Fox News hosts mock 6 January congressional testimony

Mr Carlson laughed when one of the officers said he was traumatized by the experience

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 28 July 2021 18:09 BST
Tucker Carlson laughs when officer says he was traumatised by Capitol riots

Two of Fox News' top-rated hosts used their sizable platforms to mock the Capitol Police officers who testified to the injuries they received on 6 January, during a House select committee hearing.

A group of officers who fought against Trump loyalist rioters on 6 January sat before members of the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot on Tuesday to review video of the day of the attack, to offer their perspectives, and to detail the injuries they sustained.

Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, two of the network's most popular talking heads, offered sneering reviews of the officers' testimonies.

Despite officers describing being dragged down stairs, crushed, beaten, shocked, sprayed with chemicals, called racial slurs and being told they were going to die, the Fox News hosts had little sympathy to offer.

Ms Ingraham brushed off the testimonies, saying the officers deserved "best performance" awards and that one in particular, Officer Aquilinio Gonnell, deserved "best exaggerated performance" for claiming rioters were using pens to try to stab officers.

Ms Ingraham said he "thinks the pen is literally mightier than the sword”, and accused his colleague, Officer Harry Dunn, of playing "party politics" during his time before the committee.

The pundit likely zeroed in on Mr Dunn because he admitted during his testimony that he voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election. During the hearing, Mr Dunn recalled trying to reason with the insurrectionists, who largely believed Donald Trump actually won the election despite all evidence to the contrary.

Mr Dunn told the panel, "Well, I voted for Joe Biden. Does my vote not count? Am I nobody?" He told the panel that admission resulted in the Trump supporters hurling racial slurs at him, though Ms Ingraham cut the clip before showing that part to her viewers.

Her colleague Mr Carlson was just as biting. He took issue with the testimony of Mr Gonnell, an Iraq War veteran, after he claimed that the attack on the Capitol was so traumatic that he was "more afraid to work at the Capitol than my entire deployment to Iraq”.

Mr Carlson, who has never served in the military and was still wearing bowties on MSNBC when the war was in full swing, offered his perspective on the war regardless.

"Actually, what happened on January 6, according to the video we do have, does not look a lot like Iraq. It's not Fallujah," he said.

The "video we do have”, which Mr Carlson then played, was a generally peaceful scene of rioters milling around the Capitol's rotunda. Mr Carlson did not decide to show his audience other clips that played during the House hearing, like one in which an officer pleads with rioters not to maim or kill him because he has children.

Most notable about the pair of pundits' reactions to the videos was Mr Carlson's response to the testimony of Officer Michael Fanone, who said he has been left with "the psychological trauma and the emotional anxiety of having survived such a horrific event”, which prompted the Fox News host to simply laugh at him.

Mr Fanone suffered a mild heart attack and a concussion after being knocked unconscious for four minutes. He was also drug down the Capitol stairs and shocked with a stun gun several times.

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