On Saturday, a former Fox News journalist proposed that law enforcement agencies should take action against Fox News and Tucker Carlson to “stop the lying.”
Carl Cameron, Fox News’ former chief political correspondent, told CNN’s Jim Acosta that Carlson has been “screaming fire in a crowded movie theater for years.”
“The fact of the matter is, if you disturb the peace by starting a riot in a movie theater, cops are going to arrest you and you might end up in jail or you might end up in something worse,” Cameron said.
“And that kind of stuff absolutely has to stop, whether it’s the antitrust bill to take down and deplatform people who lie and put out falsehoods that cause damage and violent, violent hate — there ought to be something done about it,” he continued.
Cameron was referring to Carlson’s earlier this week comments on the Buffalo shooting suspect.
According to Insider’s Connor Perrett and Kieran Press-Reynolds, police discovered a document belonging to the Buffalo shooting suspect that was rife with conspiracy theories, including the white nationalist “replacement theory,” which claims that non-white immigration is an attempt to replace the white population in the United States.
According to Cameron, Carlson embraced that premise in his coverage of the Buffalo shooting, and the US government must take action against those who promote and magnify misinformation.
“Democrats have to kick it in,” he said. “The president has to be more forceful and sooner or later the law enforcement and the US government is going to have to stop the lying because it’s causing people’s deaths.”
“It’s not just Fox, it’s social media in general,” he added. “It’s on the internet. And we have to remember that a good portion of what we read is coming from folks who aren’t Americans, pretending to be Americans in order to gaslight them even worse.”
The “great replacement” conspiracy theory — a savagely racist view of the world popularized by Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson and other far-right figures — was apparently haunting the suspect in the deadly shooting of ten people at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket on Saturday.
According to The New York Times, white American Payton S. Gendron often returned to the idea in his 180-page online manifesto that white Americans are in jeopardy of being supplanted by people of color due to immigration, interracial marriage, and finally murder. The victims of the deadly shooting were almost entirely Black.
Buffalo mass shooter talks about the incendiary theory that Tucker Carlson is constantly promoting on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News.
— Tony 🌊 #DemVoice1 (@TonyHussein4) May 15, 2022
The New York Times reports that Gendron, 18, wrote about “race replacement” and “white extermination” in his writings. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the first page had a symbol known as the sonnenrad, or black sun, which was previously used by German Nazis but has since been adopted by white nationalist neo-Nazis.
Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), who represents Buffalo, said in a CNN interview Saturday night that the mass shooting was part of a deliberate,“organized” effort to attack the minority community within an “element in our society that is blatantly racist, and they’re violent.”
Today 18 year old white supremacist, mass murderer Payton Gendron drove three hours to kill residents in a primarily black neighborhood at their local grocery store. He was encouraged by Carlson Tucker’s racist rants on Fox News. Please boycott Tucker Carlson. https://t.co/e0sRU9SBc2
— Joan Henry (@1joanhenry) May 15, 2022
He went on to say that the heinous murder “points to an intention to carry out domestic terrorism that is racially motivated. “That threat to our community in Buffalo and Western New York is a threat to the nation.”
This is a “problem that’s pervasive and growing,” he warned.
“This was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said of Gendron, who traveled some 200 miles from his home in Conklin, New York, to carry out the attack. “A straight-up racially motivated hate crime.”
If the GOP wants to talk about "Grooming": There's a direct line from Tucker Carlson to Kyle Rittenhouse to Payton Gendron. #WhiteSupremacy #DomesticTerrorism #TuckerTerrorist pic.twitter.com/hU3Z6ChSFg
— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) May 15, 2022
The “great replacement” slogan was formerly seen as a fringe concept, but it has gained traction in the mainstream thanks to politicians’ winks and explicit backing on right-wing shows like Carlson’s.
Carlson was recently branded the “No. 1 proponent” of racist ideology in an MSNBC essay, as someone who has constantly warned of “illegal” invasions and claimed that President Joe Biden wanted to “alter the ethnic composition” of the country.
Payton Gendron killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket.
Hey Repubs & Tucker Carlson,
This is what happens when you spread hate & racism.
This is what happens when you praise acts of violence.
— LA Votes Blue in GA! #DemVoice1 🌊🌎💙 (@LALewman) May 15, 2022
Carlson conducted a “dedicated push to inject the ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory… into mainstream Republican discourse,” according to Media Matters.
White supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 (and were characterized as “very beautiful people” by then-President Donald Trump) were motivated by the conspiracy. Marchers chanted, “Jews will not replace us.”
Tucker Carlson undoubtedly influences millions with his smart opinions and highest rated show in the news business, but one guy who makes no mention of him is Payton Gendron. Gendron does however depict nazi emblems of Ukraine’s Azov regiment but your media won’t tell you this.
— First Words (@unscriptedmike) May 15, 2022
Several racist mass shootings have been linked to the conspiracy, including the massacre of 20 people in an El Paso store in 2019 and 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018.
“It is the most mass-violence-inspiring idea in white supremacist circles right now,” Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism stated.
Should you read Payton Gendron's 180-page Maifesto?
— fxy 🌻 (@fxy) May 15, 2022
White supremacist ideas like the replacement theory were responsible for almost 60% of extremist murders in the United States between 2009 and 2019.
“A racially motivated hate crime is abhorrent to the very fabric of this nation,” Biden said in a statement Saturday after the shooting.
— Status Coup News (@StatusCoup) May 15, 2022
“Any act of domestic terrorism, including an act perpetrated in the name of a repugnant white nationalist ideology, is antithetical to everything we stand for in America,” he added. “Hate must have no safe harbor. We must do everything in our power to end hate-fueled domestic terrorism.”