RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — “Mostly peaceful chaos”, a “small percentage” of “hooligans”, most were “orderly and meek” and “sightseers.” That is the interpretation of Fox News host Tucker Carlson after he was given 41,000 hours of footage from the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Not holding back, North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis condemned Carlson’s view.
Tillis told a group of reporters, “I think it’s bull****.”
“As someone who was there and saw what happened in the capitol, I think he felt empowered to say, ‘look I was here I saw what happened.’ this is not what happened and you can’t just call these folks sightseers” said Mitch Kokai, with the Raleigh-based conservative John Locke Foundation.
Kokai believes House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s choice to only release the footage to Carlson was not a good move, that it would have made more sense to release it to a number of actual journalists or to the public.
“That way, you could have had a lot of different people looking at this information and shedding much more light on it, having much more transparency rather than just choosing one person who we know has a bias and allowing that person to set his own narrative” said Kokai.
Tillis recalled, “I was down there, and I saw maybe a few tourists, a few people who got caught up in things. But when you see police barricades breached, when you see police officers assaulted, all of that, if you were just a tourist, you should’ve probably lined up at the visitors’ center and came in on an orderly basis. I just don’t think it’s helpful, but I do think it’s important to point out that that’s happened on both ends of the political spectrum and they’re both wrong.”
So far, about 1,000 people have been arrested in connection to the U.S. Capitol riot, including two-dozen North Carolinians.
Democrats stand by the work of the democratic led January 6th House Committee, but Republicans have argued it was biased.
Now some members of the GOP see Tucker Carlson as standing in the way of expressing their party’s interpretation.
“Giving the information and the footage to Tucker Carlson and then having him do what he did with it, I don’t think advances this scenario at all. It at least keeps it in a holding pattern if not setting us back from getting at the truth of what happened on January 6th. And so, I would say the best way to characterize this is a missed opportunity” said Kokai.