Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s segments this week seeking to reframe the January 6, 2021 riots at the US Capitol are drawing pushback like never before for a cable news anchor.
On his Monday-Tuesday primetime show, Carlson played down what happened on Jan. 6 using a trove of images provided by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
“The images do not show an insurrection or riot in progress” at the Capitol, Carlson said, adding that while some people may have damaged property, the vast majority were “tourists.”
On Wednesday, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said the hollywood reporter“We agree with the Capitol Police Chief and the broad range of bipartisan legislators who have condemned this false depiction of the unprecedented and violent attack on our Constitution and the rule of law that cost police officers their lives. .
“We also agree with what Fox News’ own lawyers and executives have repeatedly emphasized in multiple courts of law: that Tucker Carlson is not credible,” he added.
It was a rare embarrassment by the White House of a cable news antagonist, commonplace during the Trump administration but not at all under Biden.
And as Bates pointed out, the White House was not alone in its condemnation.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a primetime cable newscaster manipulate his viewers like Mr. Carlson did last night,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Tuesday. On Wednesday, he added in a statement that “Speaker McCarthy has held the gavel for less than three months. But by sharing the January 6 security footage with Fox News, he has already done more than any party leader in Congress to allow the spread of Donald Trump’s Big Lie.”
And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters Tuesday that it was “a mistake, in my opinion, for Fox News to present this in a way that is completely different from what our chief thinks.” law enforcement official here on Capitol Hill. ”
McConnell was joined by other Republican senators, including Lindsey Graham and John Kennedy, who shared similar views.
“I was there, it was violent. So I thought it was an insurrection, I still think it was an attempted insurrection,” added Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD).
Comments made by McConnell were covered on Fox News by host Bret Baier and correspondent Chad Pergram. “And to be clear, no one here at Fox News condones the violence that occurred on January 6,” Baier said.
Pergram, who was at the Capitol on January 6, said the hollywood reporter last year that he and his team had “locked the doors” on the room where they were working to keep themselves safe.
“This is not an office park somewhere in the suburbs. That’s unbelievable to me, amazing to me, terrifying to me,” Pergram said. “I’ve seen a lot of crazy days on Capitol Hill, I’ve worked a lot of crazy days in the news business, and I’ve never seen anything like it, and I probably never will, and I hope I never will. ”
The segments also became fodder throughout the television ecosystem, with late-night hosts and even other journalists mocking them.
“They desperately needed someone, anyone, to create propaganda to make it look like it was no big deal so they could stay in office and maybe land a better coup next time,” Stephen Colbert said on CBS. late show.
“The idea of Tucker Carlson being in that mob that day and not peeing his pants is hard to imagine,” CNN host Anderson Cooper said on his show Tuesday. “I find it hard to understand someone who has never put themselves in danger in any way by anyone or by reporting a story and yet has the audacity to try to rewrite history. I mean, that’s what this is.”