Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy recently surrendered security footage of the January 6, 2021 Capitol Insurrection to Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Fox has notoriously become the epicenter of misinformation surround a slew of topics since the Trump administration. From election fraud conspiracy theories to COVID-19 vaccine resistance, Carlson has a history of not holding back on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Carlson recently came under fire for admitting via text message to fellow Fox host Laura Ingraham that he was willingly spreading misinformation regarding the 2020 election. Despite the ongoing legal turmoil surrounding Fox News, McCarthy still handed over the January 6 footage.
Several Democratic and Republican politicians have voiced concern over the tapes being in Carlson’s possession. The footage that has aired thus far appears to minimize the violence that occurred in the halls of Congress on January 6, which was widely viewed as a dangerous precedence to be set for the U.S. government.
New York state senator Chuck Schumer spoke out about the tapes on the Senate floor today.
Tucker Carlson is siding with the enemies of democracy.
Here’s what I just said on the Senate floor: pic.twitter.com/WZvhXh1rNU
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 7, 2023
Schumer accused Carlson of “cherry picking” through the footage, and referred to the programming as a lie. Schumer’s remarks were met with support across social media. Many showed the pieces of footage that Carlson chose not to include in the broadcast.
Tucker Carlson just aired some of the Capitol footage he received from McCarthy and falsely tried to depict the January 6 insurrection as peaceful.
Here is the footage he didn’t show his viewers:pic.twitter.com/wNSNH0GNxp
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) March 7, 2023
Multiple hate groups, including white supremacists the Proud Boys, were present at the insurrection. One political commentator pointed to an image of Nazi guards at Auschwitz looking joyful, showing that images of hate groups often do not paint the entire picture of the situation.
So, Tucker Carlson is using the footage Kevin McCarthy gave him to tell us that January 6 was just a nice, peaceful protest. They are such good people! As Jeff Teidrich pointed out on Substack this morning, this is an actual photo of the guards at Auschwitz. Such nice people! pic.twitter.com/XQUWfYAiLd
— Thom Hartmann (@Thom_Hartmann) March 7, 2023
Carlson’s angle for the footage was that the riots were actually a peaceful tourist visit to the Capitol. Evidently, tours do not allow visitors into private offices, which is where several rioters went on January 6. Twitter quickly debunked this assumption.
It is beyond insane to suggest that it is okay for “peaceful tourists” to go into the Speaker’s office uninvited. Or any MOC office. That is NOT how this works and Tucker knows it. But these were NOT peaceful tourists. #FOXNEWS is a national security threat. WOW!! #January6 https://t.co/hpiTbJPelG
— Sophia A. Nelson (@IAmSophiaNelson) March 7, 2023
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell chose to distance himself from McCarthy’s decision to cooperate with Fox News. He cited a letter from Capitol police officers today.
MCCONNELL comments on Tucker Carlson, holds up this letter from USCP Chief Manger: “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 6.” pic.twitter.com/tHGfoxwUsw
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) March 7, 2023
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger spoke about Carlson’s use of the footage today as well, echoing the concerns of many others about the misleading nature of the video.
US Capitol Police chief: “The program conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video. The commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments.” https://t.co/MKb39o2hR7
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 7, 2023
“I want to associate myself entirely with the chief of Capitol Police,” says McConnell in regards to Tucker Carlson’s portrayal of the January 6 footage.
Here he is holding up a print-out of the statement. pic.twitter.com/rzq92evEwf
— bryan metzger (@metzgov) March 7, 2023
In keeping with tradition, former President Donald Trump continues to deny that the Capitol insurrection was violent. He insists that those incarcerated for their crimes on January 6 ought to be pardoned.
“Let the January 6 Prisoners Go.” – President Trump pic.twitter.com/209XxGe1sB
— Phenomenology (@BerryRazi) March 7, 2023
The online conversation surrounding the newly released footage was only escalated further when Twitter CEO Elon Musk reposted some of Fox’s content. The richest man in the world attracted plenty of backlash for spreading misinformation on one of the world’s largest social media platforms.
????BREAKING: Never before seen video of January 6 shows Jacob Chansley, the QAnon Shaman, being led through the Capitol by police the entire time that he was in the building. pic.twitter.com/rikoRMWezF
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 7, 2023
This is crazy. The public was misled.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 7, 2023
Musk’s tweets on the matter have reached millions. Journalists, political commentators, and videographers attempted to correct the reposted misinformation by sharing clips of some of the brutal violence on January 6.
Yeah ok ???? What’s this video show? pic.twitter.com/oZ2Gias6iK
— Luke Zaleski (@ZaleskiLuke) March 7, 2023
As of now, a second set of footage will air on Tucker Carlson Tonight this evening, even amid public backlash. Despite several politicians urging the network to cut the programming amid the ongoing defamation trial regarding misinformation, there has been no indication of cancellation. Carlson’s Fox News program airs at 5 p.m. PT and 8 p.m. ET.