On Monday night, Tucker Carlson aired the first in a series of reports on what his team found after being gifted 40,000 hours of Jan. 6 riot footage. Surprise surprise: He cherry-picked mundane footage that made the violent incident look peaceful, calling the insurrectionists mere “sightseers.” It was cynical, even lazy, and it even got pushback from some braver Republican lawmakers. It was so bad even Tucker’s own network tore it apart.
On Tuesday, not long before Carlson’s nightly episode was set to begin, anchor Brett Baier aimed a segment dispassionately looking at the report, and mostly concluding that it was bunk. It featured some of the GOP lawmakers who slammed it to the press the day after, including South Dakota senator John Thune reiterating that the attack was just that, and North Dakota’s Kevin Cramer straight up calling it a “lie.”
And of course, there was Mitch McConnell, who was visibly shaken after the riot, so much so that he later voted against prosecuting Trump over his second impeachment. He even said he’d still support him in 2024, despite him lobbing racist taunts at his own wife. Still, at least he cleared the perilously low bar of not rewriting history.
“It was a mistake, in my view, for Fox News to depict this in a way that’s completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here at Capitol thinks,” McConnell said of Tucker’s segment.
Tuesday’s report didn’t shy away from mentioning that Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, whose surviving partner also torched Tucker’s segment, died of a blood clot the day after Jan. 6. It even mentioned that 140 officers were assaulted during the attack, while 106 perpetrators have been charged with using a deadly weapon on that day.
The report went hard. It even quoted Capitol police chief Thomas J. Manger saying that Tucker had “cherry-picked from calmer moments,” not showing the “chaos and violence.” It even featured an expert explaining the footage that finds some perpetrators, like QAnon Shaman, calmly walking with officers, who were, he said, simply de-escalating the situation, which is part of their job.
Baier concluded the segment by reminding viewers that “no one here at Fox News condones any of the violence that happened on Jan. 6.” Well, maybe not everyone.
So congrats, Fox News, on at least covering a reckless report aired on their very own network, and even contradicting its most basic claims. Surely Tucker himself will take it in stride when he returns for more Tuesday night.
You can watch video of the report on Mediaite.