From the very start of his tenure, Republican House Squeaker, Kevin McCarthy, demonstrated just how brazenly partisan and dishonest his speakership would be. After a historic 15 attempts to secure enough votes to become Speaker, McCarthy was indebted to ultra-rightist underlings like Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene to hold onto the post.
Among the first actions by the new Speaker were the removal of Democrats Adam Schiff, Ilhan Omar, and Eric Swalwell, from their respective committees. Then he formed a bogus committee on “Responsiveness and Accountability Oversight,” whose stated purpose was to “make life Hell” for Democrats. And of course, he oversaw the creation of the House’s first “Anti-Woke” Caucus.
However, nothing was more representative of McCarthy’s radical political prejudices than when he handed over 41,000 hours of video from the January 6th insurrection, that was incited by Donald Trump, to the pro-insurrection, Putin loving poseur, Tucker Carlson. McCarthy claimed that he was making these videos public, but Carlson was the only person who was given access to them. After which, Carlson predictably produced a preposterous program that portrayed the violent MAGA rioters as peaceful tourists visiting the Capitol.
Carlson’s ludicrous narrative was widely mocked and condemned. In fact, he ended up airing only a few carefully edited, and particularly boring, minutes of the 41,000 hours of video over two nights that revealed nothing of significance. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone who has seen Carlson’s other “reporting” on January 6th, wherein he glorifies the rioters and accuses the FBI of orchestrating the whole thing.
McCarthy had promised to eventually release the videos to the public at large, including other media outlets. But three months later, McCarthy is apparently making the videos available to some more well known conspiracy crackpots. According to his boss, Marjorie Taylor Greene (admittedly not the most reliable source)…
“I’m excited to share the good news that just as I promised the J6 tapes are being released!
“@SpeakerMcCarthy has given @jsolomonReports, @Julie_kelly2, and a third outlet unfettered access to the J6 tapes, and their reporting on it starts tomorrow.
“This is the transparency the American people deserve and I look forward to their reporting!”
I’m excited to share the good news that just as I promised the J6 tapes are being released!@SpeakerMcCarthy has given @jsolomonReports, @Julie_kelly2, and a third outlet unfettered access to the J6 tapes, and their reporting on it starts tomorrow.
This is the transparency the…
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene?? (@RepMTG) May 31, 2023
First of all, doling out the videos to selected conservative hacks is not “releasing” them. Nor is it “transparency” by any rational definition of the word. And what they will produce can hardly be called “reporting.” It is conspiring with confederates to manufacture more malicious propaganda.
What’s more, the people named by Greene are notorious fabricators of political fiction. John Solomon is a disgraced former Fox News contributor whose work is relentlessly slanted toward the ultra-right. Julie Kelly writes for the Trump-fluffing “American Greatness,” website, and is a prominent purveyor of conspiracy theories and slobbering Trump commentaries. The third party to whom McCarthy is giving the videos was apparently too embarrassing to even identify. Perhaps it is Rudy Giuliani or Don Trump Jr.
McCarthy’s refusal to grant access to these videos is a blatantly unethical, and possibly illegal, suppression of public materials and a breach of the First Amendment’s protection of a free press. He has already been sued by a coalition of media enterprises seeking access to the videos. They include CNN, Advance Publications, The Associated Press, CBS News, E.W. Scripps, Gannett, Politico, ProPublica and The New York Times.
Finally, there is a disturbing irony and hypocrisy in McCarthy’s aversion to sharing information. He recently threatened the FBI Director with contempt of Congress for not turning over a document that he wants in order to smear President Biden.
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