As we know from text messages revealed by the January 6 committee last month, a whole bunch of Fox News hosts were—justifiably!—horrified by the attack on the Capitol and sent deeply concerned messages to the White House in an attempt to get Donald Trump to put a stop to the violence. As we also know, Fox News hosts are the most shameless people to walk the face of the earth. And so, despite having written things like, “Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy” (Laura Ingraham), “Please, get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished” (Brian Kilmeade), and “Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol” (Sean Hannity), the network’s top stars have spent the last year arguing that the events of the day weren’t actually that bad. Or that they were a false flag. Or that the rioters were actually antifa. Or that none of this is real and it’s all in our heads.
One of the most popular excuses that they’ve coalesced around in recent months is claiming that, okay, the Capitol was breached, but it was nowhere near as serious as Democrats and the mainstream media have made it out to be. Normal people who haven’t had their brains scrambled by Rupert Murdoch’s minions of course know that this is not true—five people died as a result of a group of violent Trump supporters trying to overturn an election—but as the gang at Fox argued, if it had really been that bad, the participants would have been charged with serious crimes like sedition or insurrection. “Oh, it was an ‘insurrection,’” Tucker Carlson sarcastically told his viewers in May. “So how many of the participants in that insurrection had been charged with insurrecting? With sedition? With treason? Zero.”
“Do you know how many people have been charged with inciting insurrection or sedition or treason or domestic terrorism as a result of anything?” Ingraham asked last week, which marked the anniversary of the attack. “Zero.” “Here’s a thought,” Brit Hume wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “Let’s base our view on whether 1/6 was an ‘insurrection’ on whether those arrested are charged with insurrection. So far, none has been.”
Unfortunately for Hume and his colleagues, that “thought” bit him in the ass just hours later, when 11 people associated with the right-wing extremist group Oath Keepers were—wait for it—charged with seditious conspiracy, a term nearly synonymous with insurrection.
As the indictment against Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and his pals reads, “Rhodes and certain co-conspirators…planned to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power by January 20, 2021, which included multiple ways to deploy force. They coordinated travel across the country to enter Washington, D.C., equipped themselves with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and were prepared to answer Rhodes’ call to take up arms at Rhodes’ direction.” (Rhodes has denied wrongdoing, claiming he was merely communicating with his group’s members on January 6 to “keep them out of trouble,” and that those who entered the Capitol “went totally off mission.”)
At this point, someone able to experience shame might go on the air and start their show by explaining that they got it wrong and apologizing to their audience. But as we’ve previously established, that’s an emotion Fox hosts are incapable of feeling. For instance, what did Carlson’s Thursday night show entail? If you answered “an embarrassingly sympathetic interview with one of the people charged with sedition,” congratulations, you know your Fox hosts!
On Thursday night, Tucker Carlson interviewed Thomas Caldwell, who on the day before was charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the storming of the Capitol. The charges were unsealed mere hours before Caldwell [appeared] on Tucker Carlson Tonight.… Carlson began Thursday’s segment by noting his guest is a military veteran and on disability.
“Tucker, I did not go into the Capitol and they know it,” Caldwell said, adding, “I’m absolutely outraged. They don’t have any proof, and I’m innocent and we can prove my innocence.” He claimed that the DOJ is prosecuting him with “conspiracy” because it has nothing. Caldwell denied the charges against him and said that his life has been upended. “You know, this whole thing has just crushed my wife and I—emotionally and financially.”