Fox News stated this morning that the network and white nationalist prime-time host Tucker Carlson have “agreed to part ways,” effective immediately. Carlson will not be allowed to air a final goodbye to his audience.
Carlson has been a singular force driving Fox News’ extremism to new lows, single-handedly introducing the white supremacist “great replacement” conspiracy theory into mainstream American politics and becoming a kingmaker in the Republican Party as a result. A 2022 New York Times investigation found that Carlson “amplified the idea that Democratic politicians and others want to force demographic change through immigration” in more than 400 episodes.
Since the November 2016 launch of his prime-time show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, he has been a hero to hardcore racists and extremists for repeatedly hosting guests with ties to white supremacy and defending the QAnon conspiracy theory. He has also been the vanguard of January 6 conspiracy theories on the network.
As a result of Carlson’s success, Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch made him the face of Fox's streaming service. Murdoch backed Carlson every step of the way, repeatedly defending his bigotry and conspiracy theories, even as advertisers fled.
Media Matters has extensively documented Carlson’s extremism, including examples of white supremacist commentary going back to 2004, and he was named Misinformer of the Year in 2022, which included a non-comprehensive research file featuring over 350 examples of his misinformation. In 2019, Media Matters unearthed racist and misogynist comments by Carlson on the shock jock radio program Bubba the Love Sponge. Media Matters’ years of coverage drove a massive advertiser exodus from his program.
Below is just a small sampling of the worst of Carlson on Fox News over the years.
- In September 2017, Carlson claimed that striving for diversity “gets you to civil war.”
- December 2017: Carlson fearmongered that Democrats want “demographic replacement” with a “flood of illegals” to create “a flood of voters for them.”
- In July 2018, Carlson characterized “hate speech” as “a made-up category designed to gut the First Amendment and shut you up.”
- In September 2018, Carlson said America “was a better country” when it was less diverse.
- Carlson warned his audience about threats of white “genocide” in October 2018.
- In December 2018, Carlson said immigration makes America “poorer, and dirtier, and more divided.” He subsequently doubled down on the comments, even as advertisers began to flee his program.
- Carlson has repeatedly defended Infowars’ Alex Jones. Carlson was a guest on Infowars in 2015, when he claimed then-President Barack Obama was pushing “Nazi” racial politics, and the former Fox host also sourced stories on Tucker Carlson Tonight from the conspiracy theory network.
- In December 2019, Carlson labeled children separated from their parents at the border as “people who have no right to be here.”
- After the murder of George Floyd, Carlson’s coverage of protests and victims of police brutality hit a new low. In June 2020, he said it’s a “good question” to ask why he is “required to be upset about” Floyd’s death at the hands of a police officer. Two days later, Carlson dedicated his opening monologue to showing photos of unarmed Black people killed by police and smearing them to justify their deaths.
- On June 4, 2020, Carlson and his guest agreed the time for “vigilante justice” against protesters is near. He also told his audience that Black Lives Matter protests are “definitely not about Black lives. And remember that when they come for you.” Carlson lost nine major advertisers as a result of his commentary.
- In January 2021, Carlson warned his audience they could be the target of a “war on white supremacists.”
- The following month, Carlson claimed President Joe Biden would release MS-13 gang members “into your neighborhood.”
- September 2021: Carlson described Biden’s immigration policy as “the great replacement” and “eugenics.”
- In January, Carlson accused Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) of “blood libel” against white people.
- In March, Media Matters reported that texts revealed in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation suit against Fox News showed Carlson had shared a column a Holocaust denier had written for a white nationalist website.