On January 6, a mob of Donald Trump supporters violently stormed into the U.S. Capitol Building. They blew past the Capitol Police, smashed through windows and doors and forced lawmakers to be evacuated to secure locations.
Four people were killed in that chaos.
The insurrectionists were incited by weeks of Trump's false claims that Joe Biden's presidential election victory was illegitimate and only made possible by voter fraud.
No evidence has ever been found to support Trump's claims.
For many pundits, lawmakers, and media personalities who have echoed Trump's lies over the last few weeks, the riotous frenzy served as a wake up call. They condemned the actions of the mob in broadcasts and statements throughout the evening.
But Fox News' Tucker Carlson was not one of them.
Rather than deeming the Capitol siege a step too far, Carlson took several minutes to further incite the mob, stoking fear and rage.
Carlson first described how one of the rioters was shot by law enforcement and later died in the hospital. He described law enforcement's actions as an act of political violence that must always be denounced.
He then congratulated the rioters' actions as a celebration of democracy and condemned law enforcement's actions as an anti-democratic act.
"Millions of Americans sincerely believe the last election was fake. You can dismiss them as crazy, you can call them conspiracy theorists, you can kick them off Twitter, but that won't change their minds."
"Rather than trying to change their minds, to convince them and reassure them that the system is real, that the democracy works--as you would do if you cared about the country or the people who live here--our new leaders will try to silence them."
Carlson then peddled fear and paranoia.
"What happened today will be used by the people taking power to strip you of the rights you were born with as an American: your right to speak without being censored, your right to assemble, to not be spied upon, to make a living, to defend your family, most critically."
"These are the most basic and ancient freedoms that we have. They're why we live here, they're why we're proud to be Americans, they're why what make us different."
"And they're all now in peril."To end the monologue, Carlson directly called out the vague, unnamed powerful force that his speech centered upon.
"When thousands of your countrymen storm the Capitol Building, you don't have to like it. We don't. You can be horrified by the violence, and as we say that and we'll say it again, we are horrified. It's wrong."
"But if you don't bother to pause and learn a single thing from it, from your citizens storming the Capitol building, then you're a fool. You lack wisdom and you lack self-awareness. You have no place running a country."
I encourage you all to watch this Tucker Carlson monologue about what happened in DC tonight. https://t.co/6sGHLOFcrA— Caleb Hull (@Caleb Hull) 1609982711.0
To reiterate, no evidence has been found to support Trump's and his supporters' claims that voter fraud occurred in the Presidential Election.
People who saw Carlson's speech on Twitter were outraged by his decision to fan the flames.
@CalebJHull There is so much wrong with what he’s saying...— Brandon 🥁 (@Brandon 🥁) 1609984951.0
@CalebJHull If he's asking why that woman was there today, it's simple, it's because Trump ginned up a mob. Trucker… https://t.co/rNonbpBcjh— Stephen (@Stephen) 1609986001.0
@CalebJHull The fact that this man has such a highly rated show on a news channel just shows you what state the country is in. F'n sad— Enter Sandman Sandin (@Enter Sandman Sandin) 1609984421.0
Tucker Carlson and the rest of his Faux News cohorts are just as responsible, if not more so, than trump for helpin… https://t.co/1IMK98MrvF— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@BrooklynDad_Defiant!) 1609986092.0
I just heard Tucker Carlson try to explain why that poor woman was killed while invading the Capitol today. The wor… https://t.co/RXRH2Nb914— Bob Ryan (@Bob Ryan) 1609981886.0
Plenty of people identified Carlson as a total hypocrite. They recalled his support of all the times law enforcement silenced protesters who pushed for social justice.
@CalebJHull I’m sure @TuckerCarlson paused to think about why the BLM protests were happening, right? And to learn… https://t.co/ejufZVyuPl— Steven Boyer (@Steven Boyer) 1609985496.0
@CalebJHull Where were his notions of 'don't blame the protestors', 'hear their heart, hear their concerns', 'addre… https://t.co/6BT9xChlad— Cherise (@Cherise) 1609983123.0
@CalebJHull Black people’s vote has been suppressed for 100+ years. Not ONCE did we storm the capital building and… https://t.co/kqaxwwwFL2— blessed (@blessed) 1609987604.0
Tucker Carlson when the police kill a black woman in her own home: "she deserved it" Tucker Carlson when the polic… https://t.co/pERHKMQkjA— Jackson the Syndicalist 🚩 (@Jackson the Syndicalist 🚩) 1609987125.0
Yesterday's actions illustrated just that serious, concrete consequences can be caused by lies and rhetoric. Carlson, nonetheless, has clearly chosen to double down.