Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell blasted Fox News’s presentation of the January 6 riot footage arguing the network made “a mistake,” calling it a largely peaceful if chaotic protest.
McConnell said he concurred with police Chief Tom Manger’s criticism that Tucker Carlson “cherry-picked” sections of the footage which mainly appeared calm and failed to provide context.
“With regard to the presentation on Fox News last night, I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of the Capitol police about what happened on January 6,” McConnell said.
McConnell said, “my concern is how” the January 6 footage “was depicted” by Tucker Carlson.
“Clearly the chief of the Capitol Police, in my view, correctly described what most of us witnessed firsthand on January 6,” he said.
“It was a mistake, in my view, [for] Fox News to depict this in a way completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here at the Capitol,” McConnell said.
Police Chief Manger said Carlson’s commentary was “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions about the January 6 attack.”
Carlson said Democrat’s claims of a deadly insurrection are “a lie.”
“Very little about January 6 was organized or violent,” Carlson said after reviewing the footage.
Footage showed police officers escorting one January 6 protester “QAnon Shaman, real name Jacob Chansley, around the Capitol like “tour guides.”
Carlson also highlighted the January 6 Committee’s claim that U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s death happened during the riot. However, footage showed Committee had lied, and Sicknick was alive during the event.
In 2021, the D.C. Medical Examiner’s office concluded that Officer Sicnick’s death was due to natural causes, a finding the U.S. Capitol Police accepted.
Meanwhile, Manger denounced Tucker’s portrayal of events, calling it “outrageous and false.”
“Those officers did their best to use de-escalation tactics to try to talk to rioters into getting each other to leave the building,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also blasted Carlson over the footage.
“Last night, Fox News with Speaker McCarthy (R-Calif.) as a willing, capable and powerful accomplice, aired one of the most shameful hours we have ever seen in the entire history of cable television,” he said.
“What has happened to any standards of honor, of honesty, of decency in America when this happens?” he said.
Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries also sent Rupert Murdoch a letter demanding Fox News hosts be censored.
“As noted in your deposition released yesterday, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and other Fox News personalities knowingly, repeatedly, and dangerously endorsed and promoted the Big Lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election. Though you have acknowledged your regret in allowing this grave propaganda to take place, your network hosts continue to promote, spew, and perpetuate elections conspiracy theories to this day,” the Democrat wrote in a letter.
Elon Musk also reacted to the footage, calling the January 6 committee’s lies about the event ‘deeply wrong.’
“Besides misleading the public, they withheld evidence for partisan political reasons that sent people to prison for far more serious crimes than they committed,” Musk wrote.
“That is deeply wrong, legally and morally,” he added.