During his protracted leadership bid earlier this year, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) promised to release a trove of footage filmed during the Jan. 6, 2021, protest on Capitol Hill.
Weeks later, he honored his pledge by turning over roughly 41,000 hours of video evidence to Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson, who has in turn been highlighting portions of that footage on his prime-time program in recent days.
Albert Watkins—former lawyer for the "QAnon Shaman"—says he had not seen the footage of his client that Tucker Carlson aired.
He tells Tucker: "It didn't fit their narrative, and but for you disclosing it, I don't know where we'd be." pic.twitter.com/W5BBFXsLt4
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) March 9, 2023
Despite some bipartisan backlash, McCarthy has repeatedly defended his decision, stating late last month: “I was asked in the press about these tapes, and I said they do belong to the American public. I think sunshine lets everybody make their own judgment.”
Carlson clearly agrees, explaining during a recent interview with radio host Glenn Beck that the footage he received shows how far politicians in both parties went to obfuscate the true nature of the protest.
Calling out a number of elected officials by name for vociferously condemning the actions of everyone who went to the Capitol that day, he asserted: “The main conclusion that I drew is that Chuck Schumer, and the horrible lieutenant minority leader Mitch McConnell — filthy man — and Mitt Romney, and Thom Tillis, and Sen. [Kevin] Cramer of North Dakota, like, they’re all lying. They’re all lying.”
Although Carlson maintained that the footage reveals an effort by the D.C. elite to mislead the public about the protest, he said it also leads to some as-yet unanswered questions.
“Why are they lying about what we can see plainly?” he asked. “And why didn’t they want us to see it? I know deception when I see it.”
He went on to conclude that the ultimate result of this widespread dishonesty is a skewed perception of reality among many Americans who bought into the prevailing narrative.
“This was a complex event in many facets,” Carlson said. “They simplified immediately into a good-versus-evil tale as they do with everything — partly because they lack nuance and imagination, sophistication.”
More insidiously, they also saw the protest as “a tool they were using for a purpose,” he added.
“It was a cudgel they were using to beat down their opponents and grab more power for themselves,” he concluded. “And in effect, what it did was change the definition of terrorism.”