MSNBC hosts blame Tucker Carlson and Fox News for elevating 'racist conspiracy theory' following Buffalo mass shooting

·3 min read

On Monday's The ReidOut, MSNBC’s Joy Reid joined the chorus of people calling out Fox News, specifically opinion host Tucker Carlson, following a mass shooting in a Black area of Buffalo, N.Y., over the weekend that left 10 people dead. In a lengthy screed, the alleged shooter repeatedly cited the “great replacement theory,” a racist conspiracy that claims that white people in the U.S. are being replaced by people of color. Congressional Republicans and right-wing pundits regularly go on Fox and claim that Democrats are purposely bringing people of color into the country, changing the demographic makeup for political gain, and no one has pushed this line of thought more than Carlson. So much so that former leader of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke has praised Carlson for pushing the conspiracy.

“No singular voice in right-wing media has done more to elevate this racist conspiracy theory than Tucker,” Reid said, “who even with a new head writer spends night after primetime night injecting the rot from the dregs of the Internet directly into the veins of Republican voters.”

Reid referenced Carlson’s new head writer because the old one resigned after racist and sexist online activity came to light. She went on to play a mashup of clips in which Carlson pushes the conspiracy before adding, “The reality is, Tucker’s not some deep thinker. He’s clearly just channeling the gross stuff his viewers could easily find online, then feeding it to Republican voters and Republican politicians as infotainment. And that feedback loop has terrifying reach.”

They will stop the moment Rupert Murdoch tells them to stop.Lawrence O'Donnell

Reid then highlighted an excerpt from the alleged shooter’s manifesto, in which, he used very similar language to what Carlson has used in the past regarding diversity.

“In his racist manifesto, which reads like a bad term paper by the way,” Reid said, “the Buffalo shooter asked, ‘Why is diversity said to be our greatest strength? Does anyone bother to ask why?’ OK, remember that now? Now listen to this from a 2018 Tucker Carlson segment. Just asking questions.” She then played a clip of Carlson saying, “How precisely is diversity our strength? Since you’ve made this our new national motto, please be specific as you explain it.”

On The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell later in the night, O’Donnell took it a step further and put the blame squarely on Fox founder Rupert Murdoch.

“They will stop the moment Rupert Murdoch tells them to stop. It’s as simple as that,” O’Donnell said. “Every minute spent talking about the TV hosts on Fox, is a minute that hides the true villain of the piece. Rupert Murdoch is the billionaire puppeteer. In 1995, when Rupert Murdoch was planning to create a cable news channel, he had never heard of any of the people who are now his most prominent hosts. But Rupert Murdoch knew what he wanted Fox to do from day one, and Fox has always done and said exactly what Rupert Murdoch wants.”

The “replacement theory” conspiracy has been cited in multiple mass shootings in recent years, leading O’Donnell to levy a hefty accusation at Murdoch.

“White supremacists, mass murderers in this country who take encouragement from Fox want to, among other things, stop immigration to this country, as does Fox,” O’Donnell said, “a company owned and operated by an immigrant who has done more damage to this country in the 21st century than any immigrant in the world has done to any other country in the 21st century.”

The ReidOut airs weeknights at 7 p.m. on MSNBC.

The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell airs weeknights at 10 p.m. on MSNBC.

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