On Monday night, Fox News host Tucker Carlson dangerously ramped up his anti-abortion rhetoric by claiming that Democrats are a religious cult devoted to child sacrifice via pregnancy terminations.
“Abortion politics is a total fixation of Democratic donors. It’s the main thing they care about. Why is that, by the way? It’s a religion. It’s a child sacrifice cult,” Carlson said, in comments first flagged by Media Matters for America.
This phrasing is commonplace among fringe political candidates and the QAnon caucus in Congress, but it is especially frightening for Carlson to spew it on his show, which regularly attracts more than 3 million viewers per night.
While the “cult” part may be new, Fox News has long referred to embryos and fetuses as unborn children, characterizing abortion providers as murderers. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly repeatedly called George Tiller, the Kansas doctor who performed abortions later in pregnancy, “Tiller the baby killer,” saying that he had “blood on his hands.” In 2009, an anti-abortion extremist murdered Tiller in the foyer of his church.
Carlson’s language on Monday was a mix of two dangerous conspiracy theories: QAnon, whose believers think that Democrats are part of an elite cabal of Satanists and pedophiles who drink children’s blood, and the antisemitic blood libel conspiracy theory, which falsely claims that Jewish people kill Christian children to use their blood for religious rituals. (Republicans toying with antisemitism love to point out that one of Democrats’ top donors, billionaire George Soros, is Jewish.)
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It is quite a choice to use this language days after Carlson’s lengthy interview with Kanye West (who now goes by Ye). West made questionable comments about Jared Kushner and money in the version that aired—but we later learned that Fox cut out many of West’s outright antisemitic comments.