Fox News 'isn't even pretending anymore,' Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson released a trailer Wednesday night for "Patriot Purge," a propaganda program he created that falsely says the Jan. 6 insurrection was a "false flag" operation. The video lionizes the Donald Trump-supporting mob that rioted at the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to block the peaceful transition of power to Joe Biden.
Carlson said the program will tell the "true story" of the Jan. 6 attack, and the trailer shows a talking head claiming, over a visual of a person in a hood being waterboarded, that the "left is hunting the right, sticking them in Guantanamo Bay for American citizens, leaving them there to rot," while another says, "False flags have happened in this country, one of which might have been Jan. 6," and Joe Biden is shown saying, "White supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland."
Two Republicans who have taken the insurrection seriously — Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — immediately panned the program and criticized Fox News for airing it.
"It appears that @FoxNews is giving @TuckerCarlson a platform to spread the same type of lies that provoked violence on January 6," Cheney tweeted. "As @FoxNews knows, the election wasn't stolen and January 6 was not a 'false flag' operation."
Kinzinger tweeted, "Anyone working for @FoxNews must speak out. This is disgusting. It appears @foxnews isn't even pretending anymore."
On Jan. 6, supporters of Trump broke into and ransacked the Capitol, resulting in five deaths, injuries to 140 law enforcement officers, and millions of dollars' worth of damage. The trailer continues the right's promotion of the falsehood that the event was a false flag operation, staged to look like Trump supporters were carrying it out but intended to undermine them.
Carlson and GOP lawmakers, including Reps. Andy Clyde (GA) and Louie Gohmert (TX) and Sen. Ron Johnson (WI), and have downplayed the violence that day and defended the insurrectionists.
Sens. Mitch McConnell (KY) and John Thune (SD) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA) are among those who have opposed any investigation of the event of Jan. 6, saying it's time to move on and fearing that a focus on the attack could hurt the party in the 2022 midterm elections.
Meanwhile, some of the hundreds of people who have been arrested for their role in the attack have even blamed their behavior on Fox News, saying their belief in the GOP talking points spread by the cable network helped spark their participation. CNN reported that a lawyer for one alleged Capitol insurrectionist, Anthony Antonio, said in May that Antonio had developed "Foxitis": "He believed what was being fed to him."
Carlson, who has one of the highest-rated cable news shows in the country, has inspired others before with his white supremacist messaging, including the "Great Replacement" theory that white people of European ancestry are being deliberately "replaced" in the United States by nonwhite immigrants.
Neo-Nazi Christopher Cantwell, who pleaded guilty to a handful of assault and battery charges connected with the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was reportedly inspired by Carlson's white supremacist messaging.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.