House Speaker Kevin McCarthy picked a bad time to go all in with Tucker Carlson and Fox News, providing them “exclusive” and supposedly “unfettered” access to 44,000 hours of US Capitol video from the January 6 riot. For the last two weeks, we’ve been learning that Carlson, along with other marquee hosts like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, plus Fox News’s controlling owner Rupert Murdoch, all knew Trump and his minions were lying about 2020 election fraud, but kept featuring said minions, as well as the entire bogus fraud story, out of fear of losing audience and risking the firm’s toxically swollen stock price.
At one point the lying liars mulled having Hannity, Carlson, and Ingraham pronounce Trump’s lies just that, and assure viewers that like him or not, Joe Biden was our president. Sadly, CEO Suzanne Scott—widely rumored to be a fall gal for Murdoch’s public shame—talked him down: “We need to be careful about using the shows and pissing off viewers.” Indeed.
“Unfettered access” is what Carlson says he and his team were promised by McCarthy. But facing pushback from other House Republicans, not just Democrats, McCarthy has clarified that—presumably not without getting input from Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and other wing nuts who hold his speakership in their back pockets. Yes, Carlson’s team can see everything—which is probably bad enough—but whatever they propose airing will be screened to ensure that it doesn’t threaten Capitol “security,” the politically neutered speaker insisted Wednesday.
Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder, upon reading that, how McCarthy will define “security”? For everyone in the Capitol and congressional office buildings, including staff and other workers? For everyone who works for the GOP? I know, that sounds paranoid, but McCarthy is in league with nihilists who want to carry their guns on the House floor. They want to be able to smoke cigarettes everywhere in his magisterium. He certainly doesn’t have anyone’s security top of mind. Only his own job security.
But the stunning legal filings in the Dominion Voting Systems defamation case have certainly set back the Kevin and Tucker show. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries did an end run around McCarthy, asking to speak to his supervisor. No, not Trump—Murdoch. They sent a letter to the Fox leader reminding him and his hosts of their damning lies, adding that “your network hosts continue to promote, spew, and perpetuate election conspiracy theories to this day.”
They went on: “We demand that you direct Tucker Carlson and other hosts on your network to stop spreading false election narratives and admit on the air that they were wrong to engage in such negligent behavior.”
LOL. Good try, though.
You’ll recall that McCarthy was afraid for his life on January 6. By many accounts, he had a tetchy exchange with Donald Trump, who refused to call off his dogs. He supported the notion of a bipartisan inquiry—committee, commission, something?—until Trump came out against anything of the kind. He traveled to Mar-a-Lago to kiss and make up. Nothing truthful about January 6 has been heard from McCarthy since.
Oh, wait. I don’t know if this is truthful, but it’s interesting. Facing bipartisan blowback to his Tucker plan, McCarthy whined that the now-defunct bipartisan January 6 committee aired footage of his staff fleeing the attack. “[It’s] concerning to me that [the committee] put out—and CNN would play it—the exit from my office,” he said. “Never did they talk to me or the people on it.”
My dude, the committee subpoenaed you, and you didn’t comply. They seriously wanted to talk to you about it.
Now we have pushback, from Democrats and even Republicans, to McCarthy’s plan to outsource a full audit of Capitol security footage that tragic day to a lying wing nut millionaire who insisted that security wasn’t really breached. To Carlson, January 6 was a “false flag” or else just “vandalism.” I’ve been told on background that Democrats believe they have the power to release the video themselves—the Capitol Police has essentially confirmed that, saying they must comply with any leadership request for footage—but party leaders remain concerned about potential security issues.
Carlson promised we’d see his team’s first products this week, and that they would “contradict” the January 6 sedition story, though we have seen that truth with our own eyes. Well, it’s Thursday, and nothing yet. Wouldn’t you know it: I have plans tonight. I’m sure someone will text me if I have to rush home and see whether Tucker has completely unraveled the Deep State’s January 6 deep fake.