Tucker Carlson’s Monday night presentation on the “new,” previously hidden January 6 video caused the predictable uproar from the left, who just can’t stand that you got to see anything they didn’t want you to see.
Before we get into Tuesday’s installment, here are some highlights --- and lowlights --- from the reaction to Monday’s show…
First, Officer Brian Sicknick’s family is outraged that Tucker used video to show that he was not murdered by J6-ers but rather, as was later determined, passed away from natural causes the day after. Of course, they’re calling for Tucker to be “silenced.”
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Recall that the Pulitzer Prize-winning NEW YORK TIMES had wrongly reported that Officer Sicknick was beaten to death on January 6 with a fire extinguisher blow to the head. Though they later retracted this, the idea that he was “slain” became part of the J6 lore that many still believe. After the medical examiner determined that he’d died of natural causes --- two strokes --- his family still maintains that his death resulted from a beating, and/or pepper spray, when there was no evidence of this and the officer seemed fine in video taken later that day. Also, he wore a helmet.
We’ll never know if the stress of that day indirectly contributed to his medical problem. But even that is a far cry from the lie about insurrectionists beating him to death.
The family has released a lengthy statement, a vicious diatribe against “Supreme Leader Trump” (“as corrupt and evil as Vladimir Putin”), Tucker Carlson (“delusional”) and FOX NEWS (“like Pravda”; “the propaganda arm of the Republican Party”), berating those who present Ashli Babbitt (“a criminal”) as “some kind of martyr for being shot in the process of breaking into the Capitol building.” Ashli was a petite, unarmed woman who had not broken into the Capitol building. We’ve covered the details of her tragically unnecessary death at length.
If they’re upset that the Capitol and DC Metro Police were “incredibly outnumbered,” they might want to ask why House leadership allowed that situation. Tucker was NOT “downplaying the horrid situation faced by the...police,” as they claimed. Just the opposite: he denounced the shameful lack of back-up security that day. Do they even know President Trump approved the deployment of 20,000 National Guard troops and that Nancy Pelosi turned his offer down?
Tucker is right to say this was not an insurrection. There was violence in the crowd at certain entrances to the Capitol, but the building is so huge and sprawling that many hundreds of peaceful protesters had no idea it was even happening. To acknowledge that most protesters were peaceful in no way excuses the violence.
Sicknick’s family members are speaking from a deep well of grief and don’t understand we need the full picture of what really happened. It doesn’t make him any less of a hero in anyone’s eyes. And if this fine officer actually had been killed with a fire extinguisher, Trump supporters would want to know and would be just as horrified as anyone else.
What concerns us is that Democrats scrimped on security for Trump’s event --- I believe deliberately --- and then exploited Officer Sicknick’s death for propaganda purposes. The story that he was “slain” by a “deadly insurrectionist mob” was a politically useful lie.
And here’s a piece of information you won’t find just anywhere: as THE NEW YORK POST reported three days after his death, Officer Sicknick’s friend Caroline Behringer said he’d been a Trump supporter who’d even written to his congressman to oppose Trump’s impeachment. This opinion piece by Matthew Schmitz includes snippets of letters he wrote, offering insight into why he supported Trump instead of government insiders. Perhaps Sicknick’s family is not aware of his views.
Moving on...Tucker’s producers determined that the J6 Committee added those sounds of crowd mayhem --- shouting, screams --- to the video they played in their hearings. There’s no debate about this; the closed-circuit TV (CCTV) was video-only, no audio recording at all. The NEW YORK POST called this a “deceptively edited primetime drama, produced by a former ABC NEWS president for maximum emotional impact.”
President Trump is now calling for the release of J6 detainees, some of whom are still being held pending trial over something that happened over two years ago. He praised Tucker and called this new evidence one of the “biggest scoops” in American journalism. “’Trump’ and most others are totally innocent --- LET THEM GO FREE, NOW,” he posted on Truth Social.
Now let’s turn to reactions from Senate Republicans, most notably Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Sadly, this news is not good. As Tristan Justice reports in THE FEDERALIST, “Senate Republicans condemned blockbuster reporting from FOX NEWS’ Tucker Carlson Tuesday, based on Democrat talking points.”
Regarding Tucker’s presentation, McConnell said, “I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of the Capitol Police about what happened on January 6th.” Chief Tom Manger had sent a memo to his department calling Tucker’s coverage “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions.” North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer (who misquoted Tucker), South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds and South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham were also dismissive. Mitt Romney compared Tucker to INFOWARS’ Alex Jones.
