Typically, when Tucker Carlson provokes outrage, it’s a good bet he will handle the controversy by doubling back on his first remarks. However, his apparent endorsement of this racist”great replacement” theory crossed a bright red line a week. Even for people who could be desensitized to his incendiary comment, it was shocking to watch. And it resulted in a larger PR problem then usual for Fox, with the Anti-Defamation League calling for the right-wing talk station to fire him.
Which is to say that before Carlson went on air Monday evening, I wasn’t so sure he’d follow his normal playbook and sneer in his critics while repeating his first remarks. Naively, I thought that he may have started a fire too hot for him to touch. Maybe, I imagined, the Murdochs, while protecting Carlson, independently told him to knock it off.
Evidently, Carlson was not going to apologize for or retract his opinions. But he might have chosen to ignore the controversy, proceed, and let it die out. Instead, he did the reverse. Carlson opened his show by replaying the remarks he made last week — remarks in which he basically endorsed the”great replacement” theory. He then mocked critics who were outraged he’d done so. “It is amusing to see them keep at it,” Carlson said of people who have called for him to be removed from Fox’s air, a group that now includes the Anti-Defamation League. “They get so enraged! It’s a riot!”
Making a mockery of these with very real concerns about his rhetoric was not enough for Carlson. Then he proceeded to recite the core part of this”great replacement” concept, describing it to his millions of viewers as exact. “Demographic change is the key to the Democratic Party’s political ambitions,” Carlson said. “In order to win and maintain power, Democrats plan to change the population of the country.” Carlson told his audience that the “goal” is “to make you irrelevant.” He said it is “probably true.” Over and over again, he referenced “demographic” change.