Only a few weeks after a mob of insurrectionists stormed the US Capitol, Fox News host Tucker Carlson seems to not understand – or does not care about – the implications of the event when addressing his viewers.
Showing a CNN interview with Schiff, the representative from California explained that lawmakers have urged the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to “raise the priority to domestic terrorism, to white nationalism as it threatens the country”.
“Just as we did after 9/11 to the threat of international terrorism, we need to give the same priorirty and urgency to domestic terrorism,” he added.
Cut back to Carlson looking very upset: “Got that? Vote the wrong way, and you are a jihadi” – making an outlandish jump.
“You thought you were an American citizen,” he told his viewers, “with rights and just a different view but no, you’re a jihadi and we’re going to treat you the way we treated those radicals after 9/11”.
“Keep in mind as you listen to people talk like this,” referencing Schiff, “keep in mind they’re talking about American citizens here, they’re talking about you,” he said with force.
Beyond the offensive rhetoric, Carlson in the same breath defends white supremacists while telling his viewers “they’re talking about you”. Or as Andrew Lawrence put it, “Tucker Carlson just straight up defending white supremacists”.
“Sadly, he may not be wrong about that,” one person commented on the video. “Know your audience,” another person joked.
“I think just accidentally admitted his whole audience is made up of 'White Nationalists',” another user added.
In his inaugural address, president Joe Biden warned about “a rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.” After the Capitol insurrection with increasingly violent partisan rhetoric across the country, there are clearly fears something similar in the form of domestic terrorism may happen again.
Last week, Carlson echoed a similar sentiment telling his viewers in a monologue they “could be hurt” in president Biden’s efforts to crack down on white supremacy.
The fact that Carlson seems to be implicating and acknowledging that his audience would suffer from this type of crackdown may be amusing to some, but it actually reveals a deeply disturbing truth about conservative media.
The fact that, as AOC put it, a “white supremacist sympathizer” is giving a prime time broadcast across the US almost every night is more than a cause for concern.