Skip Navigation
Breaking News
Breaking News
from Washington and beyond

Eleanor Holmes Norton Has Some Words for Joe Biden and the Democratic Party on D.C.’s Crime Bill

The Washington, D.C., delegate to Congress has had enough.

Jemal Countess/Getty Images for SEIU

Washington, D.C., Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton had some choice words for Joe Biden and her fellow Democrats Wednesday, hours before the Senate was set to vote on a motion to block changes to the city’s criminal code.

Republicans have led a successful fearmongering campaign against the overhaul of D.C.’s criminal code, which would provide badly needed updates to local legislation. Many Democrats have said they will vote alongside Republicans, and Biden said he won’t veto their efforts, denying the national capital the right to self-governance.

“Shame on him!” Norton said of Biden at a protest against the Republican disapproval resolution. “You either support D.C. home rule or you don’t. There are no exceptions, and there is no middle ground.”

About 200 people braved the cold to gather outside Union Station, just blocks away from the Capitol building. They beat bucket drums and danced to gogo music, both classic and historic D.C. sounds.

“What is happening in Congress is undemocratic,” Norton charged. “None of the 435 voting members of Congress were elected by D.C. residents; none of them are accountable to D.C. residents. Yet if they vote in favor of the disapproval resolution … they will choose to govern D.C. without its consent.”

She also warned that if the bill passes and Biden signs it, the win could “embolden Republicans to interfere in D.C.’s local affairs.”

“Just let ’em try!” she challenged.

Nearly 700,000 people live in the nation’s capital, most of them Black or brown. They do not have a voting member of Congress, and the federal government has the right to override policy decisions made by the D.C. City Council. If the disapproval measure passes, it will be the first time Congress has used that right in 30 years.

Tori Otten/The New Republic

Biden has come under particular fire because he has been a vocal supporter of D.C.’s right to self-governance in the past. His announcement last week that he would not veto the disapproval measure if it came to his desk was seen as a massive betrayal.

Other protesters were equally frustrated with Biden and Congress. “Our autonomy is under attack,” Fari Gahmina Tumpe, 58, a community organizer, told The New Republic. “Not only do we deserve the right to have a voting seat at the table, but we also deserve the right to make our own laws and govern ourselves.”

Kesh Ladduwahetty, 59, a graphic designer, told TNR she was “just so angry.”

“I’m angry because our country talks so big about democracy,” Ladduwahetty, who has worked with states advocating for D.C. statehood for a decade, said. “This was a reasonable … law that we passed. It was a thoughtfully done thing, and it was done democratically. And now it’s being stamped on for purely political reasons.”

“We thought we were making such progress, and this has been such a slap in the face.”

Fox News Admitted It Entered an “Existential Crisis” After Trump Lost the 2020 Election

New documents in the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit shed further light on what Fox News hosts and executives were really thinking as they spread conspiracy theories.

A billboard truck with Tucker Carlson's head and a quote that reads "What [Trump's] good at is destroying things. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong." Nov. 5, 2020
Erik McGregor/LightRocket/Getty Images
A billboard truck seen outside Fox News HQ

Fox News hosts and executives never believed the conspiracy theories about the 2020 election that they were spreading, new documents released in the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against the network revealed.

But as one Fox executive put it, the network entered an “existential crisis” after Donald Trump’s loss.

Dominion sued Fox News Networks and parent company Fox Corp in 2021 for $1.6 billion, accusing the television network of spreading lies that Dominion machines were used to rig the 2020 election against Trump.

Dominion released another batch of documents Tuesday night that gave further proof to the fact that Fox News hosts and owner Rupert Murdoch all knew the election wasn’t fraudulent, even as they continued to spread conspiracies on air.

Just two days before January 6, Fox host Tucker Carlson texted someone about Trump’s time in office. “We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest,” he said. “But come on. There really isn’t an upside to Trump.”

“We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait,” Carlson texted, adding, “I hate him passionately.”

Carlson also could “easily destroy” Fox News if they weren’t careful. The host, who has previously boasted of his close relationship with Trump, also said that all of the former president’s business ventures fail and that Trump was only good at “destroying things.”

Murdoch knew the conspiracies Trump spread were lies, as shown by a previously released excerpt of his deposition. But the new documents include more parts of his January deposition, during which he was repeatedly asked about the voting conspiracies being pushed on Fox News.

Murdoch rejected all of the conspiracies, admitting he had “never seen” any effort by Dominion to rig the election against Trump. Still, he spent all of election night hoping Trump would win and allowed his star hosts to go on air and lie when the election didn’t turn out how they wanted.

Maria Bartiromo doubled down on the election conspiracies. Text messages she sent to former Trump advisor and white nationalist Steve Bannon revealed she refused to refer to Joe Biden as the president-elect.

