Echoing similar statements this week from leading Democrat and Republican lawmakers, the White House pointed out on Wednesday that Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson “is not credible” when it comes to the issue of portraying the US Capitol riot.
The White House criticized Carlson after the right-wing commentator showed footage from Jan. 6, 2021, attacks on the US Capitol that portrayed rioters as peaceful.
After Carlson was given exclusive access by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to 41,000 hours of unseen clips from the Capitol footage from the attack, he began airing it this week, arguing in the process that the footage shows mostly peaceful chaos rather than an insurrection or a riot in progress.
During a briefing Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that she agrees with the Capitol Police chief and many bipartisan lawmakers who have condemned Carlson for his misleading portrayal of the deadly riot and the unprecedented violent attack on the US Constitution and the rule of law.
She cited in her statement Fox News executive’s testimony given in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against the network as well as an NPR report of a 2020 case in which a judge said that Carlson isn’t stating actual facts about the topics he discusses.
Although the White House rarely criticizes journalists by name Jean-Pierre’s comments suggest tensions have escalated between the Biden administration and the conservative-leaning, beleaguered cable giant, especially in light of the fact that the White House spokesperson Andrew Bates previously also said that Tucker Carlson is not credible.
Bates also testified in a separate $1.6 billion defamation case filed against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems, during which he noted that Fox News senior VP David Clark himself testified in his deposition that he doesn’t consider Carlson’s show a credible source of news.
Carlson’s coverage was strongly rebuked even among the GOP representatives, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who noted that Carlson conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of the riot.