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January 6th revisited … again


WORLD Radio - January 6th revisited … again

Kevin McCarthy’s decision to give Tucker Carlson access to security footage reignites a debate about political narratives

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy speaks to the media as he holds a copy of a CNN article, Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

MRYNA BROWN, HOST: Well, up next on The World and Everything in It, January 6th revisited, again.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Last week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave Fox News show host Tucker Carlson access to 41,000 hours of Capitol security footage from January 6th, 2021. Starting on March 6, Carlson began releasing his initial discoveries.

TUCKER CARLSON: Media accounts describe Sicknick as someone who was, quote, slain on January 6th. The video we reviewed proves that is a lie. Here's surveillance footage of Sicknick walking in the capital after he was supposedly murdered by the mob.

BROWN: And here, Carlson talks about the (quote), QAnon Shaman, the guy wearing the buffalo hat.

CARLSON: The tape shows that the Capitol police never stopped Jacob Chansley, they helped him. They acted as his tour guides. We counted at least nine officers who were within touching distance of unarmed Jacob Chansley, not one of them even tried to slow him down.

REICHARD: Democrats were quick to condemn Carlson for his take on the events of Jan 6 as well as MCarthy for giving Carlson exclusive access to begin with. But several Republicans chimed in as well. Here is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

MITCH MCCONNELL: It was a mistake in my view for Fox News to depict this in a way that's completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here at Capitol, thinks.

BROWN: Others, like North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer, are frustrated with what Cramer calls the distraction of the Tucker tapes. Here’s Cramer on NBC.

KEVIN CRAMER: We should be talking about the southern border as you were discussing or that we should be talking about China and the challenge it possesses and, and talking about inflation and the budget that drives up deficits forever. And those are, those are winning arguments for Republicans not relitigating January six.

REICHARD: Cramer also said that he wishes McCarthy released the footage to all media outlets at the same time, rather than give Tucker Carlson exclusive access.

McCarthy promised on Sunday that other news outlets would get access to the tapes, but as of Wednesday evening, that has not happened.

WORLD Commentator Cal Thomas says that Carlson goes too far to say that the new evidence “overturns the single most powerful and politically useful lie that Democrats told us about January 6th,” but he says the tapes do add needed perspective.

CAL THOMAS: There is no question that there was violence and breaking of the law on January 6th and that the people who engaged in that activity should have and are being held accountable. But the heavily edited tapes produced by a former ABC news producer for the January 6th committee, which was 100% anti Trump, thanks to then Speaker Nancy Pelosi, rejecting the two Republicans that had been suggested for the committee, gives a different perspective than seeing all of the tapes about the peaceful people who just simply walked through the capitol and did not destroy anything. At the worst they might have been accused of trespassing. But I know people who were there peacefully and didn't break any other laws and yet who were sent to federal prison. I think seeing the rest of the tapes adds balance, but it certainly doesn't take away from the violence that did occur on that day.

BROWN: Thomas says that the problem of January 6th is not one of data, but of narrative.

THOMAS: One of the problems is that people tune into networks and read things that only reinforce what they believe instead of a more balanced approach. I think the January 6th Committee would have had far more credibility in the eyes of perhaps even Trump supporters if it had Republicans on the committee, who would have cross-examined witnesses and been able to present video evidence that was not presented by the majority anti Trump Democrats and the two Republicans on the committee.

REICHARD: The January 6th Committee may have ended back in December, but the tape they left on the cutting room floor indicates that there’s more to be said.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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