“I want to see massive fraud exposed,” she said. “I told my team we are not allowed to say pres elect at [all]. Not in scripts or in banners on air.”

These latest documents were released the day after Carlson showed a sanitized, cherry-picked version of what happened at the Capitol during the January 6 riot, a move that even some Republican lawmakers condemned. Even after the filings came out, Carlson used his show on Tuesday night to spread his narrative that the January 6 attack wasn’t actually that serious.

Fox News has repeatedly argued that its post-2020 election coverage was newsworthy and thus protected by the First Amendment. After Dominion released the documents Tuesday night, Fox accused the company of “distortions and misinformation in their PR campaign to smear Fox News and trample on free speech and freedom of the press. We already know they will say and do anything to try to win this case, but to twist and even misattribute quotes to the highest levels of our company is truly beyond the pale.”

Someone has distorted facts and misinformed the public. But it’s not Dominion.

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders Signs Law Making Child Labor Easier

Save the children (or not).

Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Sarah Huckabee Sanders

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 banned the employment of kids younger than 16 in any occupation, or those younger than 18 in especially dangerous jobs. Now, in 2023, conservatives are doing everything they can to eliminate those protections. Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed a bill that rolls back child labor protections.

The so-called “Youth Hiring Act” eliminates existing law that requires children under 16 to obtain an official employment certificate issued by the state’s Department of Labor. This certificate process is one of the only oversight mechanisms for child labor in the state, and verifies children’s actual age before letting them work.

The bill had passed both Republican-dominated chambers of the state legislature before Sanders signed it on Tuesday. The bill’s passage comes after Hannah Dreier’s shocking New York Times report revealing a “shadow work force” of migrant children “across industries in every state,” like 12-year-old roofers in Florida and Tennessee or 13-year-olds in Michigan making auto parts on an overnight shift that ends at 6:30 a.m, or in meat plants from Alabama to Minnesota.

The elimination of the basic accountability measure may make it easier for companies to exploit children for their labor and time. Laura Kellams, Northwest Arkansas Director for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, told KNWA, a local station, that while she is not opposed to more kids gaining work experience, there is still a concern for their neglect.

“That paperwork is only [so that as] a parent we can ensure that a parent is aware that the child is getting the job and that the hours worked don’t violate child labor laws,” Kellams said. “For example, you can’t hire a young person under 16 to work like 6 p.m. to midnight at your restaurant. They have to be finished with work by seven and that’s all about making sure that they’re home and can go to bed in time to be able to learn the next day at school.”

Sanders’s loosening of child work protections follows the introduction of legislation in states from Iowa and Wisconsin, to Minnesota and New Hampshire all aiming to roll back child labor protections and allow companies to seep more time and work out of America’s youth.

During her response to the State of the Union—when she wasn’t pontificating on “critical race theory,” left-wing “rituals” and “woke fantasies,” or even just herself—Sanders shared her vision for what Republicans aim to do for America’s children. “Here in Arkansas and across America, Republicans are working to end the policy of trapping kids in failing schools and sentencing them to a lifetime of poverty,” she said.

It seems Republicans are working to implement policies that trap kids in meatpacking factories instead.

Elon Musk Hops Aboard the Tucker Carlson January 6 Conspiracy Train

The billionaire CEO is going further down the rabbit hole.

Elon Musk stands near a Tesla outside
Marlena Sloss/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Aside from not attending to the website he owned after most of its basic functionality failed, and conducting a lawyer-heart-attack-inducing layoff of a disabled person via tweet, Elon Musk has spent most of the past day sharing Tucker Carlson–inspired conspiracies about January 6.

Spurred by Carlson’s exclusive blaring of footage of the January 6 attack, Musk maintained incredulity throughout the last 24 hours, tweet after tweet showing in real time the supposedly political enigma going further and further down the rabbit hole.

“Wow,” Musk tweeted in response to a tweet of a clip from Carlson’s show in which Carlson casts doubt surrounding the death of Brian Sicknick, an officer who died hours after defending the Capitol from the rioters. Musk then retweeted a New York Post article about footage showing Sicknick appearing “uninjured.”

Musk then complained about the January 6 committee “misleading the public” and withholding evidence for “partisan political reasons that sent people to prison for far more serious crimes than they committed.”

“I keep forgetting which party he belongs to,” Musk quipped in response to Charlie Kirk tweeting a video of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticizing Carlson and Fox for the January 6 conspiracy-peddling.

