October 29, 2021
Executive Chairman and CEO
1121 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Dear Mr. Murdoch,
I write once again to express deep alarm about the dangerous misinformation that FOX News continues to allow Tucker Carlson to express on your network and its platforms, this time in the form of a “documentary” about the insurrection on January 6.
In a trailer for “Patriot Purge,” which apparently is set to air on the Fox Nation streaming platform on November 1, Carlson and the laundry list of disinformation artists interviewed for the piece suggest that the January 6th assault on the U.S. Capitol was somehow a “false flag” and that the “Left is hunting the Right, sticking them in Guantanamo Bay… leaving them there to rot.”
Let’s call this what it is: an abject, indisputable lie and a blatant attempt to rewrite history. As an organization committed to fighting antisemitism and all forms of hate, we remain deeply concerned that the false narrative and wild conspiracy theories presented by Carlson will sow further division and has the potential to animate violence.
As an organization that monitors hate groups, our team at ADL has seen that Carlson’s embrace and amplification of white supremacist talking points galvanizes extremists and mobilizes their movements. We know this because we have been at the forefront of tracking extremism for decades.
We have seen, over and over again, the consequences of such unhinged conspiratorial rhetoric -- from Pittsburgh to Poway to El Paso. These heinous acts of violence were spurred, in part, by many of the same false grievances Carlson espouses each and every night.
By airing this so-called “documentary,” laden with imagery of Americans being waterboarded and talk of helicopters leaving Afghanistan and now landing “here at home,” you are giving license to yet another conspiracy theory: that January 6th was an inside job with the intention of rounding up and imprisoning conservatives.
As the head of a well-established news organization, I have to ask: where is the line for you and Fox? How many more people need to die or how many individuals must subscribe to groundless conspiracies before you say enough is enough? Inflammatory rhetoric of this sort is neither legitimate political discourse nor spirited debate. It is dangerous rhetoric that could catalyze violence, whether directed at the Jewish community or other minority groups.
Clearly Carlson has the right to make outrageous claims – but freedom of speech is not freedom of reach. You have no obligation to validate his views with airtime on your platform and, I would argue, a moral responsibility not to do so.
I know that you and your family have had a long history with ADL. Drawing upon that relationship, I strongly urge you to reconsider airing this program. It has the potential to fuel misdirected anger and unrest, let alone harm toward our public officials and elected leaders precisely at a time when our nation needs to start to heal.
I’m available at any time to discuss this matter further and look forward to your timely response.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt
CEO and National Director