Three weeks ago, Republicans in Congress blocked the formation of a bipartisan committee to investigate the circumstances that led to Donald Trump’s Capitol Hill insurrection. They did this despite the fact that the they themselves were the targets of violent insurrectionists.
Never mind that they also did it to protect themselves and Trump from the disclosure that they were complicit in the deadly riots. And forget about their gaslighting allegations that the rioters were really members of the fictional Antifa group disguised as Trump supporters, which the investigation could have looked into. The GOP was too afraid of what the probe would reveal to allow it to proceed.
Meanwhile, Fox News has done it’s best to muddy the waters around the atrocities that took place on January 6th. And on Tuesday Fox’s Senior White Nationalist, Tucker Carlson, turned the crazy up to eleven. Carlson began his tirade with a story about a Black murder suspect who allegedly said that he was targeting white people. Which is just the sort of rare story that bigots like Carlson love to bring up, even though they they never talk about the much more common incidence of white racist hate crimes.
Carlson lashed out at Attorney General Merrick Garland, who he called “thoroughly craven.” He claimed that Garland said that “we must now use law enforcement and military force to arrest, imprison, and otherwise crush anyone who leads opposition to Joe Biden’s government.” Which, of course, Garland never came anywhere close to saying.
But this was just a teaser for his main subject that had nothing to do with his intro. Instead, he launched into a bizarre series of totally unfounded accusations that the FBI had orchestrated the insurrection (video below). There’s actually more evidence that the Trump White House was behind it. Ignoring reality, Carlson said that…
“We know the government is hiding the identity of many law enforcement officers who were present at the capitol on January 6 […and that…] According to the government’s own court filings, those law enforcement officers participated in the riot. Sometimes in violent ways. We know that because […] some people who participated in the riot haven’t been charged. Look at the documents. The government calls these people “unindicted co-conspirators.” What does that mean? It means that in potentially every case, they’re FBI operatives.”
HUH? Carlson is connecting dots in his warped imagination. First of all, there are no government court filings that say that “law enforcement officers participated in the riot.” But Carlson “knows” because of the existence of “unindicted co-conspirators,” who, for some unexplained reason, must be FBI operatives.
Carlson mistakenly believes that two people identified only as “unindicted co-conspirators” were, by some deranged logic, “almost certainly working for the FBI.” This is astonishingly stupid, even for Carlson and Fox News. The government isn’t in the habit of tagging their own operatives as unindicted co-conspirators. Also, that designation is most often used when suspects are cooperating with law enforcement, or when the case is still under investigation.
Carlson repeatedly, and falsely, asserts that government documents admit their participation in the insurrection. There are no such documents. What’s more, Carlson lied that “the FBI director admitted the bureau is infiltrating as many dissident groups as it possibly could.” Which the FBI director actually never said. According to Carlson himself, Director Wray only said that “Any time there is an attack […] we are focused very, very hard on how could we get better sources, better information, better analysis” to prevent it from happening again.
Carlson somehow stretched that innocuous statement into the wildly left field charge that the government was “paying people to organize a violent action.” And Carlson went on to reprise the crackpot conspiracy theory that the FBI was also complicit in the 9/11 attacks, saying that “They’re using the same tactics.”
It’s endlessly fascinating how the ridiculous right can reinterpret their own dishonest propaganda. They have claimed that the Capitol Hill insurrectionists were actually Antifa or Black Lives Matter. They have also claimed that the insurrectionists weren’t rioters at all, but just ordinary tourists. Trump said that they “posed zero threat.” So long as you don’t count the five dead, and dozens of injured, Capitol police. Carlson himself characterized the insurrectionists as peaceful protesters.
These are all positions that they share with Vladimir Putin. And now they claim that the whole affair was an FBI operation. They really need to make up their lying minds. Or maybe not. After all, Fox News has (successfully) argued in court that, given his reputation, “no reasonable person” would believe his bullpucky. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make him less dangerous or his goals, and those of Fox News, less onerous.
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.