Donald Trump may be angry at Fox News and its CEO for admitting (in private) that his election claims were bogus, but host Tucker Carlson has secured his position in the former president’s good graces, by releasing cherry-picked snippets of January 6th footage that the pair claim negate the evidence released by the January 6th Committee, and exculpate Trump and others.
(Spoiler alert: the footage does not exonerate Trump or disprove the Committee’s evidence.)
Carlson was among the Fox hosts who promoted election denial publicly but mocked it in private messages with his colleagues, including mocking an attorney who was pushing the cases in court.
Despite that revelation, he’s going forward in full denial mode, insisting that the election was a “grave betrayal of American democracy” and that “no honest person can deny it.”
He’s also aired a special episode showing bits and pieces of footage (scroll for clips) that he says belie the January 6th Committee’s evidence.
These include footage that shows Senator Josh Hawley wasn’t the only legislator fleeing the attack (a claim the Committee never made); clips of people taking selfies (which do not negate thousands of hours of footage of rioters beating police and breaking windows); and obfuscation regarding weapons and other matters.
Trump is eating it up, dropping post after post on his social media to insist that Carlson’s footage is “irrefutable,” that these clips were “hidden,” and that this all proves him innocent.
In one post, he declared that Carlson had secured “one of the biggest scoops” in U.S. history, and said:
In another, he insisted, “The Unselect Committee LIED, and should be prosecuted for their actions.”
“The New Surveillance Footage of the January 6th Events sheds an entirely different light on what actually happened…“Trump” and most others are totally innocent, LET THEM GO FREE, NOW!”
However, Carlson’s clips don’t actually show anything that changes what America saw live as it took place, or what the January 6th Committee aired to the public.
He hosts a guest who claims that news reports only called it an “armed insurrection” because people were “carrying” flags — although evidence has been shown of flagpoles being used as weapons, and of other weapons, including bear mace and firearms, present.
He points to moments of video in which no violence takes place, as though it undoes violence that did happen, and was also caught on film.
Check out the clips below for his weaksauce efforts to insurrectionsplain:
First, here’s his make-up speech in which he assures one key viewer that he really definitely totally believes his election lies.
Tucker: In retrospect, it is clear the 2020 election was a grave betrayal of American democracy given the facts that have since emerged about that election. No honest person can deny it. pic.twitter.com/mrUWIfTlET
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 7, 2023
Here’s the aforementioned Hawley clip, with added context by Decoding Fox News, which demonstrates that in fact, the January 6th Committee did present footage showing other lawmakers exiting too — but that the point wasn’t to prove Hawley’s “cowardice” as Tucker claims, but to contrast with the fist-pump he gave the mob on his way into the building, and demonstrate that, whatever he says after the fact, Hawley knew at the time that there was clear and present danger.
Tucker Carlson accused the Jan. 6th Committee of creatively editing a clip of Josh Hawley running. Tucker Carlson creatively edited the clip. The Jan. 6th Committee did show Hawley running with several other Senators. I provide receipts. pic.twitter.com/8dby0TZzCj
— Decoding Fox News (@DecodingFoxNews) March 7, 2023
NBC News reporter Ryan J. Reilly fact-checked Carlson on a few significant claims — that there is a “dispute” about how Jacob Chansley entered the building, and the implication that it’s unclear who opened the Senate Wing door for the rest of the crowd.
Also the “someone” who opened the door, as Tucker Carlson referred to him, is an anti-abortion extremism who purported to respect the sanctity of life until he (allegedly) plotted to kill a FBI agent following his Jan. 6 arrest. #Parasnooper https://t.co/sMpWaElQUg
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) March 7, 2023
Then there’s the weapons lie (again).
Numerous participants have been prosecuted for the weapons they had, and in some cases, used against police officers, on the Capitol Grounds.
Fox News is STILL lying about weapons at the January 6 insurrection. https://t.co/8FxILq7LIM pic.twitter.com/QPmRXwOjGH
— Kat Abu (@abughazalehkat) March 7, 2023
In short, Tucker brought a buffet of nothing burgers, and the former president is trying to hawk them to the public like “hamberders” to athletes — but the serving is as slimy as the hosts, and there’s no beef.