In February House Squeaker Kevin McCarthy announced that he would give 41,000 hours of raw video of the January 6th insurrection to the malicious liar and shameless sham artist, Tucker Carlson of Fox News. It was a brazen act of partisanship intended to allow Carlson and Fox News to craft a flagrantly false narrative of the treasonous assault on the seat of American democracy.
On Monday night’s episode of his primetime propaganda hour, Carlson didn’t disappoint McCarthy and reality-challenged Republicans when he aired his first program featuring the cherry-picked video clips. Carlson has made it his mission to spread flagrant lies about the January 6th insurrection. He’s celebrated the rioters as “patriots.” He’s maligned the FBI, without evidence, as the perpetrators of the violence. He even produced a lie-riddled crocumentary about the insurrection. And this is the person McCarthy chose to curate the thousands of hours of video to force feed their BS propaganda to the American people?
Given his predisposed positions on the subject, it isn’t surprising that Carlson concluded that the Capitol riots incited by Donald Trump were innocent excursions by peaceful tourists. “They were orderly and meek,” Carlson lied. “These were not insurrectionists. They were sightseers.” But Carlson is not only lying, he’s contradicting himself. He’s illogically asserting that a mob of protesters who “were angry. [because] they believed that the election” was “stolen” were merely sightseeing. They can’t be both sightseers and an angry mob. Yet that’s precisely how Carlson presented them…
“On January 6th two years ago thousands of protesters walked from a Trump rally on the ellipse outside the White House to the U.S. Capitol where the certification of the presidential election was underway. The protesters were angry. they believed that the election they had just voted in had been unfairly conducted. They were right. In retrospect, the 2020 election was a grave betrayal of American democracy given the facts that have since emerged about that election. No honest person can deny it.”
Tucker Carlson kicking off his reveal of the Capitol's Jan 6 footage: "2020 election was a grave betrayal of American democracy given the facts that have since emerged about that election. No honest person can deny it." pic.twitter.com/AKc8YiYi5S
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) March 7, 2023
Carlson has the advantage of not having to comply with any standard of honest personage. After all, his own Fox News lawyers defended him (successfully) in a defamation lawsuit by arguing that “no reasonable person” would take him seriously.
For the record, more than 1,000 people have been charged with crimes ranging from trespassing to seditious conspiracy. And nearly 500 of them have pleaded guilty, including the notorious “QAnon Shaman” who Carlson went out of his way to defend. What’s more, many of those who confessed fingered Trump as their leader and inspiration.
In addition to his blatantly dishonest mangling of the facts, Carlson also took the opportunity to assist Dominion Voting Systems in their lawsuit against Fox News by reiterating the lie that the 2020 election was rigged. He refers to “facts that have since emerged about that election,” but, like Trump and everyone else, was unable to cite any of those alleged facts.
Carlson’s characterization of the insurrectionists as “orderly and meek” was proven false by some of the video that he aired. Never mind his absurd assertion that “the video does not support the claim that January 6th was an insurrection. In fact, it demolishes that claim.” In actual fact, the StormTrumpers can be seen breaking into the Capitol and violently assaulting police officers, more than 140 of whom were injured.
Carlson attempts to support his claims by carefully selecting video where there was nothing untoward occurring. But that’s a ridiculous argument. There is plenty of video of President Kennedy riding in a car in Dallas where he is smiling and waving to the crowd. So, by Carlson’s logic, he was never assassinated.
— NBC News Archives (@NBCNewsArchives) November 22, 2016
Of course, the expected response by insurrection inciter, Donald Trump, was posted to his floundering Twitter ripoff, Truth Social, shortly after Carlson’s program aired. And it was just as psychotic as you might imagine…
“Congratulations to Tucker Carlson on one of the biggest ‘scoops’ as a reporter in U.S. history. The New Surveillance Footage of the January 6th Events sheds an entirely different light on what actually happened. The Unselect Committee was a giant SCAM, and has now unequivocally been stamped as CRIMINAL FABRICATORS OF THIS MOST IMPORTANT DAY. Pelosi & McConnell failed on security. The Police story is sad and difficult to watch. ‘Trump’ and most others are totally innocent, LET THEM GO FREE, NOW!”
Literally everything in that rant was false. It was not a “scoop.” Carlson is not a “reporter.” There was no credible new “light” shed. The House Select Committee that investigated the insurrection was neither a “SCAM,” nor criminally “stamped.” Yet Trump still persists in repeating his intention to free the perpetrators if he – gawd forbid – returns to the White House.
After slobbering all over Carlson, Trump turned his drool to McCarthy. about whom he said that “Great courage shown […] in releasing the surveillance footage to Tucker Carlson.” He elaborated saying that ” A whole new, and completely opposite, picture has now been indelibly painted.” Which was, of course, the whole purpose of McCarthy’s gift to Carlson. He wanted to give Carlson a head start on creating a fake narrative – and also to restore Trump’s love for him as he embarks on his role as House Speaker.
McCarthy providing these videos to a devoted, Putin-loving, propagandist like Carlson was an act of naked partisanship and, worse, a betrayal of democratic principles. And Carlson’s predictable treatment of the information he received affirms his rank dishonesty, and that of the network that employs him.
UPDATE: Trump had another outburst over Carlson’s garbage report. And he truly went off the rails saying “LET THE JANUARY 6 PRISONERS GO. THEY WERE CONVICTED, OR ARE AWAITING TRIAL, BASED ON A GIANT LIE, A RADICAL LEFT CON JOB. THANK YOU TO TUCKER CARLSON AND SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE KEVIN McCARTHY FOR WHAT YOU BOTH HAVE DONE. NEW VIDEO FOOTAGE IS IRREFUTABLE!!!” Meanwhile Carlson’s Fox News colleagues are completely ignoring his alleged “BOMBSHELL” report.
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