Condemnations of “the left” resounded on the highly rated shows of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham on Monday night. The shows warned conservative viewers that they are in danger from Democrats’ reactions to the massacre.
There was not a shred of introspection about the network’s previous promotion of the so-called “great replacement” theory, a racist conspiracy theory that imagines a cabal is intentionally replacing whites with minorities and immigrants. The theory is a central component of the racist tirade that has been attributed to the Buffalo suspect.
Carlson has used “replacement” language over and over on Fox, saying “the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate,” “they’re trying to change the population,” “our country is being invaded,” etc. – and has come under heavy criticism for it.
“This is poison that is being spread by one of the largest news organizations in our country,” Schumer said.
Fox feels the heat
Even before Schumer’s letter, Fox was clearly feeling the heat. All of the network’s prime-time shows were delayed Monday night, starting with Carlson, who denounced racism and made no mention of the “great replacement” theory at all. Instead, he focused on mental illness and pronounced the suspect’s apparent rant as “crazy” but “not really political at all.”
“So what is hate speech? Well, it’s a speech our leaders hate,” Carlson said, presenting the viewers of him as victims. “So, because a mentally ill teenager murdered strangers, he can’t be allowed to voice his political views out loud. That’s what they’re telling you.”
Carlson went on to say that “racial politics is a sin” and criticized President Biden for sowing division.
The 8pm hour’s focus on “the left” allegedly trying to stifle free speech continued throughout the night. At 9 pm, Hannity’s show featured on-screen banners such as “THE LEFT’S VIOLENT RHETORIC” and “THE LEFT RUSHES TO POLITICIZE THE TRAGEDY.”
Ingraham’s framing at 10 p.m. was similar: “THEY’RE COMING FOR YOUR SPEECH,” one banner read. “MEDIA BLAMES CONSERVATIVES FOR LONE GUNMAN EVIL,” said another. “THE LEFT EXPLOITS TRAGEDY TO LIMIT FREEDOM,” read a third banner.
CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report