Tucker Carlson took a giant step forward in his love for white vigilante shooter Kyle Rittenhouse by airing a video prepared by Rittenhouse’s lawyer and bringing on Jeanine Pirro to declare it as proof of Rittenhouse’s heroism for shooting and killing two Black Lives Matter protesters.
You may recall that Carlson has previously justified Rittenhouse’s vigilanteism. Last night, Carlson went a step further by all but officially joining the vigilante’s legal defense.
Carlson began by demonizing the Kenosha, Wisconsin Black Lives Matter protesters and the subject of their protest, the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Carlson stopped one step short of saying they all deserved to die.
CARLSON: Last month, much of the City of Kenosha, Wisconsin burned to the ground. No one expected that to happen. Kenosha was not a hotbed of unrest. It all began very suddenly, when police tried to arrest a man with a long criminal record called Jacob Blake. Blake was wanted on felony sexual assault charges.
Blake resisted arrest. He fought with police. They tasered him, he kept resisting and then apparently police say he reached for a knife. Police then shot him in response.
Blake survived, but the city did not. The media immediately described Blake's shooting as racially motivated. There was no evidence that that was true. There still isn't any evidence that's true.
But riots broke out in response as if on cue. Mobs of Biden voters destroyed businesses and churches. They torched car lots and furniture stores. What had been a peaceful middle class city was destroyed.
FACT CHECK: What Carlson didn't tell viewers is that a) Kenosha is part of the "most racially segregated region of the country, and the economic conditions for Black residents in this region rank among the worst in the country in a number of metrics," as NPR reported. Also, while the damage to Kenosha was severe, it clearly has not been destroyed.
Next, Carlson recast Rittenhouse as a savior. Neither Carlson nor Pirro mentioned that “savior” Rittenhouse showed up to “help” with an assault-style rifle that he shouldn’t have had. Maybe he’s guilty or maybe he’s not guilty of the murder charges but nobody showing up at a protest as an opposition force with an assault weapon is going to improve the situation. Unless you think BLM protesters deserve to be killed.
It’s hard to believe Carlson or Pirro think otherwise.
CARLSON: This went on for days. Hamstrung by local politicians, police did little to stop the destruction. A small number of citizens decided to fill the vacuum. One of them was a 17-year-old from suburban Chicago called Kyle Rittenhouse. On Tuesday, August 25th, Rittenhouse finished his shift as a lifeguard in Kenosha. Video shows he spent part of that day cleaning graffiti from the walls of the local high school.
Rittenhouse then went downtown with a rifle to try to protect a car dealership that had been attacked by mobs the night before. What happened next destroyed Kyle Rittenhouse's life. It also ended the lives of two other people.
Kyle Rittenhouse apparently shot three people, total; two of them fatally. His attorneys argue that Kyle Rittenhouse acted in self- defense. Prosecutors in Wisconsin charged him with first-degree murder. So what is the truth about what happened that night?
This is one of those rare cases when we might be able to reach firm conclusions about that before the trial. There was an enormous amount of video shot that night in Kenosha mostly by citizens with iPhones. We have video of all three of the shootings Kyle Rittenhouse was involved in.
Critically, we also have video of the moments that preceded those shootings -- the context. We've already showed some of that video to you, but tonight, we're going to show you more. New, never before seen footage of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha.
And guess where Carlson got this video he was presenting as some kind of objective evidence and/or journalism? Why, from Rittenhouse’s lawyer and fundraiser, who just happens to be Sean Hannity's lawyer, too!
CARLSON: Now what you're about to see comes from the nonprofit, Fight Back, that was formed by Rittenhouse's defamation attorney, Lin Wood.
Carlson went on to pretend that his one-sided propaganda was unbiased truth, while others are lying. For white nationalism bonus points, he gratuitously smeared Black Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.
CARLSON: For the last month, there's been an enormous amount of propaganda surrounding this case, and virtually all of it has come from the left. Congresswoman Ayanna Presley of Massachusetts, for example, denounced Kyle Rittenhouse as, quote, "a white supremacist domestic terrorist." Now there's no evidence that is true. There never has been any evidence. It's a lie so far as we know.
So the question is, what else are they lying about? Tonight, we're going to show you context from that night and we're going to let you decide what happened.
Carlson played the video, adding supportive commentary such as, “At this point, the mob turns on Kyle Rittenhouse. They assault him. It is clear they planned to kill him.”
Carlson followed that up with a laughable pretense of impartiality.
