The Anti-Defamation League has warned Twitter against giving “obvious antisemite” Tucker Carlson a “huge megaphone” after the ex-Fox News star used his debut program on the site to describe the Jewish Ukrainian president as “rat-like” and a “persecutor of Christians.”
“For years @TuckerCarlson slyly wove anti-Jewish conspiracies into his show on @FoxNews—attacking George Soros, slandering Paul Singer, and making other unfounded claims. Now the mask is fully off,” ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted on Thursday.
Prior to Fox News ousting Carlson in late-April, Greenblatt and his organization had repeatedly called on the conservative cable giant to fire the far-right nationalist host for pushing the white supremacist “Great Replacement” theory and peddling antisemitic dog whistles. After the network finally booted Carlson, Greenblatt declared that it was “about time.”
Weeks after announcing he would make his grand return on Twitter, Carlson debuted his first episode Tuesday night—a 10-minute, no-frills video featuring a conspiracy-laden rant absolving Russia of blame for a Ukrainian dam’s destruction. (It also saw him retreating from another Ukraine conspiracy theory, which he of course didn’t acknowledge.)
Carlson, as he’s done since Russia invaded Ukraine, also lobbed personal attacks at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This time, without the safety net of cable television, the antisemitic tropes flew a bit more freely. “Now you see him on television, and it’s true you might form a different impression. Sweaty and rat-like, a comedian turned oligarch, a persecutor of Christians, a friend of BlackRock,” he sneered, referencing well-known slurs against Jewish people.
“He opened his new ‘show’ on @Twitter by describing Zelensky as ‘sweaty and rat-like’ and ‘a persecutor of Christians.’ Complete lie,” Greenblatt declared on Thursday. “Even if you disagree with US foreign policy, invoking antisemitic imagery and tropes is a perverse and prejudicial way to build a case.”
He continued: “Tucker scared major advertisers off FOX Primetime for years. He traded in conspiracies. He appealed to cranks. Now this — at a time when #antisemitism is surging in America and around the world.”
Appealing to Linda Yaccarino, “Chief Twit” Elon Musk’s handpicked new CEO of Twitter, Greenblatt urged her to reconsider providing Carlson a platform. Especially since she’s been tasked with improving Twitter’s advertising revenue, which has plummeted a whopping 59 percent since Musk’s takeover of the site as companies have steered clear due to the increase of hate speech and pornography.
“If @lindayacc wants to attract Fortune 500 advertisers and @elonmusk wants to create a genuine public square, it might be wise not to give this obvious antisemite such a huge megaphone,” he concluded. “Let Tucker and his ilk push their hate somewhere else.”
It remains up in the air on when Carlson’s next Tucker on Twitter episode will launch. After Tuesday’s broadcast, Fox News lawyers sent the host a legal letter accusing him of being “in breach” of his contract, which currently runs through January 2025. Attorneys for Carlson, who has been leveraging right-wing allies to pressure Fox to release him from the deal, contend that he should be free to air the Twitter show as the site is not a direct competitor with Fox News.
As has been the case for months now, a request for comment sent to Twitter’s press email address was met with a reply featuring a single poop emoji. Musk has yet to publicly react to Greenblatt’s remarks.
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