Since taking over Bill O’Reilly’s slot on Fox News, Tucker Carlson has had the most-watched news show on cable. His populist rhetoric and cutting interview style have earned him millions of nightly viewers, prompting Forbes to ask if Carlson is “the new king of cable news.”
But Carlson’s rise to stardom has also earned him the attention of another group: white supremacists. Richard Spencer celebrated O’Reilly’s replacement, arguing Carlson showed an “open-mindedness” to white supremacist ideas that O’Reilly didn’t. Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke frequently tweets praise of Tucker’s show. And the white supremacist website Daily Stormer has called Carlson “literally our greatest ally.”
White supremacists’ affection for Carlson has a lot to do with the way he talks about immigrants. Unlike other conservative pundits, who focus their anti-immigration rhetoric on illegal immigration, Carlson spent the first few months of his show depicting both legal and undocumented immigrants as potentially dangerous criminals. He’s gone after Mexicans, Muslims, and refugees, often cherry-picking stories of immigrant crime and inviting anti-immigrant extremists to depict “foreigners” as threatening invaders.
Carlson’s immigrants-are-criminals shtick is just part of his broader rejection of multiculturalism, which he sees as a threat to “European culture” and “Western civilization.” That kind of language is eerily similar to that of white supremacists, who use similar coded speech to argue that immigrants are a threat to white America. And it suggests that Carlson’s anti-immigrant rhetoric isn’t actually about immigration — it’s about teaching the largest audience in cable news to view difference as dangerous.
Watch the video above to see why Tucker Carlson has become a hero to some of the country’s most notorious white supremacists.