Musk—the billionaire whose companies are under constant legal scrutiny for faults like destructive self-driving cars, who happily welcomed virulent antisemites and stochastic terrorists like Nick Fuentes back to Twitter, and has allegedly paid off a sexual harassment alleger $250,000 for her silence—called the committee’s attempts to hold domestic terrorists accountable “deeply wrong, legally and morally.”

Not for nothing, on Tuesday, Musk also responded to “@MuskUniversity,” who tweeted a supposed quote of Musk saying, “Many go woke for the moral cloak.”

“So many guys who got MeToo’ed went woke for the moral cloak,” Musk propounded. Apparently $250,000 can keep the moral cloak at bay.

The Tennessee House Just Passed a Bill Completely Gutting Marriage Equality

The bill could allow county clerks to deny marriage licenses to same-sex, interfaith, or interracial couples in Tennessee.

Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Tennessee state Capitol

The Tennessee House of Representatives has passed a bill that would allow people to refuse to perform a marriage if they disagree with it.

According to the bill, which passed Monday night, “a person shall not be required to solemnize a marriage.”*

The bill, which now moves to the state Senate, is the latest in an onslaught of measures that the Tennessee legislature has passed attacking LGBTQ rights. This bill could also apply to couples where at least one partner is transgender, or to mixed race couples.

Tennessee law already says that religious leaders do not have to officiate weddings they object to. Critics say the new bill goes beyond that and would empower county clerks to refuse to certify marriage licenses, meaning that LGBTQ, interfaith, or interracial couples could be unable to get married at all, rather than just needing to find a new officiant for their ceremony.

Marriage equality is technically the law of the land thanks to the Respect for Marriage Act, which President Joe Biden signed in December. But Tennessee’s bill exploits a major loophole in that law. Critics had long warned that the Respect for Marriage Act did not go far enough. The bill had been amended during the debate process to say that religious organizations do not have to marry same-sex couples, and the law also does not require states to actually issue same-sex marriage licenses.

This latest bill was passed alongside another measure that would require drag artists to obtain a permit from the government in order to perform. Both come just days after Governor Bill Lee signed two new laws, one banning drag performances in public and another banning gender-affirming care for minors.

The Human Rights Campaign slammed Tennessee’s ongoing “obsession with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.”

“Instead of focusing on the issues that Tennesseans actually care about, radical politicians are wasting their time and using their power to target the LGBTQ+ community,” HRC legal director Sarah Warbelow said in a statement. “These bills are not about protecting children and they are not about religious freedom.”

“They are about stripping away the basic human rights that LGBTQ+ people have fought for over decades … and labeling us dangerous.”

Supporters of Tennessee’s bills, and dozens of similar ones moving through state legislatures across the country, say their main goal is protecting children. Trans people and drag performers have become a particular target for Republicans and right-wing extremist groups, who accuse them of being pedophiles. But all these bills do is vilify LGBTQ people, including children, and expose them to more violence.

* This article previously quoted the original bill text rather than the amendment that modified this section of the bill.

“It’s Bullshit”: Republican Lawmakers Bash Tucker Carlson’s Version of January 6

Even major Republicans want nothing to do with the way Tucker is spinning the attack on the Capitol.

Senator Thom Tillis closeup
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Senator Thom Tillis

After Tucker Carlson’s first clumsy attempt at his new series: Why the January 6 Riot Was Actually Just Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: D.C., scores of Republicans have come out criticizing Carlson for running the segment, and Fox for hosting it.

The Monday-night segment came after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gifted Fox host Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of surveillance footage from the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

In the special, Carlson attempted to square a circle that led to him calling the invaders “protesters” but also just “orderly and meek sightseers.” He insisted they were not “insurrectionists,” but also chided skeptics for not understanding the invaders being “angry” in the face of a “grave betrayal.” But, Carlson assured, they also “believe in the system.”

It was so bad even Republicans have been unafraid to repudiate the display—if not on actual moral grounds, perhaps simply because Carlson did a bad job packaging something they wish he had done better. After all, as The Independent’s Eric Michael Garcia points out, none of the senators (other than Mitt Romney) voted to convict Donald Trump on an impeachment charge for inciting the insurrection. Either way, Republicans seem to be betting on it being better not to be on Carlson’s side this time.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took issue, saying Tuesday, “Clearly, the chief of the Capitol Police, in my view, correctly describes what most of us witnessed firsthand on January 6.” McConnell was referencing the comments of Officer Tom Manger, who criticized the “opinion program” for airing “commentary that was filled with offensive and misleading conclusions about the January 6 attack.”

“It was a mistake in my view for Fox to depict this in a way that’s completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official at the Capitol thinks,” McConnell finished, criticizing the network currently under legal fire for knowingly delivering conspiracy and lies more than news.

While Senator Thom Tillis called it “bullshit,” other Republican senators followed suit.

