Fox News unsurprisingly decided not to carry the prime-time hearing from the House Select Committee, but instead its hosts ran disinformation about the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The conservative network has virtually ignored the U.S. Capitol riot for 17 months and shunted the first public hearing to its Fox Business subsidiary, and hosts Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity acted like Donald Trump's defense team as House investigators presented their evidence to the public, reported the Washington Post.
“The whole thing is insulting," Carlson told viewers. "In fact, it’s deranged, and we’re not playing along. This is the only hour on an American news channel that will not be carrying their propaganda live. They are lying, and we’re not going to help them do it.”
Carlson didn't identify any specific lies -- in fact, the hearing hadn't even begun at that point -- but he asked a number of questions that he said the Select Committee should have asked about the deadly Capitol riot.
“What did happen, exactly, on Jan. 6?" he said. "What’s the truth of that day? Well, that’s still unknown. From the extensive video we have of Jan. 6, it’s clear that some in the crowd, more than a few, were encouraging protesters to breach the Capitol, to commit felonies.”
Carlson continued to spread a debunked conspiracy theory that Capitol rioter Ray Epps was an FBI instigator during his hour-long broadcast, which came without commercial interruption, and Hannity's program was also ad-free, and both programs frequently showed scenes from the hearing -- but focused on the audience instead of showing the committee's video and photo evidence.
"Not having commercials meant having more guests," wrote the Post's Philip Bump. "And what a lineup! A who’s who of the Carlsonverse. The Federalist’s Sean Davis. Former Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Fox News’s favorite Democrat. Matt Schlapp, chairman of the Conservative Political Action Coalition, recently back from Hungary. Young Turks reporter Michael Tracey. And, at the end of the hour, Darren Beattie — the guy booted from the Trump administration who wrote that first Ray Epps story."
"Fox News didn’t ignore the hearing, as expected," Bump wrote. "Its audience would have been better served if it had."