Fox News still hasn’t mentioned GOP members of Congress who spoke at white nationalist convention

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Citation Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Fox News has yet to mention the debate currently roiling the Republican Party over whether the party should reach out to avowed white nationalists and make common cause with them.

Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) ignited a political and media firestorm when they spoke at a white nationalist convention on Friday night. Nick Fuentes, a prominent Holocaust denier who has been described as a “white supremacist” by the Justice Department, organized the event, using the same platform as the GOP House members to praise Adolf Hitler and incite cheers of “Putin, Putin” from the crowd.

Republicans are apparently divided over whether it is appropriate for members of Congress to build political ties with white nationalists. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) criticized Greene and Gosar on Monday, with both saying that no one in the party should be associating with the likes of the convention attendees. But other Republican leaders — such as Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and RNC chair Ronna McDaniel — have refused to directly criticize the members. Greene was also welcomed as a speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday.

Greene defended her actions in a Sunday statement, describing the convention attendees as “1,200 young conservatives who feel cast aside and marginalized by society," adding, “the Pharisees in the Republican Party may attack me for being willing to break barriers and speak to a lost generation of young people who are desperate for love and leadership."  

Fox’s GOP propagandists are currently refusing to take sides in the internal party dispute. The network has yet to mention the white nationalism controversy, according to a Media Matters review. Notably, Fox & Friends Weekend Edition host Pete Hegseth ignored the story even as he broadcast live from CPAC on Saturday, as Greene’s speech to white nationalists the previous night was drawing media attention to the event

A GOP debate over whether the party coalition should include white nationalists puts Fox in a bind. The network’s hosts helped turn Greene into a GOP grassroots phenomenon and could pay a price with viewers if they were perceived as now trying to push her out of the party. But Fox’s advertisers might revolt at a particularly vulnerable moment if the network vocally defends Greene’s white nationalist outreach.

Fox also has a Tucker Carlson problem. The network’s star host has championed Greene. He himself has cozied up to white nationalists and adopted their talking points, even as he has claimed they play no significant role in U.S. politics. There’s hardly a bright line between speaking at a white nationalist convention and regularly warning that Democrats are trying to replace white voters with more pliant voters of color, a white nationalist conspiracy theory that Carlson and others at the network regularly invoke.

It’s easier for Fox to keep quiet, and that’s what the network is doing.