March 10, 2023


Thank you, Kevin McCarthy and Tucker Carlson (Paul Waldman, March 9, 2023, Washington Post)

Certain political leaders inspire grudging respect or even fear from their opponents, but let's face it: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is not among them. His latest political gambit, a ham-handed attempt to rewrite the history of the Capitol insurrection in collaboration with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, was not just a spectacular faceplant. It turned out to be a service to all of us. [...]

[T]he logical howler at the heart of Carlson's presentation was impossible for all but the most deluded Trump devotees to ignore. Displaying snippets of video in which the Jan. 6 rioters were momentarily calm is the equivalent of a murder suspect saying, "Why aren't we talking about all the people I didn't kill?"

Here's where it gets interesting, though. As influential as Carlson is on the right, the first installment of his revisionist version of Jan. 6 was met with a torrent of condemnation -- much of it from Republicans.

At a news conference, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) prominently associated himself with U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger's dismissal of Carlson's narrative as "offensive and misleading." Sen. Kevin Cramer (N.D.) called it "just a lie." Sen. Thom Tillis (N.C.) said "I think it's bulls--t." Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) called it "dangerous and disgusting." Rep. Dan Crenshaw (Tex.) mocked Carlson's "silly" effort to "convince people that nothing bad happened."

The last time so many Republicans condemned something that appeared on Fox News, it was when the network accurately called Arizona for Joe Biden on election night in 2020.

Posted by at March 10, 2023 4:04 PM