#FireTuckerCarlson Trends After Fox News Host Calls Concerns About White Supremacy a 'Hoax'

After Fox News host Tucker Carlson called white supremacy "a hoax" and a "conspiracy theory used to divide the country" on Tuesday, #FireTuckerCarlson started to trend on social media the following day, with many people calling on Fox News to fire the controversial host. His comments came in the wake of recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left dozens dead.

"It's not the job of this show to defend the president and everything he says," Carlson said Tuesday night. "Some things we are not going to defend. But in point of fact, he never endorsed white supremacy or came close to endorsing white supremacy. That's just a lie. But he condemned it anyway. Their response, 'he didn't really mean it.'"

"If you were to assemble a list, a hierarchy of concerns of problems this country faces, where would white supremacy be on the list? Right up there with Russia probably," he went on to say. "It's actually not a real problem in America. The combined membership of every white supremacist organization in this country would be able to fit inside a college football stadium."

Saturday's El Paso shooting in a shopping complex left 22 people dead and two dozen people injured. Patrick Crusius, the 21-year-old shooter, was apprehended by police shortly after the incident. He was allegedly motivated by racist, anti-Hispanic beliefs, publishing a four-page manifesto posted to the online message board 8chan minutes before he started his shooting rampage.

Later on Saturday, another shooter, 24-year-old Connor Betts, killed nine people and injured 34 more in a shooting spree at a popular nightlife establishment in Dayton, Ohio. Betts was shot and killed by authorities during the incident. The motive for the shooting spree is not yet known, but police said he had an obsession with violence and mass shootings.

Despite Carlson's comments, the FBI has reported an increase in hate-motivated crimes in recent years. Acknowledging the impact of hate crimes in the United States, the FBI said in a statement following the mass shootings this past weekend, "The FBI remains concerned that U.S.-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence. The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online."

The president addressed the mass shootings on Monday from the White House, saying, "We must shine light on the dark recesses of the internet and stop mass murders before they start." He called on the Department of Justice and social media companies to work in tandem to track posts linked to known white supremacist groups in an effort to stop hate-driven domestic terrorism before it's too late.

Carlson's divisive rhetoric and fervent support of President Donald Trump has led sponsors to pull their ads from his program. In December 2018, after Carlson said immigration makes the United States "dirtier," 26 major advertisers, including Norwegian Cruise Lines, Red Lobster, Farmers Insurance, Lexus/Toyota, Samsung and SodaStream, among others, pulled their ads from the show.

"Toyota and Lexus have suspended all advertising on this particular program until further notice," a Lexus spokesperson said after Carlson's comments.

"We embrace diversity and inclusion, and work with advertising partners who share our core values," Western Digital/SanDisk spokesperson said at the time.

Neither Fox News or Tucker Carlson have addressed the comments as of this reporting.

Tucker Carlson White Supremacist
Fox News host Tucker Carlson discusses 'Populism and the Right' during the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel March 29, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty
#FireTuckerCarlson Trends After Fox News Host Calls Concerns About White Supremacy a 'Hoax' | U.S.