While Fox relegates its coverage of the January 6th hearings to a broadcast ghetto, we know that its stars will be doing everything within their power to distort and undermine the proceedings with every propaganda tool Trump TV can muster.
Fox’s decision to air the hearings on its low-rated Fox Business Network and keep news anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum off the air until 11PM ET tells you everything you need to know about Fox. As I wrote earlier in the week:
If anything proves that the Murdochs are promoting their own big lie by putting “News” in their network’s name after “Fox,” it’s putting Tucker Carlson and the J6 cover-up crew on the air instead of what any legit newsperson would acknowledge is real news: the January 6th Committee hearings.
Let’s not forget that Fox “News” insists that Baier and MacCallum represent the “ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism.” But the network swore in court that nobody should consider Tucker Carlson a trustworthy source of news or facts.
Even worse, the people Fox viewers will be hearing from have already proven to be untrustworthy on the subject, to put it mildly: Carlson has already put forth a false and seditious spin on the January 6th effort to overturn our democratic election – which reportedly “troubled” Lachlan Murdoch, but not enough to prevent it from airing - while Sean Hannity has been pretending he didn’t urge Donald Trump to stop the violent siege of the Capitol and that he didn’t know Trump had lost the election. Laura Ingraham engaged in the J6 cover-up, too.
This would be the perfect time for Fox to come clean but, not surprisingly, the Murdoch network will almost certainly further the cover up.
There’s no doubt Tucker Carlson, Lachlan Murdoch’s pet, will be head propagandist and gaslighter - probably without mentioning that his son, Buckley Carlson was in the Capitol on January 6th, where he works as an aide to Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who voted to overturn the election results.
In an excellent overview of what he describes as “Fox’s complicity in the violent right-wing coup attempt,” Media Matters' Matt Gertz predicts tonight's hearings will open a "new phase" in that complicity. Carlson’s particularly egregious and malicious lies about January 6th will no doubt serve as templates:
Carlson did his best to downplay what happened on January 6, counting on the memories of his viewers to fade over it. He called it a “lie” to describe the events of January 6 as an insurrection, describing it instead as merely “a political protest got out of hand.” He scoffed at the well-documented facts that the rioters included QAnon adherents, white supremacists, and Proud Boys. He lashed out at Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), the Republicans who agreed to serve on the select committee, attempting to discredit them to his viewers. And he mocked police officers who gave public testimony about being assaulted during the attacks.
Carlson’s alternate version of the events of January 6 is a lie. Of the more than 800 people federal prosecutors have charged with crimes related to the riot, at least 225 have been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees. Roughly a third of those were also charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon against police officers or causing serious bodily injury to an officer. The leaders of both the Proud Boys and the Oathkeepers, as well as 14 of their members or associates, have been charged with seditious conspiracy.
But downplaying the danger posed by the rioters and the violent extremism of their ideologies made it easy for Carlson to urge his viewers to feel solidarity with them. He told his audience that the Democratic overreaction to the insurrection was endangering their lives and freedoms and constituted a “new war against our own population.”
Having decided that Democrats were overreacting to the insurrection, it was only a small step for Carlson to allege that the insurrection had been deliberately manufactured for that purpose. “The events of January 6 ... were at least in part organized and carried out in secret by people connected to federal law enforcement,” he alleged last June based on no evidence, adding, “It's hard to think of a bigger potential scandal than this one.”
Gertz also notes that Carlson’s colleagues have already been following his lead on January 6th lies:
Fox News has been whitewashing the January 6 attack for months — this is just another example. pic.twitter.com/8cqGbEw8WV— Media Matters (@mmfa) July 27, 2021
There’s no doubt they’ll keep doing so.
lol ok pic.twitter.com/54SGhliTqr— Acyn (@Acyn) June 7, 2022
You can watch Carlson literally laugh at DC cop Michael Fanone talking about the life-threatening injuries he received on January 6, below, from the July 27, 2021 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
PS I will be sharing my thoughts and observations about the hearings in the comments section, below. Feel free to share yours, too. I'll be catching up on the Fox spin tomorrow.
Watch Tucker Carlson literally laugh at DC cop Michael Fanone saying he's "been left with psychological trauma and emotional anxiety" from the Capitol riots.— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 28, 2021
Fanone was nearly beaten to death and suffered a heart attack!
This is truly sociopathic behavior here. pic.twitter.com/VA2QN3Rk5T
We know the names of three of the other “multiple” congressmen who sought pardons over J6
Ivanka Trump’s testimony
Even if Tucker’s implausible, baseless allegation held water, an attempted Presidential coup is one example of an even bigger scandal which is not hard to think of.
There were so many little tiny details of interest in this first hearing. The one that caused me literally to gasp was learning that many Republicans asked Trump for a Presidential pardon (we need that list, lease). Bill Barr actually telling the truth was impressive, too. The video tying that knot between the Proud Boys and the Oathkeepers wasn’t bad, either. Ms Edwards, the lady cop was more compelling than the men I’ve watched over the past year or so. So many little details to be fleshed out. And I can’t wait to see more of Ivanka and Jared.
Its stunning that people will buy these excuses. Inflation and border security will wax and wane, but our Democracy presumably can only fail once.
I’m glad the next one will be during the daytime.
I can’t wait to catch up on the spin (snark).