During the 16 May episode of The Late Show, Colbert addressed the recent shooting in a Buffalo, New York grocery store that left 10 dead. The alleged shooter reportedly used rhetoric consistent with the ‘Great Replacement’ conspiracy theory in an online screed laying out his reasoning for the attack.
The conspiracy theory suggests that Democrats are attempting to supplant white Americans with Hispanic immigrants and other people of colour to alter the composition of the US electorate.
“So where does anyone get an idea that monstrous?” Colbert asked. “It used to be only from the farthest right-wing fringe organisations – your Stormfronts, your neo-Nazis.”
He added: “But these days, you can see it every night on TV, thanks to Fox News host and deer caught masturbating in the headlights Tucker Carlson.”
According to a New York Times report quoted by Colbert, replacement theory has been a “central theme” of Carlson’s show since its 2016 debut. His producers “scoured” material for the programme “from the same dark corners of the internet” that the alleged Buffalo shooter did.
Colbert stopped short of blaming Carlson – “that doesn’t mean Tucker’s responsible for what happened” – instead encouraging the right-wing host to reconsider his online consumption.
“If I found out that [serial killer] Jeffrey Dahmer was really into The Lord of the Rings, I might switch over to the Narnia stuff,” Colbert quipped.
John Legend, Seth Meyers, and CNN contributor Ana Navarro have also called out Tucker Carlson in recent days.