In remarks before the World Federation of Advertisers, Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on advertisers to “choose a side” and hold social media and television networks for problematic messaging that doesn’t “respect all people or that repeat baseless conspiracies that endanger all of us.”
“Through your advertising muscle, you have a distinct and powerful voice in what information networks like Fox and Facebook will and will not allow on their platforms. You can hold them accountable like few other actors in society because your dollars are the fuel that enables their business model,” Greenblatt said, adding that the advertising industry is “uniquely positioned to push these networks – whether mass media or social media – to do their utmost to ensure that hatred and conspiracy theories are not amplified.”
“Commit to this fight. Choose a side,” added Greenblatt. “Choose to pause or even pull your ads, not just from problematic programs, but altogether from networks that don’t respect all people or that repeat baseless conspiracies that endanger all of us.”
Greenblatt singled out Fox News personality Tucker Carlson for employing the white supremacist “great replacement theory” to assert that Democrats are intentionally replacing white people with immigrants and minorities to further their electoral goals.
“This is not a new idea. In fact, it is a longstanding, toxic staple of white supremacist ideology. And yet, in front of the largest primetime audience in America, Mr. Carlson asserted this was happening because the Democratic Party intentionally was engineering a huge influx of immigration to bolster its voter base,” Greenblatt said.
“Now, I don’t need to tell you how ugly this rhetoric is – especially when it is repeated by someone with millions of viewers across the country. But it’s also dangerous, literally a prompt to violence,” he stressed.
Last week, the ADL called for Fox News to fire Carlson for his remarks.
“The ‘great replacement theory’ is a classic white supremacist trope that undergirds the modern white supremacist movement in America,” Greenblatt wrote in a letter to Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott. “It is a concept that is discussed almost daily in online racist fever swamps. It is a notion that fueled the hateful chants of “Jews will not replace us!” in Charlottesville in 2017. And it has lit the fuse in explosive hate crimes, most notably the hate-motivated mass shooting attacks in Pittsburgh, Poway and El Paso, as well as in Christchurch, New Zealand.”
“In short, this is not legitimate political discourse. It is dangerous race-baiting, extreme rhetoric. And yet, unfortunately, it is the culmination of a pattern of increasingly divisive rhetoric used by Carlson over the past few years,” Greenblatt continues, later adding, “Given his long record of race-baiting, we believe it is time for Carlson to go.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.