Fox News’ Tucker Carlson is not a journalist.
His employer has
bragged admitted that, and that he can’t be believed. Fox News lawyers said that in court.
The “‘general tenor’ of the show should then inform a viewer that [Carlson] is not ‘stating actual facts’ about the topics he discusses and is instead engaging in ‘exaggeration’ and ‘non-literal commentary,’ ” said his lawyers.
So, when I call Carlson a liar, as I am about to, remember that I am agreeing with his lawyers.
And if you are a fan of his, you should always remember he is a proven, admitted liar.
He was lying when he said on Monday that no one in Washington, not Republican, not Democrat, no media figure “Wanted to see these tapes released,” meaning the 40,000 hours of closed circuit videos of the riot.
That is a lie. Many news outlets wanted to see the video, and complained when Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy released it to Carlson, who is not a legitimate news source, by the admission of his own lawyers. McCarthy was simply sucking off the man with the largest ratings on cable.
Before leaving this subject, I believe the tapes should have been released to the media, and to the public on the internet. In almost every case, baring true national security issues, all government reports should be released, including the one on the JFK assassination.
Worse than just lying, which can be easy to detect, Carlson is a master distorter of information, so much so that he deserves a spot in a circus side show as the rubber man. he man has more twists than a pretzel.
On Monday and Tuesday he tore into the Jan. 6 commission with his usual mix of lies, half-truths, distortions, exaggerations and omissions.
He uses imprecision to create scenarios that seem real, but upon inspection are as solid as a Potemkin village.
He freely mixes things said by politicians and by media figures, but rarely attaches a name to a quote. It becomes the omnipresent and unverifiable “they.”
Example — the death of Capitol Hill police officer Brian Sicknick, which was originally reported as a murder. It was reported that way from law enforcement forces, which got things screwed up, perhaps due to the chaos of the day.
Based on information from authorities, The New York Times wrongly reported Sicknick’s murder on Jan. 7. However, by Jan. 11, the Times — and all other legitimate news sources — had replaced the wrong account of Sicknick’s death with the correct report that Ashli Babbitt had been the only person shot to death. Yet Carlson says “the media” continues with the false narrative.
It does not and it is striking that he attaches no name to his accusation.
Some Democrats do fudge the facts and talk about “The deaths associated with Jan. 6,” which is technically true, but misleading. No reputable outlet says Sicknick died that day.
The attack on the Capitol was the work of people who believed “the election was unfairly conducted. And they were right,” Carlson said.
No — they were wrong. With the exception of the deluded hedge hog Rudy Giuliani, Donald J. Trump’s entire inner circle told him the election was not rigged, that he had lost fair and square. The “rigged” claims were called “Bullshit” by Attorney General Bill Barr, who was appointed by Trump.
I’ve called what happened a mob and a riot.
That phrase has been widely used to describe what happened on Jan. 6.
I quibble with the word “insurrection.” To me, that means guns and none were found in the Capitol that day. There was no actual plan to accomplish anything other than to disrupt. If an insurrection, it was the worst-planned attempt in history. “Hang Mike Pence” is not a plan of action.
But it was deadly. Ashli Babbitt died.
As recently as Tuesday, Dom Giordano refused to use the deadly term on his WPHT-1210AM radio show. “No one died that day except Ashli Babbitt,” he told his audience.
Except Ashli Babbitt? Dom, buddy, somebody died! So the riot was “deadly.” Overblown? Yes, but accurate.
Riot, insurrection or field trip
As to deception: Like a closeup magician, right before your eyes, Carlson misleads you. Several times he says, without emphasis, he is showing video taken inside the Capitol, and he produces a lot of footage of (mostly) men wandering around, sometimes escorted by Capitol Hill police. A lot of attention was focused on the goofball QAnon Shaman, the guy with the Viking horns. “The footage does not show an insurrection, or a riot in progress. Instead, it shows police escorting protestors in the building,” say Carlson.
Again, in the building.
But if you have followed this story at all, you know there was violence on the steps of the Capitol, where numerous cops were injured.
Carlson carefully avoids showing you that footage. Most likely, you saw it on TV, but Carlson wants you to develop amnesia. Forget what you saw. Listen to me.
His show tries to shift the blame to then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not calling the National Guard. But if his narrative is true, there was no need for the National Guard. But we know his narrative is not true.
He wonders aloud why police didn’t arrest the Shaman when he was alone.
A journalist would have asked the cops that question, but Carlson is an entertainer, and that would have harmed the mood. Instead, guest Miranda Devine of the New York Post reported that Capitol Hill police told her their greatly outnumbered force was trying to deescalate the situation to avoid a bloodbath. They believed him to be harmless. Carlson said he would interview a Capitol Hill police officer Tuesday.
