Why is the most powerful member of the House handing the January 6 footage to Tucker Carlson?
According to a Axios report, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave Fox News host Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of surveillance footage from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Carlson producers reportedly visited Capitol Hill last week to begin reviewing the tapes, with plans to release footage on Carlson’s shows in the coming weeks.
Critics raised concerns about McCarthy’s decision to give the footage to Carlson, who has a habit of promoting conspiracy theories and downplaying the gravity of events. McCarthy’s decision is seen as a concession to a select group of far-right Republicans who have backed his bid for president. In exchange for their support, McCarthy has pledged to make all Jan. 6 security footage public, but his decision to give Carlson exclusive access is not the same as making the footage available to the public.
New reports also highlight newly revealed texts that show Carlson and his Fox News his colleagues, including Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, don’t necessarily believe the conspiracy theories they promote. Instead, they see their role as “threading a needle” between catering to their pro-Trump following and disinformation.
Understanding the events of January 6
Calendar: On January 6, 2021, 64 days after Election Day 2020, a crowd of supporters of President Donald J. Trump raided the Capitol. Here is closer how the attack went.
Lives lost: A bipartisan Senate report said at least 140 police officers were injured and 5 gave their lives in the deadly attack. Read the stories of Capitol Police on January 6.
Bipartisan inquiry: Over the past year, a bipartisan inquiry, led by members of the Republican and Democratic parties, has held 9 House committee hearings. Read and watch video and written summaries of the nine hearings.
Critics suggest that McCarthy’s decision to give exclusive access to Carlson is an attempt to downplay the seriousness of the Jan. 6 attack and deflect blame from those responsible. Carlson may use the footage to build conspiracy theories or blame the Capitol police for their handling of the situation.
Overall, McCarthy’s decision to coordinate with a Fox News outlet has raised concerns about political manipulation and the need for transparency in the Capitol Riot investigation. It also highlights the power of media outlets like Fox News in shaping public opinion and political discourse.
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