I think McConnell, and apparently Chief Manger, both fail to understand that we’ve already seen the violence. That video was presented over and over. We know about the violence. THIS is the video that until now we have NOT seen. This is “the rest of the story.”
Commentator J. D. Rucker said Tucker did “a very good job of highlighting some of the deception” surrounding January 6. He suggested four things that need to happen now:
1. (echoing President Trump) Release all political prisoners. In this, Rucker goes farther than we might, saying to release them ALL because “events that led to those crimes were manufactured...coordinated for the sole purpose of building the insurrection narrative.” True, but, as we’ve said, that doesn’t excuse actual violence and vandalism.
2. Make the tapes public. That would be a YES.
3. Investigate, charge, arrest and prosecute everyone complicit in the January 6 lies. What say you? Jail time for the likes of Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Adam Schiff and, as Rucker says, “their merry bank of evildoers”? Well, falsifying evidence is a crime, and it seems the committee did that. We’re not attorneys and neither is Rucker, but prosecution is something to explore. Also civil litigation.
4. Keep the flow of information coming. Rucker doesn’t want this to be “a nuclear attack followed by a press release.” Make documentaries. Drop bombshells. We have to counter “two years’ worth of gaslighting and propaganda that have brainwashed most Americans into thinking the mostly peaceful events that occurred on January 6, 2021, were somehow on par with 9/11 and Pearl Harbor,” he says.
Rucker has some great ideas for being “patriotic in public” and I hope you read them. As he says, “One episode of Tucker Carlson isn’t going to make a dent.”
Moving to Tucker’s presentation Tuesday night, he first reminds us that in some cases, the DOJ didn’t share exculpatory evidence with attorneys for J6 defendants, violating their constitutional rights. Here’s his opening monologue, which also reviews major points from the previous night.
“In free countries,” he said, “governments do not lie about protests as a pretext to get more power for themselves. They don’t selectively edit video for propaganda purposes and then lie about them in fake hearings and show trials. But that’s exactly what happened, and every member of Congress should ask WHY that happened.”
Rather than asking why, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the censorship and demanded that FOX NEWS stop Tucker from running “a second segment of lies.” Schumer ominously said, “Conduct like theirs is just asking for another January 6 to happen.”
Needless to say, Tucker’s show went on as planned.
Tucker also brings up Sen. McConnell’s objections, along with those of the other GOP senators mentioned above. “So it’s actually not about left and right,” he says, “not about Republican and Democrat. Here you have people with shared interests…” It’s a club, he said, and they’re all showing their membership cards.
Finally, Tucker addresses the utter lack of preparedness for this huge event, despite ample warning of potential disturbance. Apparently, the front-line officers on duty were not aware of this situation and were overwhelmed. This failure of communication “has never been explained.”
He goes to an interview he did with former Lt. Tarik Johnson, a 22-year veteran of the Capitol Police who on January 6 was responsible for security during election certification. Now, here’s something strange: the Committee never called him to testify, even though he really wanted to and prayed they would ask him. “I guess the focus was on Donald Trump,” he said, “and not the failures of the Capitol Police.”
He told Tucker that on January 6, nobody answered his numerous pleas for help over Capitol Hill Police radio frequencies, even after protesters began entering the Capitol. He’s still baffled as to why. Assistant Chief (in charge of intel operations) Yogananda Pittman, he said, kept needed information about the protest from front-line officers. When he just couldn’t raise anyone to give him authorization to evacuate Senators, he made the judgment call to go ahead anyway.
As Tucker explained, he wasn’t rewarded for his quick thinking. Instead, he was punished because outside the Capitol, he was photographed wearing a MAGA hat that someone in the crowd had handed him. He says he put it on to help him get through the crowd while trying to rescue fellow officers who were trapped inside the building. It was for de-escalation --- smart thinking! But “for the crime of wearing the Trump hat, Johnson found himself suspended. Ultimately, he resigned from the force and lost his pension.”
He now has a part-time job moving furniture. Yogananda Pittman, on the other hand, was rewarded two days after the riot for her apparent ineptitude. She got promoted to acting chief of the Capitol Police. Just last month, she moved to a prestigious job as head of security at UC Berkeley, “which is right outside Pelosi’s congressional district,” Tucker notes.
Johnson told Tucker he was “shocked” by the partisanship he saw within the Capitol Police after January 6. Historically, they’ve always been neutral, but no more, it seems.
Be sure and also see Tucker’s interview with Julie Kelly, who wrote the book JANUARY 6, as she talks about the situation faced by current J6 detainees, some of whom have been jailed for 26 months. She says the federal judges in DC are “the real villains here.” Tomorrow we’ll talk more about the fate of these political prisoners.