‘The Tucker Effect’: News Outlets Are Suddenly Interested in Obtaining the January 6 Video Footage

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With the news that Kevin McCarthy turned January 6 videos over to Tucker Carlson, the press now acts like they want to perform journalism.


It has been with great amusement that we sit back and behold the reactions to the announcement that Kevin McCarthy turned over thousands of hours of videotape evidence from the January 6 committee to Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The hysterics were followed by fumbling explanations when challenged on why exposure and transparency of the evidence would be considered a negative. It has all been clown show dramatics when nothing objectionable has even taken place.

Now, we get word from CBS Washington correspondent and January 6 obsessive, Scott MacFarlane, that a collection of news agencies have banded together to go to Congress with a command that they be granted access to this same evidence that was given to Tucker. The timing and the wording are rather mirthful.

A group of media organizations, including CBS News, is demanding access to a tranche of surveillance and police videos from the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol that U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy provided to Fox News host Tucker Carlson. In a letter to congressional leadership Friday, the media companies argue the footage McCarthy allowed Carlson and Fox News to access should be made available to other media groups. The letter was sent on behalf of CBS News, CNN, Politico, ProPublica ABC, Axios, Advance, Scripps, the Los Angeles Times, and Gannett.

Rather precious that they are “demanding” this access. The primary question that rears up in response to this is if you all think this is such a vital point about access, why was this demand not made prior to Tucker’s acquisition? It sure would appear that the press was rather content to just sit back and absorb the truncated results presented by the committee in the final report. The report, it needs to be noted, failed to include the findings that we now know they have regarding the involvement of federal individuals in the activities on that date and in the days leading up to the riot at the Capitol.


Of course, the major reason that these news organizations have been motivated to suddenly be interested in committing journalism is that they fear Tucker’s potential revelations could unspool many of the narratives. We saw this response earlier this week when the New York Times fretted about what Tucker might find. It was hilarious to see the outlet mewling that Carlson would give a “re-litigation of the riots” in a bid to “re-investigate” the findings. After delivering perpetual January 6 commentary for years, suddenly the press sees it as unseemly for anyone to continue talking about that day.

But, here is why this consortium of news outlets is springing into action. They fear Carlson will deliver contrary evidence.

There is concern that an ideologically-based narrative of an already polarizing event will take hold in the public consciousness, with destabilizing risks to the legitimacy of Congress, the Capitol Police, and the various federal investigations and prosecutions of January 6 crimes,” wrote attorney Charles Tobin.

Really now?! Suddenly, now there is concern over a biased and slanted presentation of the facts, from this committee with a rigged construction, a theatrical staging from one news division, and a presentation throughout that avoided any cross-examinations or challenge to evidence or testimony?!

LIV Golf
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

It is rather obvious that the newsgroups were content with the conclusion of the committee; otherwise this sudden demand would have arrived soon after the final report was lodged. That they spring into action after the tapes are sent out defies their support in the filing for McCarthy’s pledge for “sunshine” on the matter. He told the New York Times he intends to make the videos available to all, something he had promised to do if he became House Speaker.


“I was asked in the press about these tapes, and I said they do belong to the American public. I think sunshine lets everybody make their own judgment,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy’s standing pledge only makes the new posturing by the other news outlets all the more impotent. Rushing in after the fact and preening with sudden legal demands is a toothless form of barking from the group. If you did not want to appear like a tethered Yorkie yapping harmlessly, then you should have stepped in far earlier, instead of sitting placidly content with what the committee spoonfed you.


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