Kevin McCarthy Sold Us Out!

When I first read that Kevin McCarthy had given Tucker Carlson of Fox ‘News’ unlimited access to 44,000 hours of video from every camera and every location in the Capitol on January 6th 2021, I was stunned and furious.  Who the hell does he think he is, and why would he provide such access to one of the most dishonest conspiracy theorists in the media today?  That footage is NOT McCarthy’s to give, and doing so poses a breech of security that will almost certainly lead to disaster.  McCarthy says that he “promised” his followers … but it was not his promise to make, not his data to give!!!  My idea in that moment, and still today is that McCarthy is not to be trusted and what next … will he give away the country’s nuclear and military secrets, or perhaps sell our social security numbers to the highest bidder?  Get. Him. OUT.  Robert Reich shares my views, but in a bit of a calmer manner than I can manage, so I’ll let him speak …

A second attempted coup?

The McCarthy-Trump-Fox-complex

Robert Reich

24 February 2023

This week we learned that House Speaker McCarthy turned over more than 40,000 hours of internal U.S. Capitol footage from January 6 exclusively to the conspiracy theorist and authoritarian propagandist Tucker Carlson of Fox News.

You’ll recall that Carlson called the vicious mob attack on the Capitol “a footnote” in history and “forgettably minor.” At the same time, Carlson magnified Trump’s lies about a stolen election and voter fraud in 2020.

He’s still at it — repeating baseless theories that the federal government instigated the attack. He even gave airtime to former Trump strategist Stephen Bannon hours after Bannon was convicted of contempt. Carlson has also produced a three-part documentary, “Patriot Purge,” advancing a false claim that FBI operatives were behind the assault and arguing that the Jan. 6 rioters were innocent.

New revelations from the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News expose the depth of the cynicism and greed behind Carlson and his Fox News colleagues. Emails from Carlson and the others reveal that they knowingly put guests on their shows — including Trump lawyer Sidney Powell — to make false claims to the viewing public about fraud in the 2020 election. Carlson and the other hosts knew that their guests were lying. “Sidney Powell is lying by the way. I caught her. It’s insane,” wrote Carlson in an email.

Why did Carlson and the other Fox hosts do this? Not only or even primarily to promote Trump and fuel public anger at Democrats and the so-called “stolen election,” but to maintain their ratings lead over Trump’s more extreme rightwing media outlets (such as Newsmax and OAN) — and therefore the value of their Fox stocks and stock options.

In a text chain with Ingraham and Hannity, Carlson referred to a tweet in which Fox reporter Jacqui Heinrich fact-checked a message from Trump and concluded there was no evidence of voter fraud from Dominion. “Please get her fired,” Carlson said, adding: “It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.” By the next morning, Heinrich had deleted her tweet.

Having earned a fortune by getting their Fox viewers (and the ad revenue that came with them) revved up over false claims of election fraud, Carlson and his Fox colleagues feared losing those same viewers (and revenue) to even nuttier networks.

What will Carlson do with the 40,000 hours of videotape that Kevin McCarthy just turned over to him? Based on his history, he’ll probably use it to rev up Fox viewers (and ad revenue) to new heights of outrage and money.

How will he do this? By picking and choosing portions of the videotape, and presenting them out of context to create a misleading narrative that will discredit the Jan. 6 investigators and absolve Trump and the insurrectionists.

The reason McCarthy turned over the videotape to Carlson was to appease the most extreme rightwing authoritarian elements of his narrow House majority — such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, the bonkers congresswoman from Georgia who pressured McCarthy to give Carlson the tapes.

Greene has now become a close advisor to McCarthy. She has already suggested that January 6, 2021 was a false-flag operation created by the U.S. government and that the rioters were patriots who got ensnared in the plot. Should anyone be surprised if Carlson’s narrative supports Greene’s view?

Carlson’s goal is not just to reward election deniers in the House, like Greene, nor to help Trump or a Trump-like candidate become President. It’s also to make lot of money for himself in the process — as Carlson and his colleagues did when fueling Trump’s big lie in the months after the 2020 election.

McCarthy’s Republican House’s mission is to attack President Biden along with law enforcement and intelligence agencies, discredit and attack the findings of the Jan. 6 investigations and the likely upcoming indictments, and undermine the public’s confidence in our democracy and in any election results that don’t go their way. McCarthy has even named Greene to the House Homeland Security Committee.

