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The Mahablog

Tucker’s Videos Blow Up in His Face

I wrote a few days ago that it seems the Right is having a harder time sticking to one set of talking points any more. Boy howdy, are we seeing that now. Tucker Carlson’s attempt to establish January 6 Trutherism is getting little support even from within Fox News.

In a remarkable segment Tuesday night, Fox News host Bret Baier and congressional reporter Chad Pergram effectively counter-programmed Tucker Carlson’s Jan. 6 whitewash from the night before.

The segment starts off as you might expect, touting Carlson’s “new” surveillance video containing images that “were hidden from the public for more than two years.” But then you can almost hear the tires screeching and the gears grinding as Baier hits the breaks and reverses course, kicking it to a pre-recorded report from Pergram on the Hill, where pushback was fierce all day.

The segment ends with an amazing and hilarious “to be sure” closing from Baier: “And to be clear, no one here at Fox News condones any of the violences that happened on Jan. 6.

Before Baier’s show, Fox News didn’t run a single segment yesterday about Tucker’s video, it says here. You’d think Rupert would rather you didn’t notice it.

Republicans in Congress nearly all pushed back against Tucker’s attempt at a Whitewash. One of the exceptions was Josh Hawley, who supported Carlson’s propaganda.

Let’s review:

Carlson also said yesterday that the video of Hawley running was “propaganda” because other senators ran from the mob also. Um, Tucker, a mob? Weren’t they just tourists? Peaceful protesters? Get your story straight, dude.

See also House GOP faces a new Jan. 6 headache, courtesy of Tucker Carlson at Politico. In brief, the Republican Congress Critters have mostly wanted January 6 to go away. They aren’t happy about having to address it again.

And then last night Dominion dumped a whole lot more court filings, which stomped all over Tucker’s stunt. Last night this was the top headline on the WaPo site:

Tucker also got blasted by all the late night comics.

Last night Aaron Blake at WaPo wrote 4 takeaways from the new Dominion-Fox lawsuit documents that’s worth reading (no paywall). And Greg Sargent writes Fox News texts point to the right’s long war on the truth (no paywall). The Fox News hosts “saw the truth as a threat to their hold on their viewers,” Sargent wrote.

This bid to capture millions in a bubble of falsehoods was also acknowledged by the news side, when a top news editor called the constant lying an “existential crisis” for Fox News ’s journalism. But as Matthew Gertz of Media Matters notes, the prime-time personalities had a clearer read than the news operation on the real source of Fox News’ success: its role as a “propaganda machine that accumulates money and power by lying to its viewers.”

Y’all knew that, of course. I appreciate that Sargent traces this effort way back to the the late 1940s and early 1950s, when leading figures on the Right made a decision to create their own media outlets while sewing distrust of “mainstream” news sources. Now they’ve got a large segment of the population so deep into alternative reality they can’t be told the truth even when the truth might better serve the Right’s purposes. Whatever those purposes still are.

In Other News — a federal judge has nullified Missouri’s gun law that attempted to nullfy federal gun laws within the state. Take all the time you need with that one. I’ve written about the Second Amendment Preservation Act a few times before, such as here.

Yesterday Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (shiver) signed a bill into law that loosens child labor protections in Arkansas.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) signed a bill into law on Tuesday that would roll back child labor protections in the state as Republicans across the country wage a campaign to make it easier for employers to violate child labor laws.

The law eliminates the requirement for children under 16 to show documentation of their age in order to work. Before this, employers seeking to employ a 14- or 15-year-old child had to obtain a permit showing the child’s age.

Why the bleep are Republicans suddenly wanting to send little children to work? I didn’t see that one coming.

Republicans like Sanders claim that the permit system, which dates back to the early 1900s, is an unnecessary burden on employers and — in Sanders’s words — “obsolete” in modern times.


The bill signing comes just after federal officials and explosive reporting uncovered that illegal child labor is alive and well in the U.S. In February, the Department of Labor issued a $1.5 million fine to Blackstone-ownedPackers Sanitation Services for illegally employing over 100 children, some as young as 13, to clean slaughterhouses in eight states, including at least 10 children in Arkansas.

Meanwhile, The New York Timesrecently uncovered that companies that manufacture products for household-name brands are illegally packing their factories full of immigrant children, in what the publication dubbed “a new economy of exploitation.”

Let me guess — the employers are Republican campaign donors.

7 thoughts on “Tucker’s Videos Blow Up in His Face

  1. Well, maha, it's a pretty goddamn sure bet that wannabe child laborers aren't the ones donating to RepubliKKKLAN campaigns, begging to work in slaughterhouses, and use toxic chemicals to wash slick, bloody floors, and/or clean dangerous machines.

    As for that useless MotherTucker, Carlson: 

    Tucker, that f*cker, better hope none of his tRUMP-loving viewers ever find out how he really feels about their Messy-iah, or else when he wakes up one morning and looks outside, he'll see a noose hanging from a large tree in his yard, and hundreds of pitchfork wielding MAGAts, frothing at their mouths.

    Don't let them bother you, Tucker!

    Hang in there!!!

    (Literally!) 🙂

  2. Cognitive Dissonance? Tucker thinks he's disproved videos of people with clubs, flagpoles, and bear mace in the act of attacking cops in uniform because Carlson has video of those rioters in moments on J6 when they were not violent and cops on J6 in moments they were not in a life-and-death struggle in the Capitol Building. 