Let’s be clear: The Capitol was closed to visitors that day. Anyone in the building was trespassing. Some rifled through drawers and desks, which would be burglary. QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley got to the desk of the president of the U.S. Senate, in that sanctum that had been evacuated a short time before.
Other “Sightseers” — not seen on Carlson’s selected footage — destroyed government property, vandalized offices, defecated in the building, tore down drapes, and committed other criminal acts that Carlson did not show in his vain attempt to make this seem like a junior high school class outing to the Capitol. There’s nothing to see here. Trust me!
We can have a debate about whether the sentences were too harsh, maybe some were — the QAnon Shaman got 41 months — but there is no debate about the crimes being perpetrated. It’s all on that tape, or the social media some of these clowns put into the cloud.
“A small percentage of them were hooligans,” Carlson was forced to admit, “they committed vandalism. You’ve seen their pictures again and again. But the overwhelming majority weren’t.”
And the “overwhelming majority” were not arrested. Only the “hooligans” as Carlson charmingly called them.
“They were peaceful, they were orderly and meek,” he said, as my mind flashed back to the “mostly peaceful” reporting of MSNBC of the George Floyd riots that Carlson has endlessly ridiculed on his show. “They were sightseers,” he said, with no consciousness of shame that he is doing exactly what he accused MSNBC of doing.
Referring, again, to video from within the Capitol, Carlson (sounding like MSNBC) characterized the activity as “mostly peaceful chaos.”
“Peaceful” and “chaos” are not words you generally find rubbing shoulders.
“To this day,” said Carlson, “media accounts describe Sicknick as someone who was quote slain on January 6.”
Name those media outlets, Carlson. As I said earlier, legitimate outlets got the story correct in the days after Jan. 6.
The right-wing has a peculiar fascination with the MAGA-hatted man who was encouraging people to go into the Capitol. They are fixated on him, more than any other person in the 300,000 protestors. Why?
They think he was a government infiltrator, perhaps FBI.
Let’s say they are right — he was an FBI mole.
So what? Don’t you think the FBI has undercover agents in the Klan, and let’s hope in Antifa.
So what? Did Epps throw a Molotov cocktail? Did he hurl a stainless steel barrier at cops? Did he even set foot in the Capitol? No, no, and no.
Can we get off this now?
In all of his coverage of the Jan. 6 committee, Carlson never once mentioned the testimony of the dozens of Republicans appointed by Donald J. Trump who said he lied about a rigged election.
All of this was his Monday sh— show.
He opened with a glaring error that the QAnon Shaman had been sentenced to four years for his crimes. 41 months is not four years. A minor point, or just another indication how he plays fast and lose with the truth?
He revived the Brian Sicknick lie that the media “so often claimed” that he was murdered on Jan. 6. All such reporting stopped by Jan. 11 when the media got the straight facts from police sources.
And that Ray Epps lied. Yawn.
He said Democrats feel showing the video was “a threat to democracy,” and aired a few comments by Sen. Chuck Schumer saying not that the footage should not have been aired, but that Carlson manipulated the video.
I don’t often agree with the Brooklyn Democrat, but I do here.
In fact, Carlson’s intro to the piece was false. It’s amazing Carlson’s face doesn’t fall off.
Schumer then stupidly called on Fox to cancel Carlson and not permit him to air more lies.
That’s not Chuck’s job — that’s mine.
Not to cancel Carlson, but to correct him, and to expose him as the two-faced douche he is. Sooner or later, we’ve got to believe, his viewers will wise up.
Oddly, Carlson concluded that there was a “security breach” to the sightseeing and selfies — because nothing bad happened, remember — and that was Pelosi’s fault.
He said police intelligence knew in advance there would be a large crowd that could be “potentially violent,” which Carlson had just described as “milling around.”
I am not making this up. It’s on tape.
Cops on the ground did not know what might happen, and were unprepared for what happened that day, said Carlson, who had been saying nothing really happened that day.
He is trying to have it both ways.
So he finds a former Capitol Hill police officer to interview, rather than a current commander. The officer confirms his superiors were unresponsive.
The officer took it on himself to evacuate members of congress because he perceived a threat, a non-existent threat, if you believe Carlson, who doesn’t seem to understand that this officer is undermining his “sightseeing” narrative.
One thing Carlson got right — that as many as 100 men have been held on pre-trial detention, which is outrageous.
There has been very little reporting on this seeming denial of civil rights. It’s something every liberal reporter ought to care about.