When Tucker Carlson got the goods...


...Lawrence missed the boat: Tucker Carlson finally has his hot, sweaty hands on the goods!

We refer to thousands of miles of surveillance footage from the January 6 attacks. Mike Allen broke the news in Axios, starting off like this:

ALLEN (2/20/23): House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has given Fox News' Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage from the Jan. 6 riot, McCarthy sources tell me.

Carlson TV producers were on Capitol Hill last week to begin digging through the trove, which includes multiple camera angles from all over Capitol grounds. Excerpts will begin airing in the coming weeks.

Why it matters: Carlson has repeatedly questioned official accounts of 1/6, downplaying the insurrection as "vandalism."

Now his shows—"Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Fox News, and "Tucker Carlson Today" and "Tucker Carlson Originals" on the streaming service Fox Nation—have a massive trove of raw material.

Carlson and his gang of gumshoes now have their mitts on the tapes. Last night, Lawrence O'Donnell tried to explain what Tucker might do with the trove:

O'DONNELL (2/20/23): Tucker Carlson has called the January 6th attack on the Capitol, in which 150 police officers were injured, "a minor outbreak." He will no doubt find a surveillance camera in one of the hundreds of hallways in the Capitol complex, possibly in a Capitol office building away from the Capitol, where nothing was happening, and he'll show the footage of nothing happening in that hallway and he will tell his Fox audience that that proves, that footage right there, that nothing happened all day,

We do not know if the Fox audience is stupid enough to believe Tucker Carlson when he shows them that video, but we do know how stupid Tucker Carlson and Rupert Murdoch think their audience is.

Lawrence repeated this speculation several times. He offered no other ideas about what Tucker might do with the 41,000 hours of surveillance tapes.

BREAKING! It begins to seem that Lawrence O'Donnell doesn't watch Tucker Carlson Tonight! (Or keep himself abreast of its contents.) If he did, he would surely have a better idea of what Tucker might try to do with the surveillance tapes.

What might Tucker try to do with those surveillance tapes? Tucker is fond of claiming that rioters were encouraged to enter the Capitol Building by a bunch of FBI plants. We'll guess that his devoted producers will search the 41,000 hours of tape looking for behaviors which can be described that way.

Tucker's most famous alleged FBI "false flag" instigator is, of course, Ray Epps. Tucker's claims about Epps have been fact-checked and rejected many times, but this is the obvious direction in which Tucker's tape search might run.

Lawrence seemed to be completely clueless about this general matter. Earlier in the day, we were surprised when we saw that Nicolle Wallace and three of her favorite reporters and friends also failed to mention this obvious possible angle.

For the record, it isn't just us. In his report at Maddowblog, Steve Benen linked to CNN's earlier report about where this would likely be going:

BENEN (2/20/23): As Axios’ report noted, Carlson has “repeatedly questioned official accounts of 1/6, downplaying the insurrection as ‘vandalism.’” CNN’s report added, “[H]e has devoted significant airtime to the false claim that liberal ‘deep state’ partisans within the FBI orchestrated the insurrection as a way to undermine former President Donald Trump. He has conducted sympathetic interviews with some of the rioters who were subsequently charged by the Justice Department.”

To review the CNN report, you can just click here.

In closing, we'll note that we have no way of knowing with any certainty what Carlson will do with the tape. That said, we were underwhelmed by Lawrence's weak attempt at speculation.

With respect to stupid viewers, Tucker's viewers are likely to believe the things he says because of the silo within which they live. Our own cable stars may sometimes show the effects of living in silos too. 

Lawrence came up short this time. In our view, he and his staff should consider the possibility of watching Tucker more.


  1. Whatever Tucker does with it, it'll support fascism.

  2. Bob came up short this time:

    "What might Tucker try to do with those surveillance tapes?"

    How about doctoring them?


  3. "Tucker's claims about Epps have been fact-checked and rejected many times..."

    Ha-ha, a good one, dear Bob. Fact-checked! We saw the video, there is nothing there any dembot could "fact-check". And Epps is not in prison -- fact-check that, dear.

    ...also fact-checked and rejected many times: the claims that the sun rises in the east...

  4. This is why no one should watch Fox. More people will be misled.

  5. Why is Somerby calling this the goods?

    1. When you say that someone has "got the goods" on someone else, you generally mean they have evidence to put them away, lock them up. In this case, Tucker doesn't have the goods on anyone because that raw footage doesn't prove anything that Carlson will try to assert using it. Carlson doesn't have proof there was only vandalism because that is not what happened, and because there does exist evidence of the crimes for which people have already been convicted. So, Tucker doesn't have any kind of "goods" using this footage. That he will try to selectively present evidence to fit his own purposes is obvious, but that doesn't mean Tucker has the goods as Somerby claims.

      Beyond that, Somerby is abetting the claims of the right wing with his essay title, and conveying wrong information himself in this blog. Tucker has no goods on anyone. Why would a supposed liberal be doing that? Beats me.

    2. anon 5:14, TDH's term "the goods" in no way, shape or form can be interpreted the way you do. It's 41,000 hours of video tape. To the extent it represents all the available tape of the Jan. 6 incident, calling it "the goods" is a legitimate way of characterizing it. It would be all the tape there is. You haven't seen all this tape, probably noone has, because to do so you'd have to spend 24 hours a day for 4.6 years to do that. TDH speculates one way Carlson could use what he has. TDH does not suggest in the least that Carlson will act in good faith. That Carlson will weaponize and selectively pick and choose what's in there in a way that would be dishonest is a reasonable likelihood. But you don't see how you do the same thing, in inanely distorting TDH's use of the term "the goods."

  6. I don’t understand why Somerby is attacking Lawrence when it is Fox and Tucker who are doing wrong in this situation.

    1. This, all do respect, would seem to be your first Rodeo. This is how, broad strokes, the corporate media works: the Right has failure or is caught in some lie or misdeed and the question is raised… just what is the left going to do about it? In these grotesque times when the Right has become a public menace, it the same thing in more farcical terms.

    2. 5:59: O’Donnell (and everyone else at MSNBC) have been reporting extensively on the Fox scandal. Unlike Fox itself, naturally. No mention of it there. What exactly is MSNBC supposed to do differently here?

  7. The questions now being raised about Tokyo Tucker revolve around the responsibility
    of Kevin McCarthy in releasing the
    Footage in terms of security issues.
    The obvious assumption is that the
    venal kook wing of his part put the
    screws to him. Has Bob paid enough
    attention to any of this to make that
    obvious connection?
    Anyway, Tuck and Megan Kelly
    already claimed that it was all a bit of
    vandalism, people have already been
    put away as insurrectionists. One of
    Tokyo Tucker’s shoddy documentaries
    will make him a lot of money but
    won’t affect the cases still pending.

  8. The Ray Epps fact checks don't exactly match up with what we have seen on video of this guy repeatedly telling people to go "into the capitol".

  9. Ari Melber often does the kind of work Bob is calling for here. He did today. Maybe he has not been around long enough for Bob to develop a
    grudge against.

  10. Empty Wheel has a good price on this development and the likelihood this was part of the deal McCarthy cut.