Tucker Carlson responded to the Buffalo shooting, committed by a white supremacist acting out Carlson’s own rhetoric, by throwing up everything he could think of to dishonestly distance himself from the racial murders and then taking the extra step of exploiting the tragedy for more incendiary hate mongering.
Carlson tries to downplay the Buffalo racial massacre
CARLSON: There was a horrifying, we're sad to tell you, a horrifying amount of violence in the United States over the weekend, as increasingly there is. Over just two days, at least 104 Americans were shot to death in major American cities. That's a lot.
How many? Well, for perspective on the single deadliest day of the Iraq war, that would be January of 2005, a total of 37 Americans died. So what's happening in our cities right now looks a lot like a war, even if we rarely acknowledged it.
Dallas, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, many other metro areas recorded murders over the weekend. That's typical now. In St. Louis, 13 people were shot, five of them fatally. In Chicago, 33 were gunned down, five of those died.
In Laguna Woods, California, a Chinese immigrant from Las Vegas walked into a Presbyterian Church and shot six elderly Taiwanese parishioners. Police say he was motivated by some kind of political and ethnic hatred.
And of course, most famously of all, on Saturday afternoon, a teenager in a mock military uniform, walked into a grocery store in Buffalo and shot more than a dozen strangers with a rifle. No doubt you've seen accounts of this on the news.
Carlson pretends to care about the Black victims in Buffalo
Not surprisingly, Carlson’s “sympathy” for the victims were little more than a pretext for more hate mongering:
CARLSON: What you probably haven't seen are details about any of the 10 Americans who were murdered in that store in Buffalo. You may not even know their names, much less who they were or who they loved.
Most of them were Black. We know that. But beyond the way they look, not a lot has been reported about them, because the coverage hasn't been about them. Nor in fact has it really been about the gunman. He was an 18-year- old called Payton Gendron.
Gendron was mentally ill. Everyone around him knew that including his teachers and the local police. Less than a year ago, Gendron was committed to a mental hospital after threatening to murder his classmates at a school graduation ceremony.
Yet Carlson spent not a moment more of this 9:21 commentary talking about the victims. While accusing others of ignoring them, he never mentioned anything further about them.
Carlson pretends Buffalo shooter was not a racist soulmate
CARLSON: So on Saturday, after he made good on his longstanding threat to open fire into a crowd, Gendron left an 180-page letter that he said would explain his motives. You've probably heard this document described as a racist manifesto, but that's not quite right. It's definitely racist, bitterly so. Gendron reduces people to their skin color. That's the essence of racism and it is immoral.
But what he wrote does not add up to a manifesto. It is not a blueprint for new extremist political movement, much less the potential inspiration for a racist revolution. Anyone who claims that it is, is lying or hasn't read it.
Instead, [alleged shooter Payton] Gendron's letter is a rambling pastiche of slogans and internet meme, some of which flatly contradict one another. The document is not recognizably left-wing or right-wing, it's not really political at all. The document is crazy. It's the product of a diseased and organized mind.
At one point, Gendron suggests that FOX News is part of some global conspiracy against him. He writes like the mental patient he is, disjointed, irrational, paranoid.
Now that's true, not that it makes the atrocities he committed easier to bear. If your daughter was murdered on Saturday in Buffalo, you wouldn't care why the killer did it or who we voted for.
Actually, I’ll bet the families of the Buffalo victims care a lot about why the killer did it. But again, even that bit of phony compassion went no further.
Tucker Carlson has a long history of promoting violent, white supremacist rhetoric
Let’s be clear: Tucker Carlson’s stock-in-trade is incendiary hate mongering, especially of the white supremacist variety – and he does so with the explicit approval of Lachlan Murdoch and at least the implicit approval of Rupert Murdoch and the rest of the Fox News honchos.
Yesterday, I posted a Media Matters video showing Carlson not just promoting the same “great replacement” white supremacy tenet as Gendron but deliberately hyping violence as a necessary response. For example, Carlson “just asks” such questions as “How long before Americans start to take border enforcement into their own hands?” and “Why are we putting up with this?”
I included this paragraph from Media Matters, which provides an excellent summary of Carlson’s incendiary tactics.
Carlson frequently works to instill fear in his audience by asserting that Democrats will turn to violence or coercion against dissidents, a trope often used by fascists. The idea here seems to be turning his audience into an angry mob, as he repeatedly asserts that viewers may need to take the law into their own hands for their own safety. By consistently repeating this rhetoric, Carlson undoubtedly pushes some viewers to real-world violence.
