As the Republican Party drifts ever further to the right, towards more shameless forms of racism, more insane conspiratorial thinking, and a more overt embrace of fascism, Fox News hastens to keep pace. Rather than taking a much-needed step back to analyze their role in mutating the GOP into its current monstrous incarnation, Fox hosts are fanning the flames.
Vaccine skepticism — an overly sanitized way of saying anti-vax sentiment — is a mainstay of Tucker Carlson’s program, as is the Big Lie that the election was stolen from Trump through mass voter fraud. Now, Carlson has escalated his dangerous rhetoric to the next level by peddling the kind of paranoid narrative that would have been the sole domain of tin-foil-hatted loons like Alex Jones just a few short years ago.
Last night on his program, Carlson shared a teaser trailer for a new special that purports to tell the true story of the January 6th insurrection. Predictably though, it looks to contain nothing but more toxic misinformation and even goes so far as to showcase a woman alleging that the Capitol riot was actually some kind of “false flag” carried out by the Deep State, a conspiracy theory that has spread like wildfire in right-wing circles. The MAGA cult tried to overthrow our democracy, people were killed, and now they want to blame it on Antifa, or BLM, or some other left-wing group rather than take responsibility for their heinous actions.
It cannot be stressed enough just how dangerous this messaging is. Tucker Carlson is the most-watched host in cable news. If he convinces his millions of conservative viewers that the Democratic Party is working in tandem with elements of the security state to wage war against Republicans there’s no telling how they might lash out.
A repeat of January 6th, or perhaps even something more violent, is entirely possible. It’s imperative that every sane American denounce this behavior. Today, Rep. Liz Cheney — an anti-MAGA Republican and a member of the Congressional committee investigating the insurrection — did just that.
Cheney retweeted Carlon’s teaser trailer and condemned Fox News for giving Carlson a “platform the spread the same lies that provoked violence on January 6.” She pointed out that Fox knows the election wasn’t stolen and that there was no “false flag” and yet is choosing to amplify these lies nonetheless. It’s long past time other Republicans grow a spine and join Cheney in standing up against this existential threat to our Republic.
It appears that @FoxNews is giving @TuckerCarlson a platform to spread the same type of lies that provoked violence on January 6. As @FoxNews knows, the election wasn’t stolen and January 6 was not a “false flag” operation. @rupertmurdoch @jayawallace @Suzannescott @SpeakerRyan https://t.co/ODKZFVUFBa
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) October 28, 2021
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.