Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday attempted to distance himself from the white supremacist ‘great replacement’ theory he’s peddled on his prime-time show for years, before launching into a long rant about Democratic conspiracies to encourage immigration to win elections, a key tenet of the conspiracy idea.
Carlson opened his program on Tuesday by exposing the 18-year-old suspect accused of killing 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York last week. The man, Payton Gendron, is accused of targeting the store, which is in a predominantly black neighborhood, after posting a 180-page screed online featuring racist and white supremacist tropes. The document refers to extreme versions of what is called the “replacement theory,” which baselessly claims that powerful Democrats and others are plotting to replace white Americans with people of color through policies of ‘immigration.
Carlson spent years pushing the idea, and a New York Times investigation found he had promoted it in more than 400 episodes of his show since joining the prime-time lineup of Fox News in 2016.
But Carlson said Tuesday he still didn’t know what the conspiracy theory was.
“You’ve heard a lot about the big replacement theory lately, it’s everywhere…we still don’t know exactly what it is,” the host said Tuesday. He quickly pivoted to accuse Democrats of touting immigration as a way to secure election victories. “Here’s what we know for a fact: There’s a strong political component to the Democrats’ immigration theory. We know this because they’ve said it… They’re saying out loud, ‘We do this because it helps us win the elections”.
“The Democratic Party has decided that rather than convincing you who were born here that their policies help you and make the country better and stronger, they will change the electorate,” Carlson continued, adding that Democrats “matter ” people. who would vote for them.
The comments build on the host’s claim on Monday that Democrats — namely President Joe Biden — are using the Buffalo Massacre to deny Americans their First Amendment right to free speech.
Democrats have directly pointed the finger at Carlson in recent days for his role in promoting the replacement big idea. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) called on Fox News management to stop amplifying the racist idea, saying it was “reckless.”
“In a loose pursuit of viewership and ratings, organizations like Fox News have spent years perfecting the art of stoking cultural grievances and political resentment that eerily mirror the messages found in replacement theory,” said Schumer told the Senate on Monday.