CARLSON: So that's what happened that night in Kenosha, August 25, 2020. It's on camera. You can assess for yourself what you think of it.
As we said, as of tonight, only Kyle Rittenhouse has been charged in those shootings. It turns out, there was more than one. So the question before the court is, did Kyle Rittenhouse commit first-degree murder? Or was it something else? Was it as his lawyers say, self-defense?
Just in case, the viewers didn't already have the vigilante-friendly answer, Carlson brought on fellow FNC host Pirro. I’m surprised she wasn't accompanied by a plea for donations to Rittenhouse’s legal defense fund with a website and phone number on the lower third of the screen. But what the two hosts provided was better than money,.
PIRRO: Well, first of all, thank God for the video. It puts truth to the lies and light to the darkness. …
[W]hat this video shows is a clear demonstration of, at the very least, a need for self-defense, and I think the DA in this case should be very worried, in fact that he would be able to bring charges -- all of these charges in less than 48 hours is very disturbing. How could he possibly interview all the witnesses? And everything about this case suggests that Kyle went there to help. He had no intent -- and they claim that he's part of a militia. He is a vigilante. He's a white supremacist. He is none of that stuff.
He went to help. His intent is clear in everything he says and does. He says, "I'm coming here to help." And then after the first shot when he is being chased by Rosenbaum who was furious, because he is putting out the fires and he mistakes him for someone earlier. You know, he then stops and he has got a decision to make.
He's got a bunch of people in front of him with bats and weapons, Rosenbaum, who is threatening him, and he turns around and Rosenbaum ends up getting shot. We still don't know if Kyle did the kill shot because we can't get the autopsy or the ballistic reports yet.
But if you move on to the second shooting, what you realize is this kid is not a mass murderer. There were several times he could have continued shooting. Twice, he shot in the air. Once he turned around, and the guy put his hands up, he didn't shoot him. He kept moving.
He put his hands up, he tried to get the police's attention.
He tried to call the police for help. Everything about what he said and what he did indicates that he is not someone who went there with the intent to kill.
Now what this DA should recognize is this: there is no shame in exonerating a defendant if he is not guilty. In fact, a prosecutor's job is to make sure that we do not wrongly convict the innocent as much as it is a job to make sure that we convict the guilty.
Carlson and Pirro moved on to paint Democrats and BLM protesters as the real criminals who deserve "punishment":
CARLSON: Let me ask you two questions. One, the only reason this was going on in the first place, these riots were occurring is because politicians in Kenosha pulled the police back and allowed them to happen and into that vacuum moved people like Kyle Rittenhouse with firearms.
So the politicians in Kenosha are responsible for everything that happened that night during the riots. They allowed it to happen. When are they going to be punished for that?
PIRRO: Well, you know, they're not going to be punished. But this is an example of what can happen to anyone. Because when the police stand down, and in this video, you see, there's a lot of action yelling fires, the police aren't putting the fires down. The police are down the street if you watch this video.
This young kid is putting a fire out, another person is pointing a fire out. And you know whether the police were told to stand down, they're all Democrats. That's what we know. The mayor is a Democrat, the DA is a Democrat; and this can happen in any town to any one of us when the left comes in with lawlessness, and we're simply trying to protect our property.
Kyle Rittenhouse has been villainized here, and he has been demonized. And I think it should be just the opposite. Thank God for the video and the fact that we are able to identify what went on.
These are people with guns coming to protest, looking for trouble. This young kid is an innocent man. He is looking to help. He is you know -- he is all-American and he is trying to just make sure his town is safe.
You can watch Carlson and Pirro contribute to Rittenhouse’s defense below, from the September 22, 2020 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
1. Carlson snuck in a bit about the rioters being “mobs of Biden voters”. I wonder how he knows that. Did he go there and interview them? The looters and rioters here in Santa Monica weren’t the protestors, who demonstrated peacefully many blocks away from where the looters were attacking our stores. (And the looters and rioters actually behaved a lot more like angry Right Wing supporters of the Pence White House in that they were brazen and aggressive in their attacks)
2. How was Rittenhouse engaging in “self defense” when he illegally crossed state lines with a large firearm he had no license to carry? The fact that Pirro is trying to avoid stating this completely knocks her out of any sane legal discussion. Rittenhouse committed a felony before he ever got to Kenosha – and that initial felony points to his criminal intent, which he had made clear – to confront and shoot protestors. Now he can deal with the consequences of his homicidal behavior.