White nationalists thank Tucker Carlson for mainstreaming their “great replacement” conspiracy theory following Buffalo massacre

American Renaissance, VDare, David Duke praise “heroic,” “incredible” Fox star for making their message “the new Republican consensus”

Tucker Klan hat

Citation Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Fox News host Tucker Carlson is drawing praise from white nationalist outlets for mainstreaming their “great replacement” conspiracy theory after a white supremacist allegedly killed 10 people in Buffalo, New York, in a massacre apparently inspired by it. The Fox star has drawn compliments from the notorious former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and been toasted by racist outlets like VDare and American Renaissance for bringing their message to his millions of viewers. 

Carlson emerged over the last several years as the nation’s most prominent champion of the white supremacist “great replacement” conspiracy theory, which posits that a sinister elite cabal (often led by Jews) is trying to destroy the white race by using immigration policy to replace white Americans with nonwhite migrants. The Fox host kept the conspiracy theory’s superstructure intact while sanitizing it for mass consumption by swapping out key terms: Carlson describes “the great replacement” as a plot by President Joe Biden, the Democratic Party, and the Jewish financier George Soros to ensure permanent political dominance and destroy the country by using immigration policy to replace “legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries.” 

Both iterations are utterly false, with Carlson’s based on his typical practice of stripping videos of Democrats from context and lying about what they said. But Carlson’s bosses, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, have stood by him as his bigoted commentary drew controversy, with Lachlan at one point even claiming that the host had actually “rejected replacement theory” – a lie that Carlson correctly took as a green light to continue. 

White nationalists, who praised Carlson’s show almost since its launch in 2016 and described him as “literally our greatest ally,” have lauded Carlson’s repackaging of replacement theory. They point out that the Fox host is bringing their precepts to a huge national audience, and indeed, several of Carlson’s colleagues and many Republican politicians have followed his lead, integrating the white supremacist conspiracy theory into right-wing dogma

Carlson’s role promoting the “great replacement” theory drew new attention following the Buffalo mass shooting, but he and his employer remain undeterred. Carlson and his colleagues lashed out at the network’s critics, while his allies tried to draw distinctions between the purportedly non-racist version of great replacement theory he uses and its white supremacist source material.

Carlson, his supporters, and the Murdochs may play dumb about what the host is doing when he invokes “the great replacement.” But white nationalists understand that he is injecting their ideas into the heart of the Republican Party by airing their talking points in a more palatable, less explicitly racist form for a mass audience. 

Duke: “Incredible” Carlson is “the only voice that gets out some of the information” but he “can't say there is a war on white people”

Duke highlighted Carlson’s “incredible” May 17 monologue, in which the Fox host again promoted the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, on his radio show the following day. 

“I like Tucker Carlson,” Duke later added. “I'm thankful for many of the things that he says. I also disagree with him on a number of points, but I think overall, he's the only voice that gets out some of the information at all.”

David Duke on Tucker Carlson and Great Replacement Theory

Audio file

Citation From the May 18, 2022, edition of David Duke's podcast

The former Klansman – who has previously suggested that Carlson is using his own talking points in discussing “the replacement of legacy Americans” – went on to explain that Carlson puts forward the same ideas as white supremacists like him but “can’t really say it” using the same words.

“He himself is reluctant to use the word ‘white’ unless he quotes other people saying ‘white.’ You can talk about – we can talk about a ‘demographic war.’ But he can't really say it like we can,” Duke said of Carlson. “He can't say there is a war on white people, and there is – there is a war against the white race.”

Duke also bemoaned that Carlson never spells out what Duke claimed is the common thread between “people he mentions like” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the heads of social media giants, and the “neocons that bring us into these terrible wars” (for Duke, a virulent antisemite who was in the middle of an anti-Jewish rant, the key commonality is obviously that they are all Jews).

White nationalists at VDare.com and American Renaissance have also celebrated Carlson’s crucial role in spreading their message to Republican politicians and voters, and have praised everyone involved in mainstreaming their vile idea for refusing to buckle under criticism from Democrats and the press.

