On Thursday night, as the nation’s major broadcast and cable news networks covered live the first public hearing of the House select committee on the January 6 attack, there was one notable outlier: Fox News, where viewers were given hours of counter-programs that the Donald Trump– incited an uprising and rejected the nearly year-long investigation into it. “It’s all insulting… It’s crazy, and we’re not playing along,” said Tucker Carlson in an opening segment that the hearing called a “show trial.”
“This is the only hour on a US news channel that won’t be broadcasting their propaganda live,” Fox’s top host proudly stated before describing January 6, a deadly attack on the Capitol to override certification of Joe Biden‘s victory, like a “forgotten little” outburst of mob violence. This story was echoed by several Tucker Carlson tonight guests, including: Jason Whitlock, a sports commentator. “There was no uprising. There was a riot, a minor one that got a little out of hand,” Whitlock told the host. In another segment, Carlson heard from: Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democratic legislator who today looks more like a conservative pundit. †[Democrats] focus on this. They don’t want to deal with the real problems that Americans across the country face every day: rising inflation, rising gas prices, rising crime, open borders,” the ex-congresswoman told Carlson.
While NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN and MSNBC moved away from their typical prime-time programming to broadcast live footage of the hearing, Fox News doubled its usual commentary and aired Carlson’s 8 p.m. block without a single commercial break. “They want to push his propaganda so that they put money on the table to do it,” tweeted Matt Gertz, a senior fellow at the progressive watchdog Media Matters. “Fox is desperate to prevent its viewers from switching channels and seeing the hearing in real time.”
Carlson, whose show occasionally broadcast the hearing in muted steps on a small screen, informed viewers that “if anything remarkable happens, we’ll bring it to you immediately.” But when its rival networks carried new footage of Trump supporters attacking police officers as they breached the Capitol complex, Fox News cut away completely out of the hearing so the public doesn’t have to witness clips of the riot, according to NBC News’ Manny Fidel.