The “Tucker Carlson Tonight”, a sounding board for the racist theory of the “great replacement”

A few hours after the attack that killed ten people and injured three in New York State, the words of the Erie County Sheriff were unambiguous: “It was clearly a racist hate crime. » Eleven African-Americans are among the victims of the man who opened fire in a supermarket in the city of Buffalo on Saturday, May 14, while filming his act. American media have mentioned a ” manifest “ of a racist nature that would have been disseminated on the Internet and social networks, as is often the case in crimes committed by white supremacists. According to New York Times, this 180-page document referred to the conspiratorial and racist thesis of the “great replacement” of the white population.

A thesis whose defense and promotion are not limited to marginal Internet sites. As CNN journalist Jim Acosta recalled on Sunday, the “great replacement” theory finds a spokesperson every weeknight in the person of Tucker Carlson, the very conservative host of the most watched talk show in the United States. United, broadcast on Fox News.

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” Which makes [M. Carlson] peddling ‘replacement theory’ and other elements of white nationalist discourse is dangerous”strongly denounced Jim Acosta, live on CNN, accusing Fox News of not “do nothing about it”.

the New York Times recently surrendered to an immersion in five years of “Tucker Carlson Tonight”, followed by more than three million viewers across the country. Journalists from the American daily watched no less than 1,150 episodes. Based on an analysis of the words of the presenter, Tucker Carlson, the NYT shows how the latter “brings extremist ideas and conspiracy theories into millions of homes five nights a week”.

At the head of the talk show since 2016, the presenter, a fan of Trumpism, has taken a prominent place in it for a few years. He no longer hesitates, for example, to open the program with monologues of more than ten minutes, even twenty. Long presentations without contradictions always exposing the same diagrams and reasoning, according to the New York Times.

“Them and you”, “big replacement”…

His speech is structured around a supposed plot of the “ruling class” which would seek to “control life” from “normal people” and “censor” anyone who speaks out against his interests. In the words of Mr. Carlson, this translates into a recurring opposition between ” they “ and ” you “Fox News viewers, to whom the presenter speaks directly: “They Hate You”, “They call you racists”, “They want to take away your weapons”, “They want you to shut up and obey”, “They care more about Afghans than you”, “They don’t care about you”

This dichotomy is “commonly used by populist or authoritarian leaders to create emotional bonds with their supporters”note it NYT. Of the 1,150 episodes of the show analysed, more than 800 mention this “ruling class”and almost daily since 2020.

behind this ” they “, personalities from various walks of life who are frequently criticized and attacked on the talk show. It includes Democratic politicians, such as President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris; bosses of big tech companies, like Jeff Bezos, boss of Amazon, or Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, but also sports personalities, like basketball player LeBron James.

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One of the “maps” of this “ruling class” would be the “great replacement” Population “native of the United States”, recurring theme from Tucker Carlson’s show. The latter thus affirms, for example, to the address of his viewers, that the Democratic leaders are “come from Third World migrants” for “replace you with more obedient voters” in order to ensure “stay forever in power”.

The presenter also multiplies the warnings as to the consequence (even the ambition) of these policies which would lead to “Destroy Western Civilization” and “your way of life”. According to the daily’s analysis, the presenter has relayed this idea dear to American white nationalists in more than four hundred episodes of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” since 2016.

“Best ally” of white nationalists

Tucker Carlson also evokes in at least six hundred episodes, and more and more frequently since 2020, the existence of a “anti-white racism” while minimizing discrimination against people of color. In particular, he repeated, on numerous occasions, that white nationalism and white supremacism did not exist.

As reminded by NYT, these positions earned him a tweet from David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, suggesting in 2020 that Donald Trump choose the Fox News presenter as his running mate for the presidential election. Andrew Anglin, the founder of the white nationalist website The Daily Stormer, also said Mr Carlson was ” literally [leur] best ally ».

According to the daily’s analysis, these subjects have occupied an increasing place in the program over the years. Tucker Carlson devoted five times more airtime to it in 2021 than in 2017. The radicalization of the comments made by the presenter of the show was accompanied by a scarcity of guests contradicting him on the set. the NYT has counted seven thousand non-channel guests since 2016, of which only one thousand defended positions opposed to those of Tucker Carlson. Since 2020, these can almost be counted on the fingers of both hands.

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