ANALYSIS – Tucker Carlson’s misguided attempt to use cherry-picked moments of the newly released video of Jan. 6 to argue that nothing bad happened at the Capitol that day, is horribly timed and very dumb.
As I wrote the day after I personally observed events at the Capitol that day, January 6 was neither a deadly coup, insurrection nor peaceful guided tours of the Capitol.
It was a mixture of some of those things, none of those things, and everything in between.
And Tucker would have been far more effective, and credible had he used the video to show that the Left’s Jan. 6 narrative was incomplete, distorted, and totally one-sided, rather than trying to say it was totally false.
Because the truth is that Jan 6 was like the story of the blind men and the elephant, each one grasping one part of the animal, like the leg, tail, or trunk, and describing the giant beast as something totally different.
On Jan. 6 what began as a massive peaceful rally of tens of thousands of pro-Trump protesters, soon degraded when smaller elements (a few hundred) of the much larger peaceful crowd broke off and did conduct a violent attack on parts of the Capitol.
Hundreds more just stupidly followed the initial ‘attack mob’ inside.
In the first group, some had military training, used stack formations, and were very organized and intent on forcefully breaching the building.
While none were found with, or used firearms, during the riot, there was violence with sticks, flagpoles, and pepper spray.
I called these violent rioters, thugs, and criminals.
They were similar to the violent BLM rioters who had violently attacked police at the White House in the summer of 2020 or besieged the Portland Federal Courthouse for months.
On Jan. 6 police officers were similarly attacked and beaten, and the Capitol was ultimately breached unlawfully.
Inside, one non-violent protester, Ashley Babbitt, an Air Force security forces veteran, was shot by a Capitol Police Officer. Likely, unjustly.
She was the only person killed during the riot.
All this occurred in the span of just a few hours.
But the Capitol complex is massive, and what was happening violently on one end was not being replicated at other parts of the Capitol.
As much of the Tucker video showed truthfully, in many places and entrances, Capitol Police had allowed protesters inside, in some cases escorted them around.
In other cases, the police simply stood by as the ‘tourist’ protesters milled around and took selfies or acted stupidly.
Still, ever since then, there has been a profound narrative battle pitting those fanatics on the right who said nothing at all happened and the fanatics on the left who claim Jan. 6 was worse than Pearl Harbor or 9/11, and an insurrection that risked the essence of American democracy.
Sadly, neither side is correct, but only the most extreme one-sided ‘insurrection’ narrative was put forward by the left and last Congress’ Democratic-run Jan. 6 committee, and repeated daily by the partisan, anti-Trump media.
The insurrection narrative was pushed by cherry-picked videos and photos of the same short-lived Capitol violence from different views and angles, repeated in a nearly constant loop for the most distorted and dramatic effect possible.
But now Tucker has done the same.
Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger wrote in an internal message to officers that Carlson’s Monday night primetime program “conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video” to incorrectly portray the violent assault as more akin to a peaceful protest. He added that Carlson’s “commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments.”
And many Republican leaders agreed.
The timing is also horrible.
As Politico reported:
“It’s definitely stupid to keep talking about this … So what is the purpose of continuing to bring it up unless you’re trying to feed Democrat narratives even further?” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said in an interview, noting the videos didn’t show “anything we don’t already know.”
“I don’t really have a problem with making it all public. But if your message is then to try and convince people that nothing bad happened, then it’s just gonna make us look silly.”
So how should we view the events of the January 6 riot accurately and fairly?
Probably the best description was provided by Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) when he said he has “a hard time with all of it.”
He added that Jan. 6 “was not a peaceful protest. It was not an insurrection. It was a riot that should have never happened. And a lot of people share the blame for that. The truth is always messier than any narrative.”
Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.