After an 18-year-old alleged gunman stormed a Buffalo grocery store and killed 10 people, it took the national media apparatus about two minutes to point the finger at conservative media, specifically Fox News and Tucker Carlson. The alleged shooter left an online manifesto with eerie echos of the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand and the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, spouting off about the "Great Replacement" theory (the antisemitic theory of world-controlling Jews purposely transporting large amounts of immigrants into the United States to change the racial makeup of the country).

But journalists on Twitter and national news outlets took it a step further, pointing the finger squarely at Fox News and Tucker Carlson with the sole purpose of conflating the antisemitic theory peddled online with the very real concerns of an open immigration policy that right now is causing a historic influx of migrants across the southern border, as well as human trafficking and narcotics. These concerns are shared within border communities, which themselves have seen a political demographic shift since the 2020 election, with Hispanics in these family communities turning against traditional Democratic policies.

Journalists know exactly what they are doing in conflating these two ideas, as do Democratic politicians. Putting a target on Fox News and Carlson is simply the latest subtle push at censorship. In recent weeks, corporate media have been caterwauling at the idea of looser content moderation politics on social media, and you can bet that Elon Musk and his pending deal with Twitter will be tied to the Buffalo shooting next.

Several outlets and Democratic politicians have tacitly called for stricter regulation on speech already. The West Africa bureau chief for the Washington Post tweeted, “The hate-fueling disinformation allowed to fester online played a horrific role in this massacre,” honing in on a key term already being thrown around by Biden’s newly formed governance board on online “disinformation.”

Over at the Atlantic, author Juliette Kayyem wrote, “Language alone cannot change the violent extremism that is a part of American society today, which President Joe Biden called out last night as 'hate-fueled domestic terrorism' that leads to such tragedy. Social-media platforms should be held accountable and gun laws should be more restrictive, but the wrong language has a tendency to excuse the herd.”

The shooter livestreamed the massacre using Twitch, an online streaming service used by video influencers and gamers. Twitch shut the stream down just minutes after the broadcast, but that did not stop New York Gov. Kathy Hochul from labeling Twitch “an accomplice” in the wake of the shooting. Hochul herself took her calls for censorship a step further while appearing on Meet the Press Sunday: “Yeah, I'll protect the First Amendment any day of the week. But you don't protect hate speech. You don't protect incendiary speech. You're not allowed to scream 'fire' in a crowded theater. There are limitations on speech. And right now, we have seen this run rampant.”

These comments received no pushback from host Chuck Todd, who had prompted her with the context of conservative commentators fomenting dangerous mobs of mass killers. Make no mistake that this is a growing sentiment on the political Left, and that includes the corporate media.

In the alleged shooter’s own manifesto, he slanders Fox News as being run by Jews and part of the global replacement theory conspiracy. He never mentions Tucker Carlson. He also disowns the conservative movement, labeling it corporatism, and echoes the sentiments of the far Left when it comes to eco-fascism. But none of this is useful to a media that see this as an opportunity to regain the narrative on policing speech online after having their favorite toy in Twitter taken away from them. We’ve seen moral panics like this before in Tipper Gore and the Parents Music Resource Center’s attempted takedown of heavy metal music, which they believed led to satanic ritual and murder — except this time, the main perpetrators of this are the legacy media themselves.

Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) has written for National Review, the New York Post, and Fox News and hosts the Versus Media podcast.