OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
After he aired never-before-seen surveillance footage of the riot at the U.S. Capitol Building on his show last week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson angered no small number of Democrats.
And some ‘establishment’ Republicans too, including Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah.
At a GOP leadership news conference, Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney slammed the Fox News host, saying it’s “really sad to see Tucker Carlson go off the rails like that.” Romey added that he’s “joining a range of shock jocks that are disappointing America and feeding falsehoods.”
“The American people saw what happened on Jan. 6,” Romney told reporters. “They’ve seen the people that got injured. They saw the damage to the building. You can’t hide the truth by selectively picking a few minutes out of tapes and saying this is what went on. It’s so absurd. It’s nonsense.
“It’s a very dangerous thing to do, to suggest that attacking the Capitol of the United States is in any way acceptable and it’s anything other than a serious crime, against democracy and against our country. And people saw that it was violent and destructive and should never happen again. But trying to normalize that behavior is dangerous and disgusting,” the senator referred to as a ‘RINO’ by conservatives added.
Utah’s other senator, Republican Mike Lee, sided with Carlson.
“I don’t understand why any senator — Republican or Democrat — would be ‘outraged’ by your reporting on public surveillance-camera footage from January 6th, especially given that the footage in question raises legitimate questions that need to be answered,” he wrote on his personal Twitter account in a post containing a video clip of Carlson.
I don’t understand why any senator — Republican or Democrat — would be “outraged” by your reporting on public surveillance-camera footage from January 6th, especially given that the footage in question raises legitimate questions that need to be answered. https://t.co/HuGGsjlU8T
— Mike Lee (@BasedMikeLee) March 9, 2023
In the clip, Carlson said that Democratic New York Sen. “Chuck Schumer wasn’t the only politician outraged by our January 6 reporting. He was joined by a cascade of Republicans, including Mitch McConnell.”
Schumer looked set to appear on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s program Wednesday evening to discuss Carlson’s previous remarks that accompanied the airing of previously unseen video footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, but it didn’t work out in the end.
That’s because of one condition he put on any appearance — one that Carlson was never going to agree to.
“I was invited on Tucker Carlson’s show. I will agree to go on after Tucker Carlson admits to his viewers live on air that he has been lying to them about the 2020 elections and about what happened on January 6th,” Schumer tweeted last week.
Carlson’s producers invited Schumer on the program after he claimed that airing the footage was somehow a threat to “democracy.”
“These lies continue tonight. [News Corp. owner] Rupert Murdoch, who has admitted they were lies and said he regretted it, has a special obligation to stop Tucker Carlson from going on tonight, now that he’s seen how he has perverted and slimed the truth, and from letting him go on again and again and again,” he told reporters.
“Not because their views deserve such opprobrium, but because our democracy depends on it,” he said.
The Senate leader appears to be referring to claims made by some hosts and guests on Fox News in the past who questioned the outcome of the 2020 election. But Carlson’s airing of Jan. 6 footage has nothing to do with that; rather, his stated objective is to air portions of surveillance footage he was given access to by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) that appear to dispute certain narratives — many of them pushed by Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media — about what actually happened during the riot.
That said, Schumer wasn’t the only official upset by the clips. The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police issued a memo to his staff on Tuesday after some footage appeared to show officers standing passively as a large crowd entered the Capitol on January 6.
Police Chief Tom Manger condemned Carlson’s comments and analysis, stating they were “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions” about the riot.
“The program conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video,” Manger claimed. “The commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments.”