Was it at the behest of the de facto Speaker of the House? All we know for sure is that the de jure Speaker of the House — Kevin McCarthy — turned over 41,000 hours of January 6 surveillance footage. But to whom? To the DOJ? To the House Ethics Committee? To the American people? No, to Fox News host Tucker Carlson. I’m not making this up.
And what of the de facto Speaker of the House, Marjorie Taylor Greene? No one knows for sure what Greene was up to. Possibly torturing puppies. If she played any part in this infamous and shocking ethical disintegration she has remained uncharacteristically silent.
But we do know that Carlson, the alt-right propaganda maven, is the proud new owner of the footage. It was Carlson who oversaw the production of “Patriot Purge,” a movie about the absurdly stupid conspiracy theory that January 6 was a false flag operation created by Antifa,.
On what planet or under what circumstances not involving LSD such a decision to give Carlson the footage could possibly be made isn’t known. Whatever the case, the surrender of the American people’s property to a horrid man like Carlson was characterised by ranking member Jamie Raskin as “an astounding ethical collapse.”
Initially on the air, as the January 6 insurrection unfolded in real time, Carlson described the attack as a “storming” of the Capitol building. In the months that followed, however, he re-edited his opinion to suit his paymasters, and described it as a “nonviolent election justice protest.”
Like many Republicans trying on different explanations like garments in a cheap, second hand clothing store, Carlson vacillated between characterising the violent insurrection as a false flag operation and a “legitimate political discourse.” Carlson is now free to edit the 41,000 hours of film to suit whichever lie he has finally settled on.
Of course, giving the footage to a reprehensibly stupid Fox News host was the quintessential anti-American act. Kevin McCarthy has no shame, and Fox News has even less. To quote Jeff Tiedrich, “[H]ard to believe that the network that lied about Hillary Clinton and lied about Covid and lied about Seth Rich and lied about Hunter Biden and lied about just about everything else would lie about a presidential election.” And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.