Originally Published in The Washington Post
Opinion by Max Boot - April 9, 2021
The Guardian noted in 2019 that there were already disturbing parallels between Carlson’s rhetoric and that of white supremacist killers in El Paso, Tex., and Christchurch, New Zealand. For example, in one of his books, Carlson wrote: “When confronted or pressed for details, [proponents of diversity] retreat into a familiar platitude, which they repeat like a zen koan: diversity is our strength. But is diversity our strength? The less we have in common, the stronger we are? Is that true of families? Is that true in neighborhoods or businesses? Of course not.”
And here is what the fiend who killed 51 people at two Christchurch mosques said in his manifesto: “Why is diversity said to be our greatest strength? Does anyone even ask why? It is spoken like a mantra and repeated ad infinitum …. But no one ever seems to give a reason why. What gives a nation strength? And how does diversity increase that strength?”
On Thursday night, Carlson moved even closer to white supremacist ideology by explicitly endorsing the Great Replacement theory, which holds that shadowy elites are orchestrating a plot to replace native-born White people with immigrants of color. The New Zealand shooter’s manifesto was literally headlined “The Great Replacement,” and the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville chanted “Jews will not replace us.”
It is certainly accurate, as Media Matters writes, that “every Fox News advertiserbears responsibility for the beaming of this vile rhetoric to millions of people.” I would add that cable systems also have responsibility for beaming out this bigotry. But do you know who else bears responsibility? The top management and the directors at Fox. Ironically, many of those individuals are immigrants themselves.
The founder and co-chairman of Fox Corp. is, of course, Rupert Murdoch, a mogul who was born in Australia and now spends a lot of time in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The co-chairman and CEO is his son, Lachlan Murdoch, who was born in London and now lives in Australia. The person who is often said to be the most powerful day-to-day executive at Fox is Viet Dinh, a Vietnamese refugeeborn in Ho Chi Minh City who is now the corporation’s chief legal and policy officer. The lead outside director is Jacques Nasser, a former Ford CEO who was born in Lebanon and grew up in Australia. Another Fox director is Anne Dias-Griffin, the founder and chief executive of Aragon Global Holdings, who was born and educated in France.
Of course, responsibility for Carlson’s vile rants extends to native-born Americans too — people such as former House speaker Paul D. Ryan, who also sits on Fox’s board. They too must be made to answer whether they think that it’s acceptable for a major cable network to spread white supremacist rhetoric at a time when (contrary to Carlson) the threat from white supremacist terrorists has never been higher. The irony, of course, is that, by their very success in America, so many senior Fox leaders disprove Carlson’s bigoted assumption that immigration is a source of weakness for this country.