Tucker Carlson defended the “Twitter for Racists” social network Gab. Tucker Carlson defended Confederate statues. Tucker Carlson said immigrants make America “dirtier“. Tucker Carlson name-checked white nationalist website VDARE who thanked him for his support.
And these cases among others have earned Carlson the loyalty of white nationalists.
“It’s really, really alarming that my family watches Tucker Carlson show once and then watches it on the replay because they feel that he is making the white nationalist talking points better than they have and they’re trying to get some tips on how to advance it,” Derek Black told the Intelligencer.
For context: Derek’s father, Don, is the KKK Grand Wizard who started the now-shuttered neo-Nazi website Stormfront and was convicted of an attempt to overthrow the government on the Caribbean island Dominica in 1981 in an attempt to create a white-only country. Derek’s mother, Chloe, was once married to David Duke.
And they turn to Tucker for tips framing their argument.
Leaked texts from white supremacist group Identity Evropa say that “Tuck” is “a lone voice of reason” in their eyes. They obsess over him, according to watchdog group Media Matters. They even invented a sort of media barometer called “The Tucker Mark” which measures what the edge of publicly acceptable white supremacy in daily life is.
“If Tucker says it, it is the edge of acceptable,” one person wrote. “Luckily, it moves towards us daily.”
Carlson plays a role in the “Twitter food chain” that extremists use to bring white nationalist rhetoric from the fringe to the White House. A user described the flow chart — from white identity podcasts to Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to Tucker Carlson to Donald Trump.
“Tucker Carlson probably has been the No. 1 commentator mainstreaming bedrock principles of white nationalism in this country, which is fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims, keeping them out and arguing that whites are under attack,” said Heidi Beirich, the head of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project.
And whether or not his role in the flow chart is intentional, Carlson has become the frontman for 112 neo-Nazi groups, 148 white-nationalist groups, 63 racist skinhead groups, and 36 neo-Confederate organizations looking to bring talking points from their fringe into the mainstream.
“Tucker Carlson has long been praised by white nationalists as being one of them or supporting their talking points,” said Spencer Sunshine, a fellow at Political Research Associates. “We don’t know if he’s intentionally, self-consciously thinking like a white nationalist and soft-selling … But I think we can see empirically that … what he’s saying harmonizes with white nationalist views.”
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.