McCarthy and his House Republicans need Fox News to amplify their bizarre views, hearings, and conclusions. Trump needs McCarthy’s House Republicans and Fox News to fuel his candidacy. Fox News needs them both to fuel its ratings and revenue.

The McCarthy-Trump-Fox-complex is internally consistent — connecting authoritarianism, rightwing Republican hackery, GOP political fundraising, Trump-boosting ratings outrage, and greed. It’s a vicious cycle designed to sow anger and distrust while advancing the power and wealth of McCarthy, Greene, Trump, Carlson, and Fox News.

This is the same combination that fueled Trump’s presidency and led to his first attempted coup. Will it lead to a second?

23 thoughts on “Kevin McCarthy Sold Us Out!

  1. Firstly I doubt if either Carlson or Trump have an ounce of political sincerity much less theory in their characters. They simply took their prejudices offered them up to willing audiences and shovelled in the bucks. Since then they have both played to the crowd, like a pair of Over The Top Heavy Metal stars fuelled by their fame and vanity they keep churning out the shocks to a baying mob, urging them on. An unholy alliance. The crowd is no playing them.
    By the rules of the game played after 9/11 both are playing with either outright traitorous behaviour or riding on the coattails. The question is are the forces of Democracy prepared to play hardball back at them and these crews up violate your constitution.
    This is the conundrum Democracy faces when under threat. Just how much Democracy is a community willing to surgically put aside to deal with a cancerous growth. There is no right to overturn the rights of the vulnerable, the tolerant or the Compassionate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • All good points, my friend. It seems to me that the people of this nation no longer actually understand how democracy works, what it actually means. They can only see as far as their own lives go, and to hell with everybody else. DeSantis, McCarthy, Trump, Carlson, and so many others are having a ball playing on that ignorance and selfishness. Round and round she goes, where she ends no one knows …

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t given up on the folk of the US.
        Churchill is reputed to have said:
        “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”
        I hold that to be still possible, albeit it done in a ragged, winding road sorta way.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I dunno, Roger. There was a time when ‘good people’ outnumbered the selfish, greedy, corrupt, self-focused ones, but … I’m not sure that’s true anymore. I’m really not. What the nation has become is … depressing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I could write you a brief history highlighting ‘Ugly America’, right from pre-revolutionary days, but that’s not the whole story because that would be the American version of a world history.
            The US is still an experiment; trying to get a continent sized population over 5 time zones into one workable as near as possible egalitarian state.
            Compared to the history of other nations, you’re still precocious youngsters, just with lots of money and mood swings.
            Tomorrow is not yet set in stone.
            That brilliant youngster who got lost and ended up a wreck.
            Or the class screw-up who grew out of it and made something.
            Or the kid who shook it all off and settled down.
            There are bleak options, good ones and muddle through ones.
            The journeys there are never linear or neat.
            It is all yet to be written.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Perhaps the entire world is still an experiment, not just the U.S. Look at Brazil, for an example, or your own UK and how it is even now evolving in the wind of Brexit. The U.S. will never be an egalitarian state, unless it is forced under strict authoritarianism, for we are a stubborn lot. Yes, it’s all yet to be written … except … it is clear to anyone who isn’t wearing rose-coloured glasses that the planet cannot sustain life as we know it much longer without some serious changes on our part, and the people in this country … well, about 80% of them are too selfish and ignorant to understand. So, in that sense, we do have a deadline for growing up and being responsible.

              Liked by 1 person

              • I agree Jill we do have a deadline.
                Life will continue, though with Humanity and we might not even figure much on the fossil record.
                On the political side:
                “The U.S. will never be an egalitarian state, unless it is forced under strict authoritarianism, for we are a stubborn lot. ”
                I’ve tried to run that scenario a few times based on histories both American and outside. It is workable, but most folk of any political strip of today would find the situation ‘at best’ uncomfortable; and the cost in putting in place, lives and infrastructure is very sobering. You’d also lose a few states to wild, petty kingdom independence to be gobbled up by larger powers into colony status.


    • I’ve noticed my neck has been sore for a couple of weeks now, but I didn’t know why … I think you’ve just solved the mystery! Other media are now ‘requesting’ the same information, but I’m not sure how far they will get. I strongly suspect, though I’m no expert, that much of the footage he turned over to Fox was a matter of national security and it will be found that he had no right to release it. But, as we both know, the wheels of justice turn slowly, plus the damage is done. Fox News, and especially Tucker Carlson are NOT decent humans with integrity that would protect the national interest. In the future, it will cause more headaches than ever for Capitol Police trying to protect our Congress.