    If you as prosecutor had video of a parent drowning their child in a bathtub and the defense also had hours of video of that same parent also playing nicely with that child, that does not in any way prove the drowning video is false. (I know that example is revolting – but so is trying to overturn democracy.) 

    The defense for every J6 defendant has had access to all the pertinent video. I don't know of anyone who went to trial claiming that they were denied access to evidence, Yes, Tucker will make that claim on TV, but find the actual lawyer for an actual J6 defendant who will put his license to practice law on the line with claims that exculpatory evidence was known to the authorities and withheld. (I have been thru the federal grinder. My lawyers would not submit as a fact anything they could not back up. That kind of hanky-panky before a federal judge has repercussions.) 

    The question needs to be asked. If Tucker Carlson hates Trump (as reported), and if Fox is the mouthpiece for Ron DeSantis, why is Tucker allowed to normalize the J6 riot? My take? DeSantis occupies in a lane to the right of Trump – and Fox loves it. Turning Florida fascist seems to thrill management at Fox. IMO, Fox knows doing the DeSantis show nationally can only be done with generous piles of political violence. It's not Trump or J6 that the MAGA managers are backing – it's the next coup attempt they want to attract rioters to. I have long felt that the profits of the gun industry don't explain the defense of military-style weapons. It makes sense if you want to facilitate a revolution that you will prosper from but can't be blamed for.

  3. I watched Laurence O'Donnell interview an attorney (maybe a law professor?) who said he expects to see some shareholder action against Fox, especially if they lose against Dominion. Nobody, not Rupert Murdoch nor the sleepy board of directors was in control, and now they're potentially facing a big loss of shareholder value. Especially if it sinks into their zombie audience that they were lied to. As much as F___er Carlson (because that's what he does) is beyond revolting, I hope the silver lining is that his excess will help bring Fox to ruin.

  4. Nicholas Riccardi and David Bauder of the Associated Press penned an article on Dominion trial revelations today.  It asserted that another big lie, That Fox New and Fox Opinion Sides are operating on different standards.  That Fox News had good standards of elimination of false or misleading information is that big lie.  This has been propagated often enough that I gave it some credibility.  Not so and a propagated fiction is now evidenced.  

    Nicole Hemmer, a Vanderbilt University history professor and author of the book “Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s,” said revelations in the lawsuit puncture Fox’s long argument that there is a dividing line between its news and opinion sides.

    “The real revelation here is how much of a fiction that division is,” Hemmer said. “Some who know Fox have argued that for awhile, but now we have real evidence.”

    Hemmer cited text messages disclosed in the court documents from early November 2020 sent by Fox's chief political correspondent, Bret Baier, urging the network's leaders to retract its correct election night call that President Joe Biden won Arizona. Baier advocated for putting Arizona “back in his column,” referring to Trump.

    It is one thing for Opinion pieces to be biased but the known reporting of fiction as fact in response to political pressure makes Fox news a propaganda machine masquerading as a news organization.  When such reporting leads to damages to our democracy, election workers, capital police. delays in congressional activities, and fostering the acceptance of a big lie, justice for the victims is warranted.  

    Remember also that Fox uses the public air waves to propagate its message.  It does not own those air waves.  We do.  Only by federal license are they allowed to operate on our airwaves in the public interest.  Never, I would contend, is the dissemination of a known lie anything more than a major violation of operating against the public interest, and subject to severe action by the FCC.

    I would also suggest that businesses who routinely have televisions sets airing Fox news share in their failure to operate in the public interest.  

    Court records show political pressure behind Fox programming (

  5. @doug wrote why is Tucker allowed to normalize the J6 riot?

    Many reasons. Fox doesn’t care who is leading the movement, as long as somebody is pushing fascism forward. Carlson’s stunt feeds the base, is a deflection from the news about Dominion, and shows the base he’s not going to back down. Moreover, it helps the radicals in Congress – they’re the legislative arm of the fascist agenda.

  6. Tucker got access to over 44,000 hours of video (that's about 2.6 million minutes), so far he has aired about 4 minutes 20 seconds! Nuff said?

  7. Thx for [free] link to Greg Sargent's WaPo article tracing right-wing propaganda back to the 1950's!  I clicked through from there to the sales reviews for Nicole Hemmer's "Messengers of the Right", which includes a Preface which is well worth reading.  I'm relatively well-versed in the history of the modern American Right Wing Noise Machine, but this book traces it back one step beyond William F. Buckley, to Clarence Manion, Henry Regner, and William A. Rusher.

    The big difference between that generation of conservative propagandists and the more recent bunch (Limbaugh through FOX) is that the old guys were *writers* and publishers, while the new batch are all *talkers*.  The Writers were communicating to a relatively small group: educated people with time & money to spend on politics.  The Talkers have a *much* larger audience (anybody who has driven long distance knows the reach of Hate Radio). 

    Even worse, the Talkers didn't have to be careful about building logical arguments; they could just blather away without worrying about consistency or facts.  Cognitive dissonance (see Doug's comment above) can be glossed over when the speaker just blazes on to another subject; that technique doesn't work as well in print. 

    And even more worser (?), speech transmits emotional & social information much more quickly and intensely than the written word.  Rush Limbaugh's *words* and "ideas" were never as important as his attitude of contempt for Democrats, non-whites, poor people, queer people, intellectuals, and even truth which poisoned our polity and led directly to the election of Donald Trump.


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