Carlson called his critics “hysterical … hyper-aggressive liars” – and refused to retreat.

“Demographic change is the key to the Democratic party’s political ambitions,” he said. “… In order to win and maintain power, Democrats plan to change the population of the country.”

In his letter to Greenblatt, Lachlan Murdoch wrote: “Fox Corporation shares your values and abhors anti-semitism, white supremacy and racism of any kind. In fact, I remember fondly the ADL honoring my father with your International Leadership Award, and we continue to support your mission.

“Concerning the segment of Tucker Carlson Tonight on 8 April, however, we respectfully disagree. A full review … indicates that Mr Carlson decried and rejected replacement theory. As Mr Carlson himself stated during the guest interview: ‘White replacement theory? No, no, this is a voting rights question.’”

In a reply provided to CNN, Greenblatt said: “Although I appreciate the sentiment that you and your father continue to support ADL’s mission, supporting Mr Carlson’s embrace of the ‘great replacement theory’ stands in direct contrast to that mission.

“…ADL honored your father over a decade ago, but let me be clear that we would not do so today, and it does not absolve you, him, the network, or its board from the moral failure of not taking action against Mr Carlson.”

Greenblatt also said Carlson’s “attempt to at first dismiss” the racist theory “while in the very next breath endorsing it under cover of ‘a voting rights question’ does not give him free license to invoke a white supremacist trope.

“In fact, it’s worse, because he’s using a straw man – voting rights – to give an underhanded endorsement of white supremacist beliefs while ironically suggesting it’s not really white supremacism. While your response references a ‘full review’ of the interview, it seems the reviewers missed the essential point here.”

Murdoch may have cause to review Carlson’s Monday remarks.

“There are now about twice as many registered Democrats in California as there are Republicans,” Carlson said. “How’d that happen? There’s not much debate about it. The counties in California with the highest percentage of Republicans are not coincidentally those with the lowest percentage of immigrants, and vice-versa.

“California changed because the population changed. Analysis, for example, of the 2012 presidential election showed that if you were actually from there, if you’d lived in the state of California in 1980, you probably still voted Republican. Your views hadn’t really changed.

“But as your state swelled with foreign voters, your views became irrelevant. Your political power, the power to control your own life disappeared with the arrival of new people who diluted your vote. And that was the whole point. That’s not democracy. It’s cheating.”

Carlson, the heir to a fortune made in TV dinners, is a longtime conservative provocateur. The Murdochs are immigrants, a fact critics of Fox News are happy to deploy against them.

Rupert Murdoch, 90, became a US citizen in 1985, giving up Australian citizenship in order to buy a TV network. As the Los Angeles Times reported, he had “been living in the United States since 1973. He was joined in the courtroom ceremony by 185 other aliens.”

Lachlan Murdoch, 49, was born in London and educated in the US. In 2018, for $150m, he bought a mansion in LA. According to Fox News, he “continues to split his time between Los Angeles, New York and Sydney”.