A simple Google search will quickly verify that Tucker Carlson is widely believed to be a white supremacist. The first time I called him a white nationalist in print, an editor at the Washington Monthly was concerned. It took me five minutes to convince him that I had enough to back it up. Since then, Carlson’s open racism has become more widely known and reporting on it isn’t controversial.
It’s obvious that Fox News not only doesn’t care but that they see Carlson as a wildly profitable and successful primetime talent who gives their audience precisely what it wants. But now things have gone several steps further. Mike Allen of Axios reports that Carlson is now in exclusive possession of over “41,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage from the Jan. 6 riot.”
How is this possible?
Well, Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is apparently responsible. According to Allen, McCarthy invited Carlson’s producers to visit Capitol Hill last week and “begin digging through the trove, which includes multiple camera angles from all over Capitol grounds.”
Why would McCarthy want a notorious white supremacist to have exclusive access to this footage?
I mean, the January 6 riot was rife with Confederate flags, and the breaking and entry of the Capitol building was led by well-known white supremacist groups, like the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and Three Percenters. Does McCarthy want to try to disprove this?
Is the idea that Carlson will selectively edit the footage to paint some other story?
And, if so, why does McCarthy see this as to his advantage?
Two weeks ago, Kevin Seefried, the man who was famously photographed carrying the Stars & Bars through the Capitol Rotunda, was sentenced to three years in prison. The Trump-appointed judge called Seyfried’s behavior “especially shocking” and “outrageous, “deeply offensive” and “troubling.” Does McCarthy think this verdict going to change because Carlson shows selective footage of the riot to his right-wing audience?
Apparently, the fact that raw footage hasn’t previously been released, except selectively by the House January 6 select committee, is of some special significance to Carlson, as if it indicates some conspiracy to spread a false narrative. McCarthy is buying into this.
McCarthy told reporters in Statuary Hall last month that he thinks “the American public should actually see all [that] happened instead of a report that’s written [on] a political basis.”
I can understand why McCarthy might make the footage available to everyone so that they can draw their own conclusions, but by giving exclusive access to Carlson, he’s clearly guilty of releasing it “on a political basis.”
And the political basis includes that he’s promoting a white supremacist’s show in an effort to somehow absolve white supremacists of their crimes, at least in the minds of a large percentage of Americans who tend to vote Republican. Is brainwashing this group a political winner when compared to the obvious criticism McCarthy will receive?
Don’t tell me McCarthy didn’t have a choice. He may undoubtedly feel pressure to release the raw footage, but he could have done that on a government server allowing all news services to comb through it, as well as the public. He went to Carlson because he wants to satisfy a narrow group.
Doing it this way makes McCarthy not only an accomplice to white supremacy but also a conspirator after-the-fact in the January 6 riot. This is apparently the required position for anyone who would lead the House Republicans.