Author Page | Media Matters for America

Jason Campbell

Author ››› Jason Campbell
  • How Fox News tries to mainstream a white supremacist conspiracy theory

    Blog ››› ››› JASON CAMPBELL & JOHN KERR

    Adding to its pattern of mainstreaming toxic extremism, Fox News regularly echoes and sanitizes the dangerous white supremacist conspiracy theory that non-white immigrants represent the threat of “replacement” to white populations. This racist talking point has already inspired massacres and hate crimes around the world.

    On March 15, an avowed white supremacist shot and killed at least 50 Muslims and injured many others at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Prior to the massacre, the shooter allegedly wrote and promoted online a manifesto titled “The Great Replacement,” seemingly a reference to a popular white supremacist conspiracy theory fearmongering about white populations being replaced in majority-white countries due to demographic changes. The same sentiment was echoed during a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, in which white supremacists holding torches chanted, “You will not replace us.”

    Proponents of the conspiracy theory often scapegoat immigration as the central cause by which white people are being “replaced,” and they blame politicians and elites, saying they are intent on changing the demographics of predominantly white nations to dilute the political power of white populations. A mass shooting believed to be deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history -- in which a gunman opened fire in October 2018 inside of a Pittsburgh, PA, synagogue, murdering 11 people -- was also motivated by the replacement conspiracy theory, with the alleged shooter accusing Jewish people of bringing in “invaders" to “kill our people."

    While the replacement conspiracy theory has long been a mainstay in white supremacist circles, Fox News has been mainstreaming the concept by consistently fearmongering about the threat of replacement via changing demographics in the United States.

  • Juan Williams’ heartfelt plea to Fox colleagues on the growing white nationalist threat is met with lies and derision

    Blog ››› ››› JASON CAMPBELL

    After a heartfelt plea by Fox's Juan Williams for conservatives to address the rise of white nationalist violence inspired by their hateful rhetoric, Williams' colleagues made excuses, attempted to both-sides the issue, and lied about the motivation behind the rash of white supremacist violence taking place worldwide. Fox's Jesse Watters insisted that the perpetrators of the Pittsburgh, Christchurch, and Poway shooting all "hated Donald Trump." This is a complete distortion of the reality for each of these shooters who, though felt Trump was not extreme enough, cite his rhetoric along with showing admiration for him as a symbol.

    While the perpetrator of the Pittsburgh shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue claimed Trump was not sufficiently anti-Semitic, he echoed Trump and Fox News’ rhetoric that an "invasion" of migrants funded by George Soros was coming to the United States, a conspiracy theory that Fox continued pushing even after the Tree of Life massacre. The Christchurch shooter hailed Trump as "a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose" but similarly felt Trump’s policies did not go far enough. The murderer in the Poway, California shooting said he had been inspired by both the Tree of Life and Christchurch shooters. 

  • Laura Ingraham's new podcast is a total disaster 

    ››› ››› JASON CAMPBELL

    After ending her 17-year radio show, Fox News host Laura Ingraham started a new podcast in January 2019. The change of format and venue did not reduce Ingraham’s use of racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, anti-LGBTQ, and generally hateful rhetoric. Here are some examples from her first episodes that clearly show that Ingraham and her guests intend to continue shepherding listeners through a nightmarish wormhole of hatred and bigotry.

  • The year in Fox News non-troversies

    ››› ››› JASON CAMPBELL, BOBBY LEWIS & REBECCA MARTIN

    In 2018, conservatives controlled all levers of the federal government, Fox News once again led in ratings, and conservative websites dominated the national narrative on the internet. But Fox News, hell-bent on portraying conservatives as victims, nevertheless found random events to be outraged about throughout the year. Below are some top Fox News non-troversies as documented by the Media Matters staff.

  • A white supremacist YouTuber praised Fox's Tucker Carlson for mentioning "white genocide"

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G. & JASON CAMPBELL

    White supremacist YouTuber Mark Collett commended Fox’s Tucker Carlson for discussing the white supremacist talking point of “white genocide” on his prime-time show. The shoutout came during the December 5 edition of Collett’s weekly YouTube livestream called This Week on the Alt-Right. During the episode, Collett also took credit for his own role in mainstreaming the term.

    Collet is a British neo-Nazi whose racist content thrives on YouTube and whose extremism has been amplified by American far-right figures, including Fox’s Laura Ingraham and white supremacist darling Rep. Steve King (R-IA). YouTube allows Collett to monetize his extremist content and profit from spreading white supremacist propaganda, and his December 5 livestream was no exception. The Super Chat feature allowed viewers to pay for their messages to be featured more prominently in the live chat.

    White supremacists often push the false narrative of “white genocide” to propagandize about what they claim are fatal threats against white people, like immigration or demographic change. On his prime-time Fox show, Carlson often echoes white supremacist talking points and has become increasingly explicit in championing white grievances, earning accolades among white supremacists along the way.  

    On the October 1 edition of his Fox show Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson specifically fearmongered to his audience about the threat of white genocide by pushing a literal interpretation of an angry tweet written by a Georgetown University professor protesting the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.