The racist ideology known as “Replacement Theory” was apparently at the center of the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo over the weekend. Subsequently, critics are calling out Fox News and specifically its star pundit Tucker Carlson for frequently inviting guests and focusing on topics related to it.
“Replacement Theory” is the racist, anti-immigrant, anti-modernity conspiracy theory gaining popularity among the American right, including members of the Republican party. It suggests that liberal politicians, particularly in the Democratic party, are part of a plot to replace ‘real,’ by which they mean, white Americans with minorities and especially immigrants. On Saturday, 10 people were killed and 3 others injured, 11 of the dead Black, and the suspect, Payton Gendron, wrote a manifesto expressing support for the ideology.
The New York Times has found that Fox News frequently features guests who espouse this ideology, and specifically that Tucker Carlson has devoted at least 400 — yes, that’s four hundred — episodes of his Fox News show to related topics. The Times’ reporting includes dozens of recordings proving beyond doubt that this is precisely what occurred on his show.
Of course it should be noted that Carlson consistently denies he is racist and insists he isn’t advocating for racist outcomes; he indisputably has also featured discussions of demographic “replacement” at least 400 times.
As a result, Fox and Carlson specifically have come under fire by critics who argue they bear some responsibility for the Buffalo shootings and other mass-murder events inspired by “replacement theory.”
Celebrities have criticized Carlson for his involvement in stoking the fear of replacement, including actor-director Ken Olin, who tweeted twice, calling on the Fox News anchor to “repudiate replacement theory” and “denounce the violence.”
Comedian Noel Casler called for a behind the scenes look at how Carlson’s most recent show was made.
Media figures are also calling Carlson out. Joy Reid, for instance via Mediaite, said “no one has done more” than Carlson to elevate the ideology.
Other media-based critics include CNN’s Jim Acosta:
And Katie Couric, who shared the NY Times’ reporting.