VDare.com: Carlson is “heroic,” helped take “great replacement” from “fringes of the right” to “Republican consensus”

Peter Brimelow, the white nationalist founder and editor of VDare.com, wrote in a May 16 piece for his virulent anti-immigrant site that the alleged Buffalo shooter (whose actions Brimelow says he deplores) was motivated by “serious racial concerns.” Brimelow goes on to state that “the Great Replacement is not a ‘theory’—it is a fact.”

“The Ruling Class’s problem is not that guerrilla Dissident Right websites, and the heroic Tucker Carlson, have Noticed the Great Replacement,” the sometime Murdoch employee wrote. “It is that the Great Replacement is undeniably happening—and that it is the result of Federal Government policy.”

Carlson’s role drew a more detailed analysis in a Sunday VDare.com piece by Washington Watcher II, a pseudonymous “DC insider” who writes for the site and whose thesis is that “great replacement” rhetoric is now rampant throughout the Republican Party, thanks in part to Carlson.

Washington Watcher II wrote that Schumer and other Democrats are using the shooting to criticize the “great replacement” conspiracy theory and Carlson, who “talks about it regularly and influences Republican politicians.” But to the writer, that effort is doomed because “great replacement” is “not a fringe idea anymore, but instead part of mainstream discussion in GOP circles.” 

After listing prominent Republicans who have used “great replacement” rhetoric, the writer credited Fox’s star host: “Ordinary Republicans—possibly and partly because of Carlson—believe the Great Replacement is real.”

Washington Watcher II praised Carlson and Republican leaders for “showing some backbone” following criticism from Democrats and the press, adding, “Several conservatives defend Carlson and others and say the Great Replacement is an obvious truth. … And many of the major figures accused of spreading this ‘dangerous’ theory—Carlson, [Ohio GOP Senate nominee J.D.] Vance, [Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake] Masters, and [Texas Lt. Gov. Dan] Patrick—stayed on message through the last week.”

The VDare.com piece concluded: “The Great Replacement is no longer an idea consigned to the fringes of the right. It’s part of the new Republican consensus on border security and immigration. As well it should be. Maybe the Historic American Nation stands a chance, after all.”

The piece featured this graphic:

VDARE graphic showing Carlson and the great replacement

American Renaissance: Progressives don’t want Carlson to “inspire young whites to resist replacement”

Carlson also drew plaudits from writers at American Renaissance, another prominent white nationalist website, following the Buffalo shooting. 

In a May 19 screed, D.F. Mulder responded to critics of the Fox host by vouching for Carlson’s non-racist credentials and suggesting that those critics want to thwart his ability to “inspire young whites” to take action against their purported replacement.

“Tucker Carlson carefully avoids anything racist. He denounces racism and insists that he judges individuals by their character,” Mulder wrote, adding that “America’s ruling class” is made up of “anti-white zealots.”

“The regime opposes Mr. Carlson, not because he is a ‘racist,’ but because he thwarts their plans. It cannot show that he has said anything probably untrue,” including about “replacement theory,” Mulder added. “The power structure’s opposition to Mr. Carlson is not about truth. It is about the effects of his words, which might inspire young whites to resist replacement rather than disappearing quietly.”

Mulder concluded that in the face of this “ruling class”: “Anyone with any virtue will resist. Some will protest with money, others with pens, and still others — alas, but inevitably — with guns. Resistance is inevitable.”

“Gregory Hood” similarly wrote in a May 18 piece for the site that “the greatest threats to European-Americans are people within our borders” and that “The Great Replacement” is occurring. He praised National Review editor Rich Lowry for defending Carlson’s version of replacement theory and warned that progressives “want more censorship, especially of Tucker Carlson.”

“Hood” further wrote that “leftists … openly celebrate The Great Replacement of whites,” which he suggests is a genocide, and demands that conservatives “fight it.” He concluded: “Whites deserve political representation and legal equality in the country we built. If we don’t get it, we can expect no place in this country. We need to start building a place of our own.” 

The Southern Poverty Law Center reported in 2020 that “Gregory Hood” is a pseudonym for Kevin DeAnna, described as a “prolific white nationalist blogger” and “an early leader and ideological architect of the alt-right” who helped pioneer the insult “cuckservative.” 

DeAenna’s piece about the Buffalo massacre is subtitled “Republicans need allies. They need us.”

Screenshot of American Renaissance website