“Let’s call this what it is: an abject, indisputable lie and a blatant attempt to rewrite history”
The Anti Defamation League (ADL), an anti-hate organisation that was founded in 1913, has “strongly” urged Fox News to “reconsider airing this programme”, which is set to premiere next week on Fox Nation.
Mr Carlson’s documentary series claims to “tell the true story” of the Capitol riots and appears to float a conspiracy theory that the incident was orchestrated by the US government.
“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 US Capitol was somehow a ‘false flag’ and that the ‘Left is hunting the Right, sticking them in Guantanamo Bay… leaving them there to rot’,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO and national director of ADL, said in a letter to Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch.
“Let’s call this what it is: an abject, indisputable lie and a blatant attempt to rewrite history,” he added. “As an organisation 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.”
“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,” Mr Greenblatt added.
He continued: “As the head of a well-established news organisation, 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?”
He said that inflammatory rhetoric of this sort was neither legitimate political discourse nor spirited debate. “It is dangerous rhetoric that could catalyse violence, whether directed at the Jewish community or other minority groups.”
The trailer of Patriot Purge has also drawn bipartisan criticism.
On Thursday morning, two Republican members of the Congress – Wyoming representative Liz Cheney and Illinois’ Adam Kinzinger – called out the trailer. Both serve on the US House Select Committee that is investigating the 6 January riots.
“It appears that Fox News is giving Tucker Carlson a platform to spread the same type of lies that provoked violence on January 6,” Ms Cheney wrote on her Twitter. “As Fox News knows, the election wasn’t stolen and January 6 was not a ‘false flag’ operation.”
She also tagged Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch, CEO Suzanne Scott, its president Jay Wallace and former House speaker Paul D Ryan.
Mr Kinzinger said: “Anyone working for Fox News must speak out. This is disgusting. It appears Fox News isn’t even pretending anymore.”