Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized Fox News Tuesday, accusing the network of amplifying the so-called "Great Replacement" theory and imploring it to stop.
Schumer insisted the network has propelled a racist theory that had been relegated to the fringes of society into mainstream political discourse, naming Tucker Carlson as a key offender and blaming the amplification of the theory for the shooting in Buffalo, New York, over the weekend.
"I write to urge you to immediately cease the reckless amplification of the so-called 'Great Replacement' theory on your network's broadcasts," Schumer wrote in a letter addressed to Fox News executives and published in the New York Times. "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."
THE BUFFALO SHOOTER WAS AN ECO-SOCIALIST RACIST WHO HATED FOX NEWS AND BEN SHAPIRO
Schumer also referenced a poll from the Associated Press that found Fox News viewers were more likely to believe the fringe theory than viewers of other networks.
"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," the New York senator wrote.
In a letter to Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, Fox CEO Suzanne Scott, and Fox president Jay Wallace, Chuck Schumer says he urges Fox News to "immediately cease the reckless amplification of the so-called 'Great Replacement’ theory…" pic.twitter.com/9FbUYrMtBi— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) May 17, 2022
The Great Replacement theory is a conspiracy theory that elites in society are coordinating to replace white citizens with nonwhite people. The racist theory has received renewed attention in recent days following the Buffalo shooting on Saturday, in which 10 people were killed and three others were wounded in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo. The suspected shooter, an 18-year-old white male, allegedly penned a manifesto invoking the ideology.
Several Democrats and liberal commentators have pointed the finger at Fox News, accusing the network and Carlson of pushing the theory. When asked for comment, Fox News directed the Washington Examiner to Carlson's response on his show, in which he blasted the shooter as "racist, bitterly so" and called for a renewed focus on the victims.
“There is only one answer to rising racial tension, and that is to de-escalate and do what we have done and tried to do for hundreds of years, which is work toward colorblind meritocracy, and treat people as human beings created by God, rather than as faceless members of interest groups that might benefit some political party or other. We have a moral duty to do this because all people have equal moral value, no matter what they look like. All lives matter. Period," Carlson responded on his show to the allegations.
Schumer's sharp-worded approach to the Buffalo shooting contrasts with the Biden administration's approach. Earlier Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said she was not going to name and shame people who spread the theory because they "know who they are" and that she was not going to give them the "attention that they desperately want."
Notably, the suspected Buffalo shooter had also described himself as an "ethno-nationalist eco-fascist national socialist" and had written critically of conservatism.
"Ask yourself, truly, what has modern conservatism managed to conserve?" the shooter wrote. "Not a thing has been conserved other than corporate profits and the ever-increasing wealth of the 1% that exploit the people for their own benefit. Conservatism is dead. Thank god. Now let us bury it and move on to something of worth."
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A shooter opened fire in a predominantly black neighborhood of upstate New York on Saturday, killing 10 and wounding three. Payton Gendron, a white man accused of being the shooter, was "racially motivated," officials said.