January 6th News
Private Messages in Fox News Dominion Lawsuit Raise Doubts About Tucker Carlson's Trustworthiness
Updated: Mar 7
As Tucker Carlson Attempts to Reshape January 6th Narrative His Trustworthiness Undermined by Private Messages in Dominion Lawsuit
Private text messages obtained in the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit reveal that Carlson acknowledged the dangerous and baseless nature of claims made by guests on his show, calling into question whether viewers can trust his on-air persona and his use of the Jan. 6 tapes.
Republican Senators Slam Tucker Carlson's Portrayal of January 6th Riot
On Monday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson released exclusive footage from the January 6th Capitol Hill riots, challenging the widely promoted, and factually supported, narrative that the events were a "deadly insurrection." Obtained from over 40,000 hours of security camera footage from the Capitol Building, Carlson attempted to use select sections of the footage to show that Trump supporters were peaceful "sightseers," whereas mainstream media sources overwhelmingly painted the rioters as violent and dangerous. Carlson also called into question the media's narrative about Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick's death, a differnt take than his tradition "Back the Blue" stance.
Despite Carlson's claims, Senate Republicans, including Senators Thom Tillis, Kevin Cramer, and Mitt Romney, pushed back against his characterization of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as "mostly peaceful chaos." Carlson downplayed the violence of the insurrection, calling the rioters "sightseers" and claiming that police were "escorting people through the building." Tillis called Carlson's portrayal "inexcusable," while Cramer called it "just a lie." Romney criticized Carlson's selective use of footage and called his attempt to normalize the behavior of the Capitol rioters "dangerous and disgusting." At a GOP leadership press conference, McConnell said he wanted to associate himself with the letter sent to the U.S. Capitol Police force by Chief Thomas Manger, who denounced Carlson for spreading “offensive and misleading conclusions” about the Jan. 6 insurrection
Tucker Carlson made other breaking news headlines this week. The Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit revealed this past week that Fox News host Tucker Carlson privately acknowledged the dangerous and baseless nature of election fraud claims made by guests on his show, raising questions about Carlson's on-air persona and the trustworthiness of his exclusive access to January 6th Capitol Hill riots footage.
Fox News Executives Knew Dominion Claims Were 'Total BS'
On Thursday, the New York Times and Washington Post reported that Dominion Voting Systems had filed a 178-page brief in its $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News detailing how, “from the top down, Fox knew ‘the dominion stuff’ was ‘total bs.’” The brief revealed embarrassing excerpts of text messages and depositions from Fox News executives, journalists, staff, and program hosts demonstrating a widespread acknowledgment in the company that the claims some Fox programs were propagating about Dominion stealing the election for Joe Biden were “really crazy stuff.”
One of those Fox hosts was Tucker Carlson, who privately sent text messages to his producers and fellow hosts acknowledging the baseless and dangerous nature of the claims being made. However, Carlson never let his viewers know the extent to which he felt the claims were “ludicrous” and “totally off the rails” at the time. Despite the fact that Carlson did not push the outlandish conspiracy theories himself, he gave My Pillow executive Mike Lindell a platform to spew those same conspiracy theories on his show. Carlson’s messages are entertaining to read, but they call into question whether or not viewers can trust him.
Tucker Carlson's Text Messages Reveal Discrepancy in Private and Public Views on Election Fraud Claims
For example, on Nov. 5, Carlson acknowledged that there was a financial incentive for Fox News to go along with Trump’s fraudulent claims about the election, while also acknowledging just how dangerous they were. He expressed his belief that his team had to kowtow to Trump: “What [Trump]’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong.” While Carlson seemed to acknowledge the danger in his text messages, he never addressed those same concerns on his show.
On Nov. 10, Carlson said to his producer that it had been a mistake to not present Trump’s voter fraud claims while also acknowledging, “Sidney Powell is lying”. Carlson’s text messages reveal his personal feelings about the election fraud claims, but they also show that he was putting on a façade on his show. He gave Lindell a platform to spew the same baseless claims Carlson himself thought were ludicrous.
Carlson’s text messages raise doubts about the trustworthiness of his on-air persona. Despite acknowledging privately the dangers of Trump’s fraudulent claims, Carlson did not take the same stand publicly. He allowed Lindell to spew the same dangerous conspiracy theories Carlson himself thought were baseless. Viewers may be left wondering what else Carlson is not being truthful about on his show.