Senate Republicans condemned blockbuster reporting from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tuesday after the prime-time host aired new footage of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.
On Monday night’s edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Fox News published tapes from the Capitol riot two years ago, which undermined central Democrat narratives. Left-wing lawmakers on Capitol Hill spent two years exploiting the few hours of political turmoil to smear Republicans as violent extremists, complete with summer show trials produced by a former television executive.
After reviewing more than 40,000 hours of footage released to them by Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Carlson aired three segments that illustrated a deception campaign put forward by Democrats’ Select Committee on Jan. 6. The first revealed Jacob Chansley, known as the “Q-Anon Shaman” who became the face of the Capitol “insurrection,” was given VIP treatment by police officers and even escorted throughout the complex.
“They helped him. They acted as his tour guides,” Carlson said. “We counted at least nine officers who were within touching distance of unarmed Jacob Chansley. Not one of them tried to slow him down.”
The second segment from Carlson’s program showed Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick walking, “healthy and vigorous,” around the Capitol building after altercations with protesters. Jan. 6 hoaxers on the Select Committee claimed those altercations caused Sicknick’s subsequent death.
Sicknick’s Jan. 7 death was exploited by Democrats and their allies in the media as a direct consequence of the turmoil at the Capitol. First, The New York Times claimed Sicknick’s death was caused by a blunt-force injury from a fire extinguisher. After the paper issued a quiet correction, CNN linked Sicknick’s death to a chemical irritant like pepper spray or bear spray from the rioters.
A report from the D.C. medical examiner’s office published a month later concluded Sicknick died of natural causes. Nevertheless, House lawmakers on the Select Committee used Sicknick’s death to brand the Capitol carnage as a “deadly” riot although the only fatal victims at the Capitol that day were demonstrators.
Carlson’s third segment revealed that Ray Epps, a suspected federal informant who encouraged protestors to storm the Capitol both on the eve and day of the riot, appears to have lied to federal investigators about his whereabouts on Jan. 6.
According to Carlson, electronic bookmarks on the tapes reveal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s deputies on the Jan. 6 Committee reviewed the same footage as they produced their made-for-TV hearings to dramatize the riot. Panel investigators, however, refused to make the tapes public and added their own audio to tapes played at prime-time hearings that exaggerated events.
Despite the revelations of gross misconduct by House investigators to mislead the public ahead of the 2022 midterms, several Senate Republicans responded by railing against Carlson instead of at Democrats’ lies. Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Kentucky Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who sabotaged GOP hopes of an upper chamber majority last fall, lambasted Carlson.
“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,” McConnell said.
Hours earlier, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger sent a memo to his department that called Carlson’s coverage “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions.”
Two more Republican senators went to CNN, of all networks, to complain about Carlson’s decision to air the Jan. 6 tapes. North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis called Carlson’s reporting “bullsh-t.”
“I just don’t think it’s helpful, but I do think it’s important to point out that that’s happened on both ends of the political spectrum, and they’re both wrong,” Thillis said.
North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer also criticized the coverage from Fox News.
“I think that breaking through glass windows and doors to get into the United States Capitol against the orders of police is a crime,” Cramer said.
Carlson, however, who also aired the violent scenes from the Capitol riot in his special report Monday night, never said otherwise.
Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, the only Republican in the upper chamber to vote for President Donald Trump’s impeachment conviction twice, compared Carlson to Alex Jones and called McCarthy’s decision to share the tapes “dangerous and disgusting.”
South Dakota Republican Sen. Mike Rounds also joined the GOP chorus trashing Carlson.
“I was there on Jan. 6. I saw what happened. I saw the aftermath. There was violence on Jan. 6,” Rounds said to reporters, according to NBC News.
Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said he was uninterested in “whitewashing Jan. 6.”