Democrats and the liberal media are out to cancel Tucker Carlson because the dramatic and previously unseen footage of the Capitol riot aired on Fox News Monday has damaged their January 6 narrative, Ben Shapiro said Wednesday.
The cable news channel’s most highly rated show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” aired footage Monday night showing people, including so-called “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley, walking peacefully through the building as police milled about passively. Shapiro, the Daily Wire co-founder and best-selling author, said on his podcast the video raised questions about the way the riots have been portrayed in the media.
“What Tucker showed [undermined] the kind of narrative that he was running through the halls of the Capitol building, knocking people over and beating their brains out in order to get into the main room of the Capitol and then sit behind the desk and then hanging from the ceiling,” Shapiro said.
Shapiro has repeatedly condemned the riot and said there was never any legal basis for the idea that then-Vice President Mike Pence could stop Joe Biden’s election victory from being certified, the key demand of protesters and rioters. Shapiro reiterated that point Wednesday and said that although he didn’t completely agree with Carlson’s characterization of events, the new footage turns the prevailing version of events on its head. That, in turn, has prompted calls to cancel Carlson, he said.
Last night, Tucker Carlson released new January 6 footage. And that footage utterly explodes two key narratives from the media and Democrats about January 6. pic.twitter.com/2KaLY7LXK0
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 7, 2023
“The narrative is that January 6 was the worst thing that has happened to the United States in the history of the United States, at least since the Civil War,” Shapiro said. “In order to maintain that perspective, they have to ignore all of the footage that Tucker brought to the table, and they have to say that it was a really, really bad thing that Tucker brought that footage out in the first place.”
Capitol Police officials said Tuesday the video Carlson’s show aired was not put in proper context and that the police seen near Chansley were trying to de-escalate what would become a dangerous situation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called from the Senate floor for Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch to pull Carlson off the air, and reporters from several sites hounded House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for giving Carlson’s team access to the video.
“So, you have to shut Tucker down,” Shapiro said. “And the Senate Majority leader literally calling for a shut down on Tucker Carlson because he doesn’t like the way in which Tucker Carlson presents the footage. Now is Tucker partisan? You bet your ass, Tucker is partisan. I’m not sure that he’s been hiding the ball on this.”
Both the House January 6 Committee and the media have presented evidence that was either out of context or outright false, Shapiro noted. The New York Times reported on Jan. 8, 2021, that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick had been beaten to death with a fire extinguisher. That report was frequently cited by lawmakers and other media outlets, even though five weeks later, the Times retracted the story. Sicknick had died Jan. 7 of what the medical examiner ruled were natural causes, although his family believes his death was triggered by the previous day’s events.
The new footage doesn’t change “the overall structure of the day, a protest which turned into a riot, but it does change your picture of what happened inside the building to particular people,” Shapiro said.
“The problem for Democrats is they could have presented all of this during the January 6 hearings,” Shapiro said. “They could have done this and they could have actually explained it away. They could have said the reason that the cops are walking [Chansley] around is because they were afraid that if they arrested him and other people saw that it would turn into more of a riot inside. Fine. You want to do that? Do it. But they didn’t.”
“They hid it and presumably they hid it for a reason,” he continued. “The reason would be that they wanted a black and white narrative in which everybody who entered the Capitol building that day was, in fact, some sort of insurrectionist terrorist. Everybody was violent, every single person. And no one had been ushered inside at all, which, again, is not true.”