Condemnations of the “left” reverberated Monday night on the highly regarded shows of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. The shows warned conservative viewers that they are at risk from Democrats’ reactions to the massacre.
There was no trace of introspection about the network’s earlier promotion of the so-called “great replacement theory,” a racist conspiracy theory that assumes a cabal is deliberately replacing whites with minorities and immigrants. The theory is a central part of the racist screed attributed to the Buffalo suspect.
Carlson has used “substitute” language over and over on Fox, saying “the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate,” “they are trying to change the population,” “our country is being invaded,” and so on. — and he’s been sharply criticized for it.
“This is a poison being distributed 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 rolled back Monday night, starting with Carlson denouncing racism and not calling it a “great replacement theory” at all. Focusing instead on mental illness, he pronounced the suspect’s apparent screed as “crazy” but “not really political at all.”
“So what is hate speech? Well, it’s language our leaders hate,” Carlson said, portraying his viewers as the victims. “So because a mentally ill teen has murdered strangers, don’t express your political views out loud. That’s what they tell you.”
Carlson went on to say that “racial politics is a sin” and accused President Biden of divisive.
The eighth hour’s focus on the “left” who supposedly tried to suppress free speech continued all night. At 9 p.m., Hannity’s show was featured with on-screen banners such as “THE LEFT’S VIOLENT RHETORIC” and “THE LEFT RUSHES TO POLITICIZE TRAGEDY”.
Ingraham’s framing at 10 p.m. was similar: “THEY COMING FOR YOUR SPEECH,” one banner said. “MEDIA IMPEACHES CONSERVATIVES FOR LONE GUNMAN’S EVIL,” said another. “LINKS EXPLORE TRAGEDIES TO RESTRICT FREEDOMS,” said a third banner.
Manu Raju of CNN contributed to this report