Days after a 4chan user claimed to have hacked Hunter Biden’s iCloud backup account, Tucker Carlson took to the airwaves Monday evening to bestow subtle praise upon the notorious online forum — which has long been a breeding ground for hate speech and has inspired (and lavished praised upon) several mass shootings.
Bemoaning the tech companies who, in previous years, have removed contents of Hunter Biden’s 2020 laptop leak from the internet, Carlson informed his users that the newest leak spread quickly on 4chan, calling the anonymous forum “some sort of website that’s basically not very moderated, and it’s kinda the website of last resort for people who want to get information out there but can’t, because everything is so completely censored at this point.” (4chan moderators did eventually delete the Biden iCloud leak data — but not before it was archived and disseminated on torrent sites.)
Tucker Carlson lavishes praise on extremist hate site 4chan pic.twitter.com/raJmgVeFxW
— Kat Abu (@abughazalehkat) July 12, 2022
While the Fox News host only briefly touched upon 4chan’s existence, labeling it as a “website of last resort for people who want to get information out there but can’t” is exactly the sort of right-wing dogwhistle intended to funnel the network’s viewers into 4chan’s murky depths. With a namedrop of this magnitude, it’s only a matter of time before your Boomer-aged aunt who still shares anti-Hillary Clinton memes on Facebook wanders into the shitposting cesspool that is /pol/, 4chan’s political forum.
And exactly what kind of information flourishes on 4chan? On /pol/, users are regularly known to spread baseless, hate-fueled misinformation — like the recent deliberate misidentification of the Uvalde shooter as a transgender woman. It’s also where conspiracy theories like Pizzagate and QAnon flourished. The self-described “politically incorrect” subforum is also a hotbed of white supremacist activity and hate speech, which purportedly radicalized the gunman behind the racially motivated May 2022 mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York supermarket. Sexism and incel-driven ideology also flourish on the site. 4chan’s /b/ subforum, intended to host “random” images, is regularly flooded with images of pornography and gore — and, until the content was banned by 4chan moderators, child pornography was regularly disseminated across the site.
Carlson’s 4chan quip aired during a segment about (you guessed it) President Joe Biden’s tenuous connections to Hunter Biden’s laptop and the contents therein. The younger Biden’s laptop has developed into a certain conservative firebrand in recent years — a “but her emails!” for the post-2016 election era. Incensed by the Biden administration’s apparent support of the Chinese government — he cites the federal government declining to pursue the ban on Chinese-owned social media apps Donald Trump proposed in late 2020 and a climate pledge the U.S. and China signed late last year — Carlson seized upon the latest Hunter Biden leak to push viewers to seek out the new data.
“Whatever helps the Chinese government, Joe Biden has dutifully done,” Carlson said. “How did the Chinese government wind up with so much control over the united States president, over Joe Biden’s behavior? We’ve been mulling that for more than a year — and that’s why since, October of 2020, we’ve been on the Hunter Biden laptop story, because that seems like the key to this question.” (Carlson notes the only other media outlet to doggedly pursue the Hunter Biden laptop story is the U.K. tabloid The Daily Mail, an outlet definitely noted for its dogged pursuit of journalistic integrity and not for its long history of just blatantly making shit up. Carlson, it seems, is in good company.)
Ever the consummate journalist, however, Carlson told viewers he would not reveal the supposedly incriminating contents of this latest leak. “Now, it is real? We have no reason to believe any of these data are fabricated. We have not independently verified them. We’re not putting some of this stuff on the air — it’s salacious,” Carlson noted, suddenly revealing he’s developed a conscience. “But, it’s pretty obvious that the materials that we’ve looked at are real.”
This wouldn’t be the first time Carlson used his platform to subtly promote agents of hate speech and push bogus ideologies in the name of “patriotism” — in fact, far from it. He’s been known to push the so-called “great replacement theory” and doubled down on his connections to the racist conspiracy theory on-air shortly after the Buffalo shooting. His documentary Patriot Purge called the Jan. 6 Capitol riot a “false flag” operation and was co-written by an individual with ties to Pizzagate. Carlson is also a favorite figure of Russian state television, and he’s been caught on tape defending child rape.