Fox entertainer Tucker Carlson was presumably delighted that he got the exclusive "scoop" when it comes to broadcasting the footage from the 1/6 insurrection. Given the response to his first "report," however, he might now be regretting his supposed good fortune.
As we noted yesterday, Carlson offered up a propagandistic take on 1/6 that was utterly counterfactual. His staff found some footage of people who were not, say, breaking into the Capitol through windows or raiding Nancy Pelosi's office or fighting with cops, and he used that to support the narrative that the insurrection was just a peaceful demonstration that got "slightly chaotic."
As it turns out, people were listening and watching. And most of them were not amused. A non-exhaustive list of where the anti-Carlson blowback came from yesterday:
I condemn Mr. Carlson for siding with the enemies of democracy. I strongly condemn Speaker McCarthy's actions and fiercely oppose his decision to share this footage with Carlson.Schumer, of course, is not generally known for his fiery rhetoric. But even he is driven into a rage by Carlson.
I urge Fox News to order Carlson to cease propagating the big lie on his network and to level with their viewers about the truth. The truth! Behind the efforts to mislead the public conduct like theirs is just asking for another January 6th to happen.
Last night an opinion program aired commentary that was filled with offensive and misleading conclusions about the January 6 attack. The opinion program never reached out to the Department to provide accurate context.The rest of the e-mail is just as angry. Manger also said that he did not approve the airing of the vast majority of the footage Carlson showed.
One false allegation is that our officers helped the rioters and acted as 'tour guides.' This is outrageous and false. The Department stands by the officers in the video that was shown last night. I don't have to remind you how outnumbered our officers were on January 6. Those officers did their best to use de-escalation tactics to try to talk to rioters into getting each other to leave the building
The program conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video. The commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments.
Naturally, all of this has left Kevin McCarthy holding the bag, to a large extent. He didn't really want to release the footage, but he was (and is) beholden to the Freedom Caucus nutters. Yesterday, the Speaker told reporters that he doesn't regret releasing the footage to Carlson, and that he's glad to be an advocate for transparency. Uh, huh. Is there anyone who actually believes that? You can always tell when McCarthy is lying, because his lips are moving.
As to Carlson, he also doubled down, taking apparent delight in what he called "congressional hysteria" over his report. Of course, he's an even bigger liar than McCarthy is (except maybe in text messages to Fox colleagues). Carlson's self-preservation instincts are very strong, and he knows enough to know that: (1) it's not wise to piss off the entire Republican establishment, (2) if the entire Republican establishment is this angry, then the base (i.e., Carlson's viewers) are likely also unhappy. Further, rewriting the history of that day is just toting the water for Donald Trump, and yesterday, thanks to the latest Dominion filing, it was also revealed that Carlson "passionately" hates Trump. So, it would not be terribly surprising if Carlson's first segment on the 1/6 footage ends up being his only segment on the 1/6 footage. (Z)