You already know what occurred on January 6, 2021. You in all probability watched it on tv that day, when Donald Trump agitated a mob of indignant, armed supporters to storm the Capitol. They battled officers, busted by home windows, and roved by the halls of Congress, a few of them chanting the names of Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence. You noticed terrified lawmakers, a few of whom had helped fire up the riot and would later aspect with it, in search of cowl. You knew what occurred that day, even earlier than the January 6 committee expanded the nation’s understanding of it, since you noticed it with your personal eyes.
However on Monday evening, Tucker Carlson kicked off his newest and most egregious effort but to get People to doubt what they noticed. The Fox Information host—whose primetime program boasts a viewership of three.5 million—aired a collection of selective, edited clips of footage from the Capitol that day that he solely obtained from Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and claimed that the narrative round January 6 has been a lie. “These weren’t insurrectionists,” Carlson stated over photos of Trump supporters wandering by the Capitol taking selfies. “They had been sightseers.” Jacob Chansley—the so-called QAnon Shaman who entered the Senate chamber and left a threatening word on Pence’s dais—was one thing extra like a vacationer. And Josh Hawley—who raised his fist in solidarity with the mob the day earlier than working away from them after they breached the constructing—was not a coward: He was merely “one among many lawmakers being ushered out of the constructing” by Capitol police.
Taken collectively, he stated, the footage “overturns the story you’ve heard” from the January 6 choose committee about that day. Those that entered weren’t making an attempt to overthrow the system; they had been merely “indignant” as a result of the 2020 election had been “unfairly performed.”
It was a toweringly dishonest piece of programming, a shameless train in propaganda meant not solely to present cowl to Trump and different Republicans who fomented the assault on democracy, however to himself and the different Fox Information hosts who propagated the previous president’s 2020 election lies, at the same time as they clearly knew it was all bullshit. That final half is what makes this particularly galling. Fox is aware of it’s bullshit. Carlson is aware of it’s bullshit. McCarthy—who pressed Trump to place a cease to the violence earlier than crawling again to Mar-a-Lago in search of the previous president’s assist—is aware of it’s bullshit. And but, unsurprisingly, they’re pushing forward with it. Republicans and the right-wing media have spent greater than two years now making an attempt to downplay the riot and erase their duty for it. That is merely the end result of that effort.
In airing just some clips from the 41,000 hours of footage McCarthy gave him, Carlson has additionally claimed that he’s telling a narrative that Democrats, the January 6 committee, and the media do not want to tell. However that, once more, is a flat-out lie: A whole coalition of different shops have demanded that footage from McCarthy. Nevertheless, the speaker, regardless of claiming that the tapes “belong to the American public,” apparently refused, permitting Carlson sole entry to the footage.
Nothing in Carlson’s first section on the Capitol footage comes near “demolishing” our earlier understanding of January 6, which speaks to how pathetic his case on the contrary is. Even some outstanding Republican senators, together with Thom Tillis and Mike Rounds, slammed Carlson’s reporting. However Carlson additionally is aware of that his job isn’t essentially to persuade anybody of something—it’s to validate these already on his aspect and to present cowl to these accountable. He is already succeeded on these grounds: The proper seized on the report—and Trump, who’s in authorized jeopardy for his function within the riot, cheered Carlson and McCarthy on, calling members of the January 6 committee had been “CRIMINAL FABRICATORS” and claiming that “most others” concerned in January 6 are “completely harmless.”