Further Musings On The Tucker Carlson Car In The Capitol Riot Aftermath Ethics Train Wreck [Corrected]

Having read more in the last 24 hours about this fiasco layered on a fiasco, I have reached the following conclusions:

1. I was right: Speaker McCarthy choosing Tucker Carlson as the vehicle to educate the public regarding the bias and slanted coverage of the January 6 Capitol rioting was a truly incompetent decision. If Rush Limbaugh weren’t dead, it was the equivalent of that, giving all of the Trump Deranged, progressive brain-washed and dishonest propagandists all they needed to spin the security footage into incoherence. Carlson is a proven liar and a cynical, untrustworthy charlatan who can’t even be trusted to believe in what he says on national TV. McCarthy walked into a cognitive dissonance perfect storm: if you wanted to ensure that no one who already hadn’t swallowed the “resistance”/Democratic Party/mainstream media (aka The Axis of Unethical Conduct) “insurrection” narrative would dismiss the new video, that was the way to do it.

2. Sure enough: Carlson and the Republicans are being widely accused of trying to excuse the riot, which was inexcusable. Chuck Schumer’s lie—on the Senate floor— that Carlson claimed the attack on the Capitol was not violent has more currency with those who don’t watch Fox News than anything Carlson said, and those who do watch Fox News already had concluded that the insurrection narrative was garbage. What is essential to begin clearing away the deception and corruption this episode epitomizes is to find someone whom the non-Fox News watchers will trust to carry the message. Handing the job to Carlson was simply dumb—but about what I expect of Kevin McCarthy.

3. The Big Lie is not that the 2020 election was stolen, but that the riot was an “insurrection.” Schumer and the Axis are using a Big Lie while accusing their adversaries of using a Big Lie. You have to admire the audacity: the 2020 election was a lot closer to “stolen” than the riot was to an insurrection.

4. Big Lies work. Attorney General Merrick Garland was asked by a reporter during a press briefing what he thought about Carlson’s coverage, and said that “five officers died” after he described the assaults on the officers “that day.” The conservative media is saying Garland lied; I bet he just believes what he has been told. I bet most Americans think one or more police officers were killed on “that day.” None were. Garland was also careful. He said the officers died. He didn’t say they died “that day,” though one might think that was his meaning. He also doesn’t say that the officers who died were among those assaulted. [Note: the previous section has been clarified from the original post]

And no, what Carlson showed in his exposé did not prove that Brain Sicknick was not killed on January 6; that had been proven long before. But the narrative holds that Sicknick’s experience in battling the rioters led to his fatal stroke, and Carlson focusing on Sicknick just made him—and, again, his advocates (evil conservatives, fascist Republicans, deplorable “Trumpists”)— look callous…and to what end?

5. The super-hyped narrative about Jan. 6 is obviously being scripted and circulated from Democratic Party High Command. Pathetic Karine Jean-Pierre yesterday actually said, “January 6 was the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” The Civil War wasn’t an “attack on our democracy,” for one thing. Nor was the riot an attack on democracy: it was an ill-conceived tantrum by American citizens who honestly believed that their democracy was being corrupted by a contested election result being prematurely certified.

It would be more helpful for a credible analyst to explain those points than to have to rely on a smirking Tucker Carlson preach to the choir.

6. As mentioned here yesterday, Jonathan Turley made the correct and useful conclusions from what Carlson showed, suggesting that the failure of the prosecution to alert Jason Chansley’s (“The QAnon Shaman”) attorney to the video appears to be a Brady violation. Turley also noted that Chansley pleaded guilty quickly, that the video was in the possession of Congress, not the Justice Department, and that Chansley’s plea agreement waived the right to appeal. He added,

The Congress and the January 6th Committee knew of this footage and its relevance to a pending criminal case. Yet, they refused to make it public….Instead, the January 6th Committee hired a former ABC producer to put on a made-for-television production of highly edited images for public consumption. Countervailing evidence or images were consistently excluded and witnesses appeared as virtual props to support high-quality video packages. Even The New York Times admitted the narrative was meant to “recast the midterm message” and “give [Democrats] a platform for making a broader case about why they deserve to stay in power.”

Yet Jonathan Turley, while he is an objective analyst who has an audience about 100,000 times that of Ethics Alarms, is still an exotic authority for most Americans. The only network that will give him a platform is Fox News. Nonetheless, McCarthy would have done more good if he had entrusted the security footage with Turley rather than Carlson.

7. The other legal blogger who could help undue McCarthy and Carlson’s mess, Ann Althouse, treated this episode with one of her detached yawns, writing today that the January 6 Committee was “Shameful. Illiberal,” and commenting archly on on the prime time production by writing, “And they posed as democracy preservationists!” Yeah, Ann, a lot of us figured all that out many months ago. Her commenters seemed to get it (too bad that none of them are the kind of misled and confused citizens that need to understand the way the riot has been turned into a propaganda device); here are some excerpts:

  • “You know who should be the most embarrassed? Not the prosecutors (who should be jailed), it’s the judges. Judges are final arbiters. Their behavior (i. e. no bail, no speedy trial) is/ was despicable.”
  • “The question now is whether any federal people will stand up and force the prosecution of the bad apples, or whether we face a future with Spartacus-style slave rebellions and a decline akin to the fall of Rome. Can anyone in establishment media find a way to be honest and fair, or are they 100% fascists and hell bent on genocides against their opponents?”
  • “How can you enforce a plea agreement barring appeal when the agreement itself was obtained by denying the defendant exculpatory evidence?”
  • “In a functioning democracy, this outrage would result in numerous impeachments and congressional expulsions. And how can the University of Virginia move forward with Liz Cheney on staff”
  • “Shameful for the DOJ. More shameful for ABCNBCCBSPBSNYTWaPo. They never even asked for the video, or questioned the propaganda. Hell, they willingly promoted the lies. Even more shameful now–all of the bastards are now condemning Carlson for bringing to light the perfidy of our government. Which is their sacred duty and obligation.”

  • “Why did the fable of the insurrection have to be fabricated? Because the 2020 election was sabotaged. The Democrats are justifiably paranoid that the electorate is going to go after them. The election wasn’t “stolen from Trump.” The electorate was subject to a multi-year terror psy-ops run by the Deep State and the DNC. The release of the virus. Economic sabotage by shutdown. The torture of our kids. Imprisonment in our homes. The BLM reign of terror. I don’t begrudge the Dem’s their fear that the electorate will ultimately storm the building and hang them. They’ve got it coming.”

(I really like that one.)

2 thoughts on “Further Musings On The Tucker Carlson Car In The Capitol Riot Aftermath Ethics Train Wreck [Corrected]

    • Why is someone with a background in “creative writing” answering that question? None of the Jan 6 rioters were prosecuted for treason or insurrection either, because there was none.

      This is why I religiously ignore Quora.

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