Tucker Carlson addressed the Buffalo mass shooting Monday night, asserting that his critics are off base in connecting views put forth on his Fox show to the suspected gunman. The alleged shooter wrote of "replacement theory" in a 180-page racist screed, and Carlson has frequently raised the subject in some form—generally the idea that people of color, including immigrants, will "replace" white people in US society.
- “What he wrote does not add up to a manifesto,” Carlson said, per the Washington Post. (See a clip.) It's "a rambling pastiche of slogans and Internet memes, some of which flatly contradict one another,” he said. “The document is not recognizably left-wing or right-wing; it’s not really political at all. The document is crazy" and the product of a "diseased" mind. (Graeme Wood at the Atlantic, who had read it, has a similar assessment of the "pathetic" and "repulsive" document.)
- “So what is hate speech?" asked Carlson. "Well, it’s speech that our leaders hate. So because a mentally ill teenager murdered strangers, you cannot be allowed to express your political views out loud. That’s what they’re telling you. That’s what they’ve wanted to tell you for a long time, but Saturday’s massacre gives them a pretext, a justification.”
- Schumer, Durbin: Earlier Monday, Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called replacement theory "a poison being spread by one of the largest news organizations in the country," per Insider. He repeated the assertion, made in a New York Times analysis of Carlson's show, that the host had raised the subject more than 400 times and called on Fox to "stop spreading" the idea. “Ten people died in Buffalo," said Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin. "Will Tucker Carlson take 10 minutes to say he’s sorry for any role he might have played in that outcome? We’ll see.”
- Colbert, Meyers: Carlson also took a drubbing from late-night hosts Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert, reports the New York Times. "When a cable news host opens his show with a red-faced rant about white people being replaced, that’s considered a typical episode of that show—routine and typical," said Meyers, who called the theory "racist, dangerous, and dehumanizing," not to mention "incredibly stupid." Said Colbert: "Now, that doesn’t mean Tucker’s responsible, but I would hope it would give anyone pause to find out that their browser history matches that of a mass murderer."
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