CNN anchor John Berman on Tuesday morning blasted Tucker Carlson for attempting to “suppress the memory” of what happened during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, mockingly calling the far-right Fox News host’s show “Fantasy Island.”
Carlson, who has long played down the seditious riot as nothing more than “political protest that got out of hand,” took his revisionism a step further on Monday: He claimed that “it’s a lie” that white supremacists were at all involved in the violence and said there was “no evidence” of an “armed insurrection” at the Capitol.
With the Senate holding hearings on the security breakdown during the deadly riot, Berman brought on Punchbowl News founder Anna Palmer and columnist Errol Louis to discuss the latest push by Republicans to memory-hole the events of Jan. 6.
“I don’t think this could come at a more important time because you are seeing a wave of revisionism among some Republican senators like Ron Johnson, who says it wasn’t an armed insurrection,” the New Day co-host noted, referencing Johnson’s recent downplaying of the riot.
“And Tucker Carlson on his show, which I called ‘Fantasy Island’ last night, devoted a big chunk of it to saying it wasn’t white supremacists, there was no armed insurrection,” Berman added. “There is an effort to really, I think, to suppress the memory of what happened.”
More than 100 law enforcement officers were injured during the violent attack as rioters soaked them with bear spray and battered them with metal poles, baseball bats, clubs, and other implements. At least 14 people have been charged with bringing weapons to the riots, including one man who allegedly had an arsenal of Molotov cocktails, guns, and ammo in a nearby truck.
Federal prosecutors have also accused far-right extremist organizations with ties to white supremacy of coordinating the violent attack on the Capitol. And in a recent interview, Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn, who is Black, claimed rioters called him the “n-word” dozens of times during the siege.
Palmer agreed with Berman, adding that some of the comments by Johnson and others have been “pretty shocking” for those who went through it and “outside the reality of what actually happened.” She also said that for many Republicans, these hearings will be another moment for them to reconcile with the fact that former President Donald Trump was responsible for inciting the riots.
Asked why Johnson and Carlson were pushing revisionist history, Louis said, “This is the final act of the Trump administration” and that the ex-president’s loyalists are “trying once more to gaslight the entire nation.”
He continued: “Trying to tell people that although there were multiple deaths, although there were gallows set up outside and people chanting hang the vice president, that it wasn’t terrorism, that it wasn’t an attack on government. That we didn’t see people being gouged and maimed and we didn’t see feces smeared all over the Capitol by this gang of looters.”
Louis went on to express hope that despite the attempts by Carlson and others to revise history, “it’s not going to work” because Trump is no longer in the White House and has been tossed off Twitter.
“Tucker Carlson faces no penalties if he gets up and lies. In fact, he gets millions of dollars,” he added. “Under oath, we’ll hear today and the weeks ahead what really happened, and I think the American people are smart enough to figure out truth from falsehood.”
Wrapping up the segment, Berman concluded, “This type of revisionism has a scary place in our world history. It really does. What’s going on now shouldn’t be ignored.”