Tucker Carlson offered a vigorous defense of his coverage of white farmers in South Africa, who he says face the threat of having their land expropriated by the country’s political leaders.
Carlson said that his facts were accurate and that extremism in the country against its white minority was a real problem.
“Pushing back against racial discrimination is always worth doing and yet for some reason — a reason nobody really explained — luminaries in the media disagree,” said Carlson.”In an Orwellian turn, various news outlets suggested it was somehow racist to oppose the racist policies of the South African government, even Nazi-like.”
The Fox News host then played footage of Al Sharpton on MSNBC, who suggested that Carlson was parroting “neo-Nazi” talking points by speaking about the concerns of white South Africans.
After that, Carlson showed footage of South African politician Julius Malema, who leads the country’s third largest political party, making various disparaging remarks toward white people including direct threats of violence.
“I’m saying to you, we’ve not called for the killing of white people, at least for now. I can’t guarantee the future,” Malema told Turkish media earlier this year. Carlson also played footage of Malema saying he wanted to “cut the throat of whiteness” in his country to cheering crowds.
Carlson’s commentary on South Africa received attention after President Donald Trump tweeted about the issue after watching the program.
“I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers,” said Trump.
I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.” @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2018
The tweet and the Carlson coverage prompted an immediate backlash from those like Sharpton who said there was no issue happening in South Africa and that the ultimate root of the story was racism.
“White nationalists, neo-Nazis, and members of the alt-right in Europe and the United States — see the South African land expropriation plan as much more than a potential economic misstep: to them, it’s a full-scale genocide against the country’s white minority,” wrote Vox in its explanation of Trump’s tweet.
“Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson successfully injected a longstanding ‘white genocide’ conspiracy theory about land reform measures in South Africa into President Donald Trump’s mind, rendering his primetime ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ show a conduit for racist conspiracy theories advanced by the most radical white supremacists in the world for delivery to the Oval Office,” wrote RightWingWatch.
Malema — as Carlson pointed out Thursday evening — blamed “white right-wingers” and “Jews” for any outrage caused by Trump’s actions.