OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The Democrat-led Jan. 6 hearings have experienced backing in most of the mainstream media but the committee’s work is either not resonating with inflation-pinched Americans or is being viewed as little more than the latest politicized witch hunt against former President Donald Trump by many.
NBC News spoke with several voters in politically volatile Washoe County, Nev., and several said they view the committee as being politically motivated against Trump.
“Reprehensible,” said one voter.
“Disgusting,” said a second.
“It has everybody angry,” said a third.
“It might as well be impeachment No. 3 for Donald Trump,” said Judy Cameron, a Reno retiree. “This is their big push to get Donald Trump off the ballot.”
“NBC News talked to more than two dozen voters in both Washoe and Clark counties — the two most populous in Nevada — and found that the committee hearings that captivated Washington not only failed to persuade these voters but pushed them in the opposite direction,” NBC reported.
Committee Chairman Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson was asked last week if the committee would be sending criminal referrals for Trump or others and he responded by saying the committee does not have that authority.
“No, you know, we’re going to tell the facts. If the Department of Justice looks at it and assumes that there’s something that needs further review, I’m sure they’ll do it,” Thompson said.
He was asked again and explained: “No, that’s not our job. Our job is to look at the facts and circumstances around January 6, what caused it, and make recommendations after that.”
Again, while most major media outlets have given air time to some of the committee’s ranking members, others have cast a critical eye at the proceedings — especially Republicans, most of whom rejected the premise of the panel in the first place after its members were hand-picked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Others have taken a critical view of the Jan. 6 incident as well, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Recently he aired a three-part special on Fox’s streaming network, Fox Nation, in which he suggested that among the crowds gathered at the Capitol Building the day of the riot may have been infiltrated by government agents, some of whom were agitating the crowd to attack.
In the series, Carlson suggests the incident was not orchestrated by Donald Trump’s supporters but rather his foes, including left-wing groups and maybe even some in the government.
“Features interviews with a series of criminals and con artists all of whom are selling their own versions of events to the point the show contradiction itself consistently. The event was peaceful, also all the violence was done by instigators. The media is making things up but also they retract and apologize for making mistakes. All the permits were proper but also no permits were needed. The patriot act was bad but also several sources are pro-patriot act. The Knowledge on display is limited at best. It seriously is in a Fight with itself,” the description of the show states.
Two of Fox News’ longtime contributors, Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes, quit the network after the special aired.
The New York Times reports that Goldberg and Hayes texted each other after viewing the trailer for the special and discussed leaving Fox News.
That evening Goldberg, sent a text to his business partner, Hayes, which said, “I’m tempted just to quit Fox over this.”
Hayes replied, “I’m game. Totally outrageous. It will lead to violence. Not sure how we can stay.”
The pair founded The Dispatch in 2019 as “…a place that thoughtful readers can come for conservative, fact-based news and commentary.”
Goldberg told the Times in an interview: “Whether it’s Patriot Purge or anti-vax stuff, I don’t want it in my name, and I want to call it out and criticize it. I don’t want to feel like I am betraying a trust that I had by being a Fox News contributor. And I also don’t want to be accused of not really pulling the punches. And then this was just an untenable tension for me.”
Goldberg added: “There are lots of people there that I respect and like and consider friends, and they’re making a decision based upon how to provide for their families and deal with their careers and all of that. And I’m not going to second-guess them. And there are also lots of people over there who think the Fox opinion side today is awesome.”