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.
Fox host: It seems like these [shootings] have gotten so much worse since video games became so realistic and so violentpic.twitter.com/wil6FRPoir— nikki mccann ram\u00edrez (@nikki mccann ram\u00edrez) 1652655640
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.
The same games are sold around the world! You don't see this crap in other countries.https://twitter.com/NikkiMcR/status/1525974474234990594\u00a0\u2026— Ray (@Ray) 1652724890
They have the shooter's manifesto, which literally reads like a Fox News script, and yet Fox News is linking the shooting to video game violence, where no empirical link has been established.https://twitter.com/NikkiMcR/status/1525974474234990594\u00a0\u2026— David Pakman (@David Pakman) 1652704950
How come whenever it's a white person they say it's "video games", but when it's a person of color it's "rap, drugs, gang violence, ___ culture, etc"??https://twitter.com/NikkiMcR/status/1525974474234990594\u00a0\u2026— \ud835\udd6f\ud835\udd86\ud835\udd97\ud835\udd90, \ud835\udd71\ud835\udd86\ud835\udd91\ud835\udd91\ud835\udd89\ud835\udd94\ud835\udd9c\ud835\udd93 \ud835\udd78\ud835\udd94\ud835\udd89\ud835\udd8a \ud808\ude6d (@\ud835\udd6f\ud835\udd86\ud835\udd97\ud835\udd90, \ud835\udd71\ud835\udd86\ud835\udd91\ud835\udd91\ud835\udd89\ud835\udd94\ud835\udd9c\ud835\udd93 \ud835\udd78\ud835\udd94\ud835\udd89\ud835\udd8a \ud808\ude6d) 1652687221
The shooter at one point quite literally comes across a white cashier, points a gun (which has the \u201cN\u201d word prominently displayed) at him, and then says \u201coh sorry\u201d, and proceeds to kill other non-white people. But sure, I\u2019m certain video games had something to do with this.https://twitter.com/nikkimcr/status/1525974474234990594\u00a0\u2026— Tentin Quarantino (@Tentin Quarantino) 1652703743
Yea because we are the only country with video games, you idiothttps://twitter.com/nikkimcr/status/1525974474234990594\u00a0\u2026— \ud83d\udc99RESISTER~PERSISTER\ud83d\udc99 (@\ud83d\udc99RESISTER~PERSISTER\ud83d\udc99) 1652716901
Maybe these shootings got worse since Fox radicalized so many white men into white nationalists and armed them with assault rifles?https://twitter.com/NikkiMcR/status/1525974474234990594\u00a0\u2026— John Oberlin (@John Oberlin) 1652719036
I'm old enough to remember when they used this excuse for Mortal Kombat and Doom.https://twitter.com/NikkiMcR/status/1525974474234990594\u00a0\u2026— Ryan Malis (@Ryan Malis) 1652728840
I\u2019ve played gay dating sims and I have yet to get a boyfriend. What\u2019s your point?https://twitter.com/nikkimcr/status/1525974474234990594\u00a0\u2026— Nathan (Pro Jelqer) (@Nathan (Pro Jelqer)) 1652731527
Oh good, we\u2019re back to blaming video games. \n\nThat\u2019s some impressive gaslightinghttps://twitter.com/nikkimcr/status/1525974474234990594\u00a0\u2026— Angry Staffer \ud83c\udf3b (@Angry Staffer \ud83c\udf3b) 1652701698
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 Times series 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.