TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2023
...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.