Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called out Fox and Tucker Carlson for spreading Great Replacement Theory.
I write to urge you to immediately cease the reckless amplification of the so-called “Great Replacement” theory on your network’s broadcasts. Proponents of this white nationalist, far-right conspiracy theory believe that a complicit or cooperative class of elites are advancing a plot designed to undermine the political power and culture of white Americans. For years, these types of beliefs have existed at the fringes of American life. However, this pernicious theory, which has no basis in fact, has been injected into the mainstream thanks in large part to a dangerous level of amplification by your network and its anchors.
A recent AP poll found that nearly one third of American adults believe that a group of people is trying to replace native-born Americans with immigrants for electoral gains. That same poll found that your viewers are nearly three times more likely to believe in Replacement Theory than other networks. This should come as no surprise given the central role these themes have played in your network’s programming in recent years. A recent New York Times investigation found that Tucker Carlson alone amplified this dangerous and unfounded theory in more than 400 episodes of his show.
I urge you to take into consideration the very real impacts of the dangerous rhetoric being broadcast on your network on a nightly basis. In 2018, a white man who killed 11 worshipers in a Pittsburgh synagogue blamed Jews for allowing immigrant “invaders” into the United States. In 2019, a white man who expressed anger over “the Hispanic invasion of Texas” killed 23 people at an El Paso Walmart and later told the police he had sought to kill Mexicans. And just days ago in Buffalo, a white man killed 10 people in a supermarket on the city’s predominantly Black east side. In a manifesto posted online, the individual responsible for this heinous murder wrote that the shoppers there came from a culture that sought to “ethnically replace my own people.”
These incidents alone, to say nothing of the many more which have occurred in recent years, have led to dozens of lives being lost and countless others irreversibly impacted. The devastation and despair that families and communities feel in the wake of these incidents cannot be overstated. For instance, my constituents in east Buffalo who will be forced to relive this tragic event every single time they visit the supermarket for a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. It is on their behalf, and on behalf of the residents of communities in Pittsburgh, El Paso, and cities around the country who bear the consequences of this hateful ideology that I write you.
While it was good to see the Wall Street Journal Editorial board write that “Politicians and media figures have an obligation to condemn…such conspiratorial notions as ‘white replacement theory’”, words of condemnation are hardly enough. To this end, I implore you to immediately cease all dissemination of false white nationalist, far-right conspiracy theories on your network.
Fox News did not pull the trigger in Buffalo, but they gave a domestic terrorist the rationale that he needed for mass murder. The right is trying to blame Rachel Maddow for mass shootings, but Chuck Schumer put the responsibility where it belongs.
If Fox continues to radicalize domestic terrorists after Schumer’s letter, the blame will be on their shoulders. When a conspiracy theory is intentionally spread 400 times on a single program, that is radicalization at work, and it is long past time for our political leaders to stop treating Fox like news.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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