      Liked by 1 person

      • One of my increasing concerns, the world over is the abuse of power… Starts slowly. Then can’t be stopped. I am very… “sensitive” to the issue of Power, since of my most of my most memorable classes in Grad school dealt with the “sources of power” by French and Raven. A brilliant analysis that has guided a good bit of my life… Look them up.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are so right. Little changes, barely noticeable. Then one day, we wake up and realize that … the world has changed! I will be looking into French and Raven as soon as I finish responding to comments for the night. I’ve pulled them up on Google and bookmarked a few articles for perusal. Thanks, Brian!

          Liked by 1 person

          • We had an incredible teacher in Grad school. “Human something 601”. Dr Cashman. He was from Chicago. he taught us French & Raven, Cognitive dissonance. Milgram’s submission to authority. This was probably my richest course of all University…

            Liked by 1 person

                • You were lucky, then! I remember most my Literature professor and Political Science one, both now deceased, but they left an indelible mark. I even remember one high school teacher who fueled my interest in both history and politics with his passion for both topics. I think it is those who truly have a passion for their subject who leave an impression with us.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Yes. Passion. Sadly missing in many areas these days… (I used “Passion” as a determinant question when I interviewed people to work for me…)
                    There are many great teachers. Also a good number of average ones… As in all fields… How’s your respiratory thing? Under control?


  2. What can be on those tapes that could exonerate anyone of what really happened?
    Yes, there will be hours and hours of nothing or of congresspeople running away from the mob, but no one will be intersted in watching paint dry.
    If they show any action, that action will be accusatory. The tapes can be doctored, of course, but someone has the original tapes to show what was true.
    I actually think McCarthy could be doing this to let FAUX News hang themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess that if you take things out of context, you can make it tell any story you wish. The danger is that the footage shows how and where people like Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence were evacuated to safety, the secret tunnels and passages … information that the insurrectionists did not have, but the next batch might well have, thanks to Kevin and Tucker.


  3. Jill, what amazes me is the only time I have been surprised by what Kevin McCarthy does is when he made his best speech ever after January 6, 2021 indicting Donald Trump for his role in what happened. Since that speech and after he was called down to Mar-a-Lago and read the riot act, he has been erasing it as if it never happened. So, this news about his abuse of power is not a surprise. He needs the spotlight to answer many questions. We already know from Carlson’s own words he is and was gaslighting his viewers about Trump’s election fraud claims. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I remember that time … apparently being afraid for one’s life brings out a bit of honesty? McCarthy sold his integrity long ago, but he sold the last piece of it in January when he gave away the castle to the crazies in order to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming Speaker of the House. I cannot have any respect for a person who takes a job, then turns around and stabs the people he works for in the back, which is precisely what McCarthy has done.


  4. Question:
    If McCarthy has released them to Carlson, couldn’t others FOIA them?

    1) No, others can’t FOIA them. Congress is immune from FOIA.
    2) No, this doesn’t amount to theft of government property. McCarthy is one of a few people who determines who accesses these things.
    3) These aren’t classified at all. They’re law enforcement sensitive.
    4) If Tucker’s releases get really bad, I suppose Schumer could release his own set, to make sure actual journalists are fact-checking Tucker. Everyone seems rather flat-footed by this announcement so it may take some days or weeks to devise a response.


  5. Thank you for sharing!!.. the Mccarthy’s, Trumps, Putins and others too numerous to mention represent a element of today’s world societies that deny change and reality and will do whatever they can to prevent that change, like the proverbial “drowning man grabbing at straws”.. 🙂

    We can work together, using the same technology to work with change and make this world a better place.. it may take a bit of time with some bumps in the road but “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future.” (John F. Kennedy).. 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that at some point, change will make this world a better place … however, if we don’t take some serious steps to address the planet’s environment, we may not have enough time for that to happen. Humans seem to be hurtling toward self-extinction because they are resistant to change and to inconvenience. But, that’s a story for another day. Working together seems to be the problem … it’s “them” against “us” … a mentality that defies cooperation and progress. Some days I’m hopeful, but lately I find those days to be fewer and further between.


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