May 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Schumer: Fox News must stop "reckless amplification" of replacement theory

Chuck Schumer

Chuck Scumer. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Fox News executives must "immediately cease the reckless amplification of the so-called 'great replacement' theory" on the network's broadcasts, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote in a letter published by the New York Times on Tuesday.

Driving the news: Schumer's letter comes after a mass shooting in a Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, killed 10 people.

  • The suspect, an 18-year-old white man, allegedly authored a 180-page screed that laid out plans to attack Black people and repeatedly cited the so-called "great replacement" theory.

What they're saying: "For years, these types of beliefs have existed at the fringes of American life," Schumer wrote in the letter, addressed to Fox proprietor Rupert Murdoch and other Fox News executives.

  • "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."
  • Schumer cited a recent AP poll which found that Fox News viewers are three times more likely to believe in the great replacement theory than viewers of other networks.

Worth noting: Asked during a press gaggle Tuesday why the Biden administration had not called out members of the Republican party and media who have amplified replacement theory, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said those people "know who they are and they should be ashamed of themselves."

  • "But I'm not going to give them ... or their noxious ideas they're pushing, the attention that they desperately want," she added.

The bottom line: "I urge you to take into consideration the very real impacts of the dangerous rhetoric being broadcast on your network on a nightly basis," Schumer wrote.

  • "I implore you to immediately cease all dissemination of false white nationalist, far-right conspiracy theories on your network."

Schumer later tweeted that Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson had invited him on his show Tuesday night to debate the letter, but that he declined the invitation. "Tucker Carlson needs to stop promoting the racist, dangerous ‘Replacement Theory,'" he wrote.

Editor's note: This post was updated to include that Schumer tweeted he was invited to Tucker Carlson's show.

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