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Lachlan Murdoch responds to call for Tucker Carlson's firing

Lachlan Murdoch, Fox Corp.’s executive chairman and CEO, defended comments by Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonKinzinger: Conspiracy theory FBI planned Jan. 6 example of 'legacy of Trump and Trumpism' Fox launches Apple podcast subscription service FOX News Podcasts+ Overnight Defense: Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military | Military guns go missing | New White House strategy to battle domestic extremism MORE that prompted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to call for the cable network's host to be fired, saying he had rejected an anti-Semitic theory during a recent interview. 

“A full review of the guest interview indicates that Mr. Carlson decried and rejected replacement theory,” Murdoch wrote in the letter. "As Mr. Carlson himself stated during the guest interview: “White replacement theory? No, no, this is a voting rights question.”

A Fox Corp. spokesperson did not comment on Murdoch’s letter and did not answer questions about who conducted the internal review of Carlson’s comments or when.

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However, a source familiar with the controversy provided the full text of the letter, which is reprinted at the end of this story. 

In the letter, Murdoch thanked the ADL for honoring his father with the International Leadership Award and said Fox supported the ADL's mission.

It said Fox disagreed, however, with the ADL's assessment. 

"Throughout our news and opinion programming, our management and Board are focused on fair, accurate and informed reporting and commentary on matters of public interest. We thank you for participating in this important national conversation," the letter stated.

The Fox Corp. CEO was referencing statements Carlson made during an appearance as a guest on a Fox News program Thursday, and not on his own top-rated, prime-time show. In the remarks, he stated that Democratic support for immigration was intended to dilute the voting power of people already living in the United States. 

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt and others criticized those comments as thinly veiled references to "Great Replacement” theory, which Greenblatt described in a tweet as “a white supremacist tenet that the white race is in danger by a rising tide of non-whites.”

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The group also wrote to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott calling for Carlson’s ouster, the first time it had done so, according to an ADL spokesperson.

In the ADL post quoting Murdoch, Greenblatt praised the Fox Corp CEO and his father, Rupert Murdoch, for their past support of the ADL but said it does not absolve them of responsibility for Carlson’s statements.

“I thank you for your words of respect for ADL. Although I appreciate the sentiment that you and your father continue to support ADL’s mission, supporting Mr. Carlson’s embrace of the 'great replacement theory' stands in direct contrast to that mission,” Greenblatt wrote.

“As you noted in your letter, ADL honored your father over a decade ago, but let me be clear that we would not do so today, and it does not absolve you, him, the network, or its board from the moral failure of not taking action against Mr. Carlson.” 

Greenblatt added that given Lachlan’s defense of Carlson, it’s clear that whoever reviewed the host’s comments completely misunderstood why they were so heavily criticized.

“While your response references a 'full review' of the interview, it seems the reviewers missed the essential point here,” Greenblatt wrote. “Replacement theory is a concept that is discussed almost daily in online forums seething with antisemitism and racism.”

“I don’t know which experts you consulted in your review, but, as your letter rightly pointed out, we are the experts,” Greenblatt added.

On Monday, Carlson directly addressed the reaction to his comments on his Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“But why all the anger? If someone says something you think is wrong, is your first instinct to hurt them? Probably not,” Carlson said.

“If you hear something you think is incorrect, you try to correct it. But getting the facts right is hardly the point of this exercise. The point is to prevent unauthorized conversations from starting in the first place,” he added.

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“Demographic change is the key to the Democratic Party’s political ambitions,” Carlson then said before entering a lengthy monologue proffering evidence for his theory that “in order to win and maintain power, Democrats plan to change the population of the country.“

Here is the Murdoch letter: 

Dear Mr. Greenblatt, 
 
Thank you for your letter of April 11, 2021 and also for your good work over the years. Fox Corporation shares your values and abhors anti-semitism, white supremacy and racism of any kind. In fact, I remember fondly the ADL honoring my father with your International Leadership Award, and we continue to support your mission.
 
Concerning the segment of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on April 8th, however, we respectfully disagree. A full review of the guest interview indicates that Mr. Carlson decried and rejected replacement theory. As Mr. Carlson himself stated during the guest interview: “White replacement theory? No, no, this is a voting rights question.”
 
Throughout our news and opinion programming, our management and Board are focused on fair, accurate and informed reporting and commentary on matters of public interest. We thank you for participating in this important national conversation. 
 
Sincerely, 
Lachlan K. Murdoch