CALLED OUT: Tucker Carlson faces GOP opposition to his Jan 6th lies
Fox News host Tucker Carlson and truth aren’t exactly on speaking terms. His latest attempt to mislead viewers and the American people with clearly edited video from the January 6th Capitol attack is getting pushback from an unlikely source – the Republican party.
Multiple Republican Senators denounced Carlson’s assertion that the insurrectionists were merely “sightseeing.”
“I think it’s bullshit,” Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) told Capitol reporters.
Tillis: I think it’s bullshit pic.twitter.com/NY3Tu1hM9U
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 7, 2023
Carlson said: “Deadly insurrection – everything about that phrase is a lie,” while showing cherry-picked clips of Trump supporters wandering the halls of democrats. in a seemingly peaceful manner.
“I was here,” Tillis added. “When you see police barricades breached when you see police officers assaulted, all of that … if you were just a tourist you should’ve probably lined up at the visitors’ center and came in on an orderly basis.”
Senator Tillis was joined by his party and chamber colleagues, Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND).
“The American people saw what happened on Jan. 6,” Romney said. “They’ve seen the people that got injured, they saw the damage to the building.”
“It’s nonsense,” he added.
Senator Cramer was equally dismissive of the lies that Carlson was peddling.
” I think that breaking through glass windows and doors to get into the United States Capital against the borders of police is a crime. To somehow put that in the same category as, you know, permitted peaceful protest is just a lie,” Sen. Cramer said.
Carlson continues to prove that facts don’t matter to the right-wing television show host – nor does an attack on our country’s democratic system.
“The footage does not show an insurrection or a riot in progress,” Carlson falsely claimed. “Instead it shows police escorting people through the building.
Speaker of the House Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) turned over 40,000 hours of footage from January 6 – an action that drew criticism from both sides of the aisle who believe it should have been distributed to all media outlets without bias.
“Very little about Jan. 6 was organized or violent,” Carlson, the gaslighting propaganda pusher, stated.“Surveillance video from inside the Capitol shows mostly peaceful chaos.”
Tucker Carlson’s lies are not only dangerous but brazen and bold.
Millions of Americans watched the horrifying events of that day unfold – confirming fears that democracy was in imminent danger as members of then-President Trump’s rabid base scaled walls, viciously beat law enforcement officers, and desecrated the halls of Congress.
“I was there on Jan. 6. I saw what happened. I saw the aftermath, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) said echoing Romney’s sentiment “There was violence on January 6.”
One person who took personal offense to Carlson’s attempt to rewrite the narrative was Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger – who raked the conservative pundit over the coals in a letter addressed to his officers.
“You fought like hell on January 6 ad risked your lives to protect the Constitution, he said. “TV commentary will not record the truth for our history book.”
The insinuation that fallen Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s death wasn’t a direct result of the brutal assault he endured is particularly egregious.
“[T]he most disturbing accusation from last night was that our late friend and colleague Brian Sicknick’s death had nothing to do with his heroic actions on January 6,’ Chief Manger wrote.
“The Department maintains, as anyone with common sense would, that had Officer Sicknick not fought valiantly for hours on the day he was violently assaulted, Officer Sicknick would not have died the next day.”
In new ltr from Chief Manger to the Capitol Police Dept, Manger calls Tucker Carlson's segments on Jan 6th last night "filled w/ offensive and misleading conclusions about the January 6th attack.”
Manger: "This Dept stands by the officers in the video that was shown last night.” pic.twitter.com/mozNBkKXId
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) March 7, 2023
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell weighed in on Manger’s statements, agreeing with the Chief.
“With regard to the presentation on Fox News last night, I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of Capitol Police about what happened on January 6,” Sen. McConnell said.
.@LeaderMcConnell: "With regard to the presentation on Fox News last night, I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of the Capitol police about what happened on January 6th." pic.twitter.com/zB85o0mTFX
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 7, 2023
The question remains whether Fox News, already having been proven to have lied to the public about who actually won the 2020 election, and, thus, at least partially responsible for inspiriring the violence at the Capitol, will continue to allow Tucker Carlson to spread even more lies about the nature of what happened that day.
The First Amendment does not allow anyone to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, but that is exactly what Tucker Carlson and Fox News have done and continue to do.
Original reporting by Scott Wong, Liz Brown-Kaiser, Sahil Kapur and Frank Thorp V at NBC News.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.