Carlson has also celebrated the vigilante violence of Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot and killed Black Lives Matter protesters. Carlson specifically cast his approval of the vigilantism in not-very-thinly-veiled racial terms.
Carlson comes close to promoting Neo-Nazi “accelerationism”
Carlson is many, many awful things but he is not stupid. He surely knows that white supremacists are a good part of his base. Vox explains how the Buffalo shooting is the Neo-Nazi strategy for combatting the “great replacement.”
The weekend’s mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, was not merely a random act of hate. It was the product of a violent strategy, formulated in obscure neo-Nazi magazines and disseminated on the internet’s darkest corners, that aims to bring about the destruction of American society.
This idea is called “accelerationism,” and violent white supremacists like the Buffalo shooter see it as their best chance to stop the so-called “Great Replacement”: the notion that the West’s white population is being “replaced” with nonwhites, a deliberate demographic shift often blamed on Jewish cabals. Accelerationists believe that race and ethnicity create inherent divisions within Western societies, which individual acts of violence can inflame. The idea is to “accelerate” the crackup of Western governments — and bring on a race war that culminates in white victory.
Sound familiar? It does to me. If not to you, read on.
Carlson tried to deflect blame for the massacre by suggesting viewers target Democrats
It takes a special breed of hate monger to blame Democrats for the exact kind of violence that you stoke, but F***er Tucker was up to the job. He said, “the truth about Payton Gendron does tell you a lot about the ruthlessness and dishonesty of our political leadership.” Project much, Tuckums? His next words ruthlessly and dishonestly suggested that Democrats are a bigger enemy to this country than Gendron (or his violent racism):
CARLSON: 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. “They did it,” they said immediately.
“Payton Gendron was the heir to Donald Trump,” they told us. “Trumpism committed mass murder in Buffalo.” And for that reason it followed logically, we must suspend the First Amendment.
Carlson used as one example a clip of New York’s Democratic governor, Kathy Hochul, saying, “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.”
CARLSON: So what is hate speech? Well, it’s speech that our leaders hate. So because a mentally ill teenager murdered 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. But Saturday’s massacre gives any pretext to justification.
You have to ask yourself, who behaves like that? What sort of person uses mass murder as an excuse to give a campaign speech or seize more political power? We’ll find out tomorrow when Joe Biden travels to the scene of this atrocity in Buffalo to speak to the country. We haven’t seen an advanced copy of his remarks, but we can guess what we will hear.
People who disagree with Joe Biden, according to Joe Biden, are now a, quote, “existential threat to the nation,” like al-Qaeda or climate change, a threat that by definition is so profound, we must declare war upon it if we are to survive.
Now, keep in mind, this threat that Biden is referring to, is you. He is talking about his fellow Americans. No president has ever spoken like this, ever. Joe Biden does it regularly and he is certain to do it again tomorrow.
But most painful and destructive at all, Biden is likely to use racial wounds in order to make his point.
There is no behavior worse than this. All race politics is bad no matter what flavor those politics happen to be. No race politics is better than any other. All of it is poison.
Carlson pretends he’s an anti-racist
I have no words for Carlson’s final bit of racial hate mongering and dishonesty.
CARLSON: Race politics subsumes the individual into the group. It erases people, it dehumanizes them. Race politics elevates appearance over initiative and decency. And all the other God-given qualities, it makes every person of every color unique, yet morally equal to every other person.
And above all, race politics always makes us hate each other, and always in a very predictable way. …
Race politics is a sin. Race politics always leads to violence and death. They learned that lesson in Rwanda in 1994. Identity politics ended in genocide in Rwanda that killed 800,000 people.
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 has 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. That's not the determination of the U.S. government, that's the determination of God and it is true. And most Americans already believe it.
They would like to see a return to the American way of life and the American way of life is meritocracy, judge me by what I do, not by how I look, by the content of my character, not the color of my skin. We have a monument on The Mall to this.
And yet suddenly, every voice in power is leading us in the opposite direction. And what's the terminus of that journey? Its destruction.
Everybody knows this. Only our leaders stand in the way of fixing a problem that is growing worse by the day.
I apologize for the length of this post but I want to create a record of how, when he could have redeemed himself, Carlson did the exact opposite. It will also be helpful in the future when Carlson reverts to his blatant white supremacy and its accompanying inciting rhetoric again.
You can watch Carlson pretend he doesn’t promote white supremacy and white supremacist violence below, from the May 16, 2022 Tucker Carlson Tonight.