Fox News host Tucker Carlson took his overt downplaying of the Capitol insurrection to a new low on Tuesday night, literally laughing at an officer who had described the vicious beating he suffered that day and the psychological trauma that followed in congressional testimony.
Carlson, who has routinely dismissed the violence that occurred during the deadly riot as nothing more than a “political protest that got out of hand,” took aim at the Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone and the three Capitol police officers who emotionally testified about the brutality they witnessed at Tuesday’s hearing before the Jan. 6 House Select Committee.
After accusing Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn—whom Carlson has viciously attacked in the past—of lying when claiming that officer Brian Sicknick died from injuries sustained at the insurrection, Carlson also blasted Sgt. Aquilino Gonell—an Iraq War veteran—for saying he “was more afraid” during the riots than his entire Iraq deployment.
“When they lie and they don’t stop lying, when they compare it to the Civil War or 9/11, they make us all very cynical and make us suspect that they are lying all the time,” he sneered. “Because actually what happened on January 6, according to video, did not look a lot like Iraq. It’s not Fallujah.”
Carlson went on to insist that the mob trying to prevent President Joe Biden’s election from being certified was nothing more than protesters having “casual conversations” in the Capitol, mockingly adding for the Capitol police “this was very much like 9/11.”
Turning his attention to Fanone, the Fox News star first took issue with the officer’s calls for an investigation of lawmakers who may have cooperated with insurrectionists.
“OK, so you’re looking for the real threat from January 6 that happened after the fact?” Carlson exclaimed. “It’s statements like that, it’s claims like that, it’s changes in policies like that, it’s the deep politicization of law enforcement that has become normal after January 6, and that just proves that right there.”
Repeating an argument he’s made recently, Carlson dismissed Fanone expressing his political beliefs and opinions, asserting police officers “are responsible for enforcing the law” and “don’t make the law.” (Carlson, however, apparently doesn’t have a problem with certain cops getting into politics, as he’s given former Detriot Police Chief James Craig a big assist in launching a gubernatorial run.)
At this point, Carlson suggested Fanone—who suffered a heart attack after he was brutally beaten by rioters—was exaggerating the emotional and physical toll the experience had on him.
“You just heard him call for some sort of ideological inquisition into people he doesn’t agree with in Washington, and that is unacceptable and that should make you very nervous,” Carlson huffed. “Watch Fanone cite the psychological trauma he endured as an excuse for ditching our Bill of Rights.”
After playing a video clip of Fanone saying he’s “been left with psychological trauma and emotional anxiety after having survived such a horrific event,” Carlson reacted with a smirk and snicker.
“Not to in any way underplay the crimes were committed on January 6, and there were crimes committed on January 6, but compared to what?” Carlson continued. “What is interesting is Michael Fanone didn’t mention experiencing any trauma during the time he spent last year on the D.C. police force. It was just last summer that rioters in Washington torched the oldest Episcopal church in the city just steps from the White House. Dozens of police officers were injured that day.”
Moments later, despite the fact that over a hundred law enforcement officials were injured during the Capitol riots and five people died, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume agreed with Carlson’s assessment that the insurrection wasn’t all that bad.
“If this were covered, Tucker, the way the riots of last summer were covered, it would be described as mostly peaceful,” Hume declared. “See, I think to a great extent it was peaceful.”
Carlson himself spoke of Fanone’s PTSD from the safety of his studio. He has often made his own supposed victimhood the subject of his show in the past, notably in regards to a protest that occurred outside his home in 2018.
In fact, just this past week, a Fox News spokesperson reacted to a video of a man upbraiding Carlson in a Montana shop with the following statement: “Ambushing Tucker Carlson while he is in a store with his family is totally inexcusable—no public figure should be accosted regardless of their political persuasion or beliefs simply due to the intolerance of another point of view.”