Fox News was called out after it wasted no time linking a mass shooting in Buffalo to "realistic" video games.
On Sunday May 15, the day after the shooting, Jon Scott, the host of Fox Report, was joined by former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) special agent Bernard Zapor and the two men proceeded to downplay calls for stricter gun control measures.
The shooting, they reasoned, could only have been caused by one thing in particular: video games. They said that video games have "desensitized" people to actual violence–suggesting that they make killing multiple people in a shooting a more attractive endeavor.
You can hear what they said in the video below.
The exchange began with Scott suggesting to Zapor that mass shootings "have gotten so much worse since video games became so realistic and so violent" and asked whether Zapor has done any "research" into the matter.
"We're communicating through a medium that was never really intended as a human being, which is online or through texting or these kind of things, we get separated as humans to have that connection that builds, I would say, an inner morality."
Zapor went on to add that traditional meeting grounds like churches have become less popular and that families have become more "disconnected," adding that large venues and shopping malls can take precautions to guard themselves from other mass shootings, which he referred to as "rare events."
According to an updated resolution from the American Psychological Association (APA), there is "insufficient evidence" to suggest that "a causal link between violent video games and violent behavior" exists.
Many have criticized Fox News since the segment aired.
Missing from Fox News' analysis of the shooting is the fact that the shooter—who is reported to have written a 180-page manifesto released prior to the attack—subscribed to the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory often touted by Fox News personality Tucker Carlson.
Replacement theory is a conspiracy theory that states White European populations and their descendants are being demographically and culturally replaced with non-European peoples.
Carlson has been accused of using his program to stoke resentment against people of color and a recent New York Timesseries noted he has "constructed what may be the most racist show in the history of cable news."
Critics of Carlson pointed out he has pushed numerous racist conspiracy theories on his program, including replacement theory. He has often railed against liberal immigration policies, providing an enormous platform for White nationalist rhetoric.