How Tucker Carlson is whitewashing January 6th for Trump


CC/Gage Skidmore

Tucker Carlson speaking with attendees at the 2020 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Tate Farinacci, The Carroll News

Over two years have passed since an angry mob stormed the United States Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021 in response to President Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election. Since that fierce and disappointing day, there has been a persistent debate (that ignores facts) on what exactly happened. 

Some have argued that the rioters attacked our democracy, while others firmly claim it was a peaceful protest with a just cause. Regardless of these differing viewpoints, Trump’s declaration of his candidacy in 2024 sparked a resurgence in popularity of Jan. 6, with many blaming Donald Trump for what happened. It is no surprise that Tucker Carlson chose to use his platform to deflect the blame from President Trump and make the narrative more palatable. (clip of the show)

On the March 13 installation of “Tucker Carlson Tonight, millions of viewers were shown previously unreleased footage from Jan. 6. During the broadcast, Carlson emphasized that those who stormed the capitol “…were not insurrectionists. They were sightseers.” 

The Associated Press explains that Carlson is attempting to push a narrative that paints the attackers as “peaceful protesters” who “acted like tourists.” Carlson has no problem ignoring “…the well-documented carnage of the day and the deaths of five people in the riot and its aftermath.” This is an apparent attempt to help Trump win 2024 by improving his public image. Undoubtedly, it is hugely concerning how Carlson used the videos. Let us dive into who gave him exclusive access to the over 14,000 hours of footage. 

Axios author Mike Allen explained that U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave Fox News and Carlson access to the archive because he felt that “The American public should. ..see all [that] happened instead of a report that’s written [on] a political basis.” Both parties claim that they are both trying to uncover and disseminate the truth surrounding Jan. 6. The Associated Press quoted Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (Veteran member of the U.S. House of Representatives Chair for the Committee on Homeland Security), who stated that McCarthy “…decided it was more important to give in to a Fox host who spews lies and propaganda than to protect the Capitol.” Needless to say, Rep. Thompson is displeased with the actions of the Speaker and aligns Carlson’s’ program with “propaganda.” If this is in the interest of truth and transparency, why did they choose Tucker Carlson, who Fox News says we should not believe? 

Let us rewind to September 2020 when model Karen McDougal brought a lawsuit against Carlson for statements he made on his show. Writing for Business Insider, Sonam Sheth explains that on Sept. 24, 2020, a federal judge ruled in favor of Fox News and Carlson and thus accepted the networks’ lawyers’ argument that no “reasonable viewer would take the network’s primetime star Tucker Carlson seriously.” However, it would be a shame not to mention that the Fox News website describes the show as the “sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and group-think.” Fox wants us to believe that Tucker Carlson is the “enemy of lying” but, if we are “reasonable,” we should not believe a word he says 

Not only is Carlson a complete hypocrite regarding the truth of his statements about the Capitol riots, but he also lied about his feelings toward former President Trump. Even though this spin job is an attempt to bolster the former president’s re-election chances, Carlson hates Trump. In leaked text messages provided by Newsweek, Carlson exclaims that “We [Fox News] are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait.” In addition, Tucker went as far as to say that he hates the former president “passionately.” 

Simply put, Carlson’s lack of credibility and newly displayed hatred of Trump discredit his attempt to help him by changing the narrative of Jan. 6. Nevertheless, it is chilling how willing Fox News and Carlson are to manipulate the emotions and beliefs of Americans for financial gain at the expense of democracy. 

Trump is calling in all his favors to shift the narrative around Jan. 6 to paint himself in a better light. This is a dangerous,  deliberate attempt to conceal an unpleasant truth. Suppose Trump can convince enough of the population that the attack on democracy that he called into action was a simple, peaceful protest. In that case, his actions directly threatened the United States of America, its democracy, and its elections because he invalidated an attack on these pillars of our country. 

We cannot allow Trump to get back into office. Notably, given the numerous concessions (ex., lowering the motion to vacate the speaker from 5 votes to 1) McCarthy made to be voted in as Speaker of the House, he may not have the political clout to avoid pressure from other Republicans. Carlson is merely a pawn in Trump’s plan to claw his way back into the presidency.