Tucker Carlson’s Connection to the Buffalo Shooter

Discussion of the “Great Replacement Theory”


Sofia Bezila, Editor

In journalism, ethics has a role in how news is delivered. The expectations include an unbiased media source that focuses on the truth rather than opinion. Journalists strive to be unbiased to protect the public from unnecessary opinions that do not belong in the media. Today’s media does not reflect ethics previously respected and many news networks or papers are incredibly biased. This bias can damage the public by influencing behavior and attitudes along with spreading misinformation. 

An example of biased networks that spread exaggerated and false information includes Fox News (and more specifically their political spokesperson, Tucker Carlson). Hired in 2009, Carlson worked as a contributor for Fox News and was then promoted to being a co-host on Fox and Friends Weekends. Later in 2016, Carlson got his very own show Tucker Carlson Tonight which includes conservative political commentary and analysis. Since its beginning, this show has received lots of criticism due to Carlson’s statements (and rightfully so). 

Most recently Carlson has countersued the Buffalo shooting that took place on Saturday, May 14th, into false blame on President Joe Biden’s policies. Said to be racially motivated, this shooting took the lives of 10 African Americans who were attacked in a supermarket located in a predominantly black neighborhood. The shooter, Peyton Gendron, age 18, was strapped with tactical gear from head to toe and armed with assault weapons. Along with the gear and guns, the shooter live-streamed the attack on a streaming service called Twitch for other people to witness. 

Incredibly disturbing, the act of filming shows what little remorse the shooter had and Gendron’s manifesto reveals even more. The manifesto shows how Gendron had been planning this attack for months and had every detail figured out from what he would be wearing to the shooting’s exact location. Gendron decided to go to a location three hours away from where he lived because of its historical significance to the black community. This further supports the claim that Gendron’s attack was a hateful race-driven attempt to hurt the black community. 

Many Americans and news outlets have taken a moment to mourn these victims and discuss what may be causing the high amount of mass shootings within the past two years. Yet, Tucker Carlson has instead used this catastrophe as a promotion for the “Great Replacement Theory” and criticisms against Biden. The following are Tucker Carlson’s words as he comments on the recent mass shooting, “Because a mentally ill teenager kills strangers, you cannot be allowed to express your political views out loud. That’s what they’re telling you. That’s what they’ve wanted to tell you for a long time”. 

In the definition of the “Great Replacement Theory”, Carlson incites fear into his viewers that their voices are being taken away when in reality, no liberal politician is attempting to strip the rights of the middle-aged white man living in the middle of Colorado. 

For those who are not aware of the “Great Replacement Theory,” there are several different takes on it but it all leads to a hateful and racist outcome. One take includes more direct blame on liberal politicians who are supposedly silencing white voters to benefit minorities. Another takes includes a conspiracy theory that nonwhite individuals are being brought to the United States to “replace” white voters. This is the epitome of white supremacy and includes a false belief that in reality would never come true.

In the Buffalo shooter’s 180-page manifesto, which states his motive for his actions, the “Great Replacement Theory” is cited heavily through several different sources, one being The Daily Stormer — a website that preaches Nazi propaganda and Holocaust denial commentary. The founder of this site, Andrew Anglin, describes Tucker Carlson as “literally our greatest ally” and praises Carlson’s great-replacement commentary in 2021. There is a connection between Carlson and Gendron that cannot be denied no matter how much Carlson attempts to separate himself from the beliefs of the shooter. Just the fact that people can connect the two demonstrates the extremity of Carlson’s words because a news spokesperson should never be able to be related to a mass shooter. 

After insisting that he has no connection to Gendron, Carlson goes on to attack Democrats who brought up the fact that Carlson has been pushing the “Great Replacement Theory” for years now. Carlson states that “Within minutes of Saturday’s shooting before all of the bodies of those 10 murdered Americans had even been identified by their loved ones, professional Democrats had begun a coordinated campaign to blame those murders on their political opponents.” Instead of recognizing the awful catastrophe, Carlson brings the focus onto himself spewing nonsense that Democrats used this mass shooting as a way to coordinate an attack on Tucker Carlson himself and other incredibly racist conservatives. 

Gendron’s attack on the black community shows how the words of influential figures and media sites have a strong effect on individuals’ actions. Over the years, racist ideologies repeated continuously became a reality in some people’s minds because it is their only exposure. Tucker Carlson is one of these figures that have an incredible effect on the conservative group because of the two million viewers the network has every day. Overall, Carlson is directly responsible for the hateful ideologies that extremists spew. His words that seem innocent on the surface should be taken to heart because in plain terms Carlson preaches racist propaganda, desensitizing an entire population by normalizing extreme ideologies.