On Tuesday, several leading politicians harshly criticized Fox News star Tucker Carlson for a series of false claims he made about the Jan. 6 attack the night before. But the criticism didn’t just come from Democrats — several leading Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also spoke out against the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host.
On Tuesday’s episode of Carlson’s Fox News show, which the New York Times once described as “what may be the most racist show in the history of cable news,” he was clearly angry, though he did bear a big, sarcastic grin while talking about it.
But Carlson presented a fearful message: Republicans and Democrats in congress are, he said, essentially conspiring with each other against the American people — and he urged his viewers to “keep a list” of the Republicans in particular who act like this.
You can watch the whole clip at the top of the page (courtesy of @Acyn on Twitter). But before we go on, a little context: On Monday’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Carlson made numerous false statements about Jan. 6, including the use of selectively edited footage to advance the false claim that the attack was a peaceful event. Carlson also repeated the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from former president Donald Trump.
Those comments are what prompted rare criticism from Republicans, including McConnell.
After noting statements by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Carlson said, “Schumer was joined in this outrage by the Senate Minority Leader, and that would be a Republican, Mitch McConnell. And they were joined by a cascade of other Republicans, Tom Tillis from North Carolina, Mitt Romney from Utah, all sharing the same outrage.”
“And from this, we learn 2 things. 1) Getting close to what they really care about, and you have to ask yourself, ‘Why? Why is it so important that they would degrade themselves by telling such obvious lies and calling for censorship?’” Carlson said. “‘Why? What are they trying to protect?’ That might be worth exploring – and we plan to.”
“The second thing we learned from this is that they’re on the same side,” Carlson continued, meaning Democratic politicians and Republican politicians.
“The Senate majority leader joins the Senate minority leader. Tom Tillis, Mitt Romney,” Carlson added with a performative snicker, “they’re all on the same side. So it’s actually not about left and right. It’s not about Republican and Democrat. Here you have people with shared interests.”
Carlson then proceeded to describe what he sees as those “shared interests”: “The open borders people. The people like Mitch McConnell, living in splendor on Chinese money. The people who, underneath it all, have everything in common, are all aligned, against everyone else.”
“And that would include almost all news organizations in this country, as well,” Carlson said, a sentiment that presumably doesn’t include his own employer.
“And so if you’re watching this at home, it would be kind of interesting to keep a list. Because one thing we learned today is that they’re all in agreement with each other. They kind of outed themselves. They sort of showed their membership cards in whatever club this is to the public.”
“So keep a list. If you want to know who’s actually aligned, despite the illusion of partisanship, we found out today,” he added.
Interestingly, while Carlson devoted a considerable portion of his shows this week to repeating lies about the Jan. 6 attack and appearing to agree with the false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, documents released from the ongoing defamation suit filed by Dominion against Fox News tell a very different story.
For instance, on Jan. 4, 2021, Carlson told someone in a text that he hated Trump “passionately.” Other communications include Carlson acknowledging to other Fox News personalities that he didn’t believe Trump’s claims that the election was stolen.