White House Lashes Out Against Fox News For Jan. 6 Tapes


The White House sharply condemned Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s depiction of the January 6 Capitol riots on Wednesday, marking the first time the Biden Administration has spoken out against the segments in a statement that attacked the conservative pundit’s credibility, as lawmakers from both parties push back against Carlson.

Key Facts

The White House sided with a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers who criticized Carlson’s downplaying of the attacks this week, a group joined by Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger, who called the Fox News host’s claims “offensive and misleading.”

The White House “agree[s] with what Fox News’s own attorneys and executives have now repeatedly stressed in multiple courts of law: that Tucker Carlson is not credible,” Biden spokesperson Andrew Bates said in the statement, referencing a defamation suit against Carlson that Fox News’ lawyers pushed back on by arguing not everything Carlson says is intended to be taken literally.

Forbes has reached out to Fox News for comment.

Crucial Quote

“We agree with the chief of the Capitol Police & the wide range of bipartisan lawmakers who have condemned this false depiction of the unprecedented, violent attack on our Constitution and the rule of law – which cost police officers their lives,” Bates said.

Key Background

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) gave Carlson access to 41,000 hours of security footage from the January 6 riots, fulfilling a promise he made to his right-wing detractors during the January speaker election in exchange for their votes. Carlson on Monday unveiled portions of the footage and claimed it “proves it was neither an insurrection nor deadly,” despite at least seven people dying in connection with the riots. Carlson also alleged officers acted as “tour guides” for the rioters while featuring clips of law enforcement walking through the halls of the Capitol with convicted rioter Jacob Chansley, known as the “QAnon Shaman.” Manger disputed the characterization, explaining that officers were severely outnumbered and attempted to de-escalate the rioters. On Tuesday, Carlson downplayed the backlash against his narrative as “hysteria” and “panic.” Off-air, however, Carlson has lambasted former President Donald Trump for his claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and said he “passionately” hates the president, Dominion Voting Systems alleged in court papers filed in its defamation suit against the network.


The debate over Carlson’s segments has ignited an intra-party GOP feud that pits the top two Republicans in Congress against each other. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday firmly sided with Manger, while McCarthy defended his release of the tapes and blasted McConnell for going after Fox, but not CNN, which has also aired footage of the attacks. McConnell, however, made clear his opposition was in reference to Carlson’s framing of the tapes, rather than their release. Republican Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Mike Rounds (S.D.) also criticized Carlson this week.

Further Reading

Tucker Carlson Vs. Mitch McConnell: How The Intra-GOP War Over Jan. 6. Breaks Down (Forbes)

Capitol Police Chief Condemns Tucker Carlson’s January 6 Segment As ‘Offensive And Misleading’—With Support From McConnell (Forbes)

Tucker Carlson’s January 6 Segment Draws Bipartisan Outrage: ‘One Of The Most Shameful Hours We Have Ever Seen On Cable TV’ (Forbes)

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/saradorn/2023/03/08/tucker-carlson-is-not-credible-white-house-lashes-out-against-fox-news-for-jan-6-tapes/