Photograph: János Kummer/Getty Images
Thursday night, as congressional hearings on the Jan. 6 Capitol riots drew to a close, Tucker Carlson directed his outrage against a president who felt he had lied and was not being held accountable for falsehoods that rocked the popular faith in the American democratic system. But he wasn’t talking about Donald Trump inciting rioters to storm the Capitol. He was talking about Joe Biden getting Covid.
As millions of people tuned in to other US television news channels last night and listened to testimonies about what Trump did, or rather didn’t do, during the hours that rioters stormed the Capitol, Fox News viewers watched the The network’s prime-time stars, Carlson and Sean Hannity, berate the “twice-shot, double-boosted” President for contracting the virus they say he claimed couldn’t be caught with a vaccine.
Carlson opened his hour-long show with a forceful takedown of Biden, berating him for spreading the virus during his trip to the Middle East and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for dismissing the question of where he might have contracted the virus. virus the president Carson joked that he might lose his sense of smell, a much-discussed covid symptom, denying the president the pleasure of sniffing the heads of women and girls, suspicious behavior Biden had been singled out for in the wake of the #MeToo Movement. .
Carson also took issue with the “proof of life” photos and videos the White House released of Biden isolated at work, delighting in noting that the president was not wearing a mask in any of them. He had Yale School of Public Health epidemiologist Harvey Risch on the show to promote ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as far more effective defenses against Covid, despite considerable medical claims to the contrary. “Physicians are more afraid of what happens if they go outside the allowed messages,” Risch said.
“Oh man, I feel like we’re losing a lot right now,” Carlson responded. “Thank you for your bravery and your commitment to real science.”
Science and the left’s alleged efforts to monopolize it were a constant theme on the Carlson and Hannity shows. Next, she questioned NBC News’ decision to run a report on women who chose to be sterilized in reaction to Roe’s reversal. And while it was clear that these women were making the choice to eschew more conventional contraception options that the supreme court ruling has declared illegal, Carson nonetheless saw this as the left moving from defending abortion to attacking fertility, a rebellion against family values that was in one piece with a broader corporate agenda. “Civilizational suicide” was the phrase he used to sum it all up.
Still, radio host Dana Loesch was quick to dismiss the women’s decision as no great loss. “Republicans will go out and have more babies,” she said, “How about that?”
It wasn’t until about halfway through the show that Carson acknowledged that a significant portion of the country might be watching something else, not that he felt they particularly needed it. “You all know what happened,” he said. “A guy with Viking horns on mushrooms wandered around and made weird noises, and that was it.” He called the hearings “more liberal lifestyle narcissism. That’s really the key to everything.”
The show reached ultimate irony when Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley appeared to discuss a Fox News story about undocumented Americans who gained access to free flights by presenting their warrants as identification. Of course, around the same time that Hawley was strutting on Fox News, the Jan. 6 committee was running footage of him running from a pro-Trump mob he also incited, footage that quickly made him an online meme. social.
“So much for the science of Joe Biden and Dr. Fauci,” growled Hannity, who underlined Biden’s Covid revelation with an embarrassing photo of the president covering his entire face behind a mask. But unlike Carson, she actually spent quite a bit of time on the air acknowledging the January 6 hearings and dismissing them as a complete waste of time. “Unsurprisingly, they did not establish a criminal case or uncover new, damning or incriminating evidence of President Trump as they promised they would,” said Hannity, who is, of course, extremely friendly and a fierce supporter of the former president. “A perfect example of people over-promising and under-delivering. Kind of like the collusion between Trump and Russia.”
He criticized the committee for not calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer or Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to testify about the lack of security on Capitol Hill. , while also suggesting a series of crude reinforcements that could have kept the mob at bay. Hannity was furious at the committee for bringing “hearsay witnesses” and presenting evidence that fits into a predetermined anti-Trump narrative. And then she asked why Secret Service agents weren’t called to testify, conveniently skipping the part where they sent a single text message to the committee after deleting all their exchanges from that day.
But Hannity’s main takeaway was that the Capitol riots, while bad, paled in comparison to the Black Lives Matter protests that overwhelmed American cities during “the summer of 2020.” He argued that more needed to be done to prevent a repeat of the vicious violence “peaceful protesters” had inflicted on police, businesses and civic institutions while showing clips of Schumer, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and other prominent Democrats fueling that violence. anger like Trump. he is accused of doing. “Equal justice is dead in this country right now,” said Stephen Miller, a former Trump adviser. “What we have is third world justice.”