“To somehow put that in the same category as a permitted peaceful protest is just a lie,” said Kevin Cramer. “The best thing to do is to give it to every source at the same time and let everybody go through it and play it in its entirety,” he continued, when asked about McCarthy choosing to give Carlson exclusive access. Cramer also said that by giving to “all sources equally,” McCarthy could have avoided giving sole access to “one who is particularly good at conservative entertainment” (perhaps an admission of how much lies and conspiracy seem to entertain Carlson’s viewers).

Mitt Romney said it’s “really sad to see Tucker Carlson go off the rails like that,” calling Carlson part of the “range of shock jocks that are disappointing America and feeding falsehoods.”

“You can’t hide the truth by selectively picking a few minutes out of tapes and saying this is what went on. It’s so absurd. It’s nonsense,” Romney continued. “It’s a very dangerous thing to do, to suggest that attacking the Capitol of the United States is in any way acceptable and it’s anything other than a serious crime, against democracy and against our country,” Romney said. “Trying to normalize that behavior is dangerous and disgusting.”

Others, including Senators Mike Rounds, Lindsey Graham, and Chuck Grassley lobbed similar criticisms at Carlson and Fox.

Of course, let us not forget the still stubborn warriors, gripping on to Carlson’s coattails till their fingers turn blue.

“I’ve seen enough. Release all J6 political prisoners now,” proclaimed Representative Mike Collins on Twitter.

“In conclusion, God bless our troops.… Thank you, Tucker Carlson,” Representative Joe Wilson, famous for screaming, “You lie!” during President Obama’s State of the Union, finished in House remarks Tuesday.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Missouri’s “Second Amendment Preservation Act” as Unconstitutional

Missouri has one of the highest rates of gun deaths in the country.

Several handguns on a table
Jill Connelly/Bloomberg/Getty Images

On Tuesday, a U.S. federal judge ruled that a Missouri state law that made it more difficult for police to enforce federal gun laws is unconstitutional.

In Missouri, people can buy and own guns without a background check or license, they can conceal-carry them with no permit, guns don’t have to be securely stored away from young children, and domestic abusers can purchase and own firearms. There were 23.9 deaths from firearms per 100,000 Missouri residents in 2020, the most recent year where CDC data is available, making it the fourth-deadliest state in gun deaths in the nation.

Yet still, in 2021, almost every single Republican state House member voted for the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” or SAPA, which invalidated federal gun laws and penalized officials who tried to uphold them. The bill subjected any official who would seek to uphold federal gun laws to penalties of “$50,000 per employee hired by the law enforcement agency.”

In February 2022, however, the Justice Department challenged the statute in court, noting that the “Missouri law uniquely discriminates against federal agencies and employees; impairs law enforcement efforts in Missouri; and contravenes the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution,” which states that federal laws hold precedence over conflicting state laws.

The suit argued that the bill interrupted prior collaboration between state and local law enforcement agencies with federal officers to keep residents safe. It also argued that, in addition to misleading and confusing state and local officers, the Missouri law was “purporting to nullify, interfere with, and discriminate against federal law.”

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes of the Western District of Missouri sided with the Justice Department and declared that the bill violated the supremacy clause of the Constitution.

“SAPA’s practical effects are counterintuitive to its stated purpose,” Wimes wrote. “While purporting to protect citizens, SAPA exposes citizens to greater harm by interfering with the Federal Government’s ability to enforce lawfully enacted firearms regulations designed by Congress for the purpose of protecting citizens within the limits of the Constitution.”

Florida Republicans Introduce Six-Week Abortion Ban That Is Expected to Become Law

Many people don’t even realize they’re pregnant at six weeks.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Florida Republicans introduced a bill banning abortion after six weeks on Tuesday during the opening of the 2023 legislative session.

Governor Ron DeSantis holds a Republican supermajority in the state legislature, and he is expected to face little opposition to attempts to push through his political priorities. DeSantis, who is reportedly considering a 2024 presidential run, has previously expressed support for a six-week abortion ban and made clear that he is clamping down on the rights of women and gender minorities in his state.

House Bill 7 prohibits abortion after six weeks, down from 15 weeks and before many people even know they are pregnant. It makes exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, or to save the life of the pregnant person. However, the person “must provide a copy of a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation proving” they were the victim of rape or incest.

The measure requires that all abortions, whether through surgery or through medication, must be conducted in person. Doctors would not be allowed to dispense abortion pills via telemedicine, cutting off a crucial lifeline for marginalized people to access safe abortions.

Individuals, government agencies, and public education institutions would be banned from using state funds to help someone travel out of state for an abortion, unless it is medically necessary to save the pregnant person’s life, or unless those groups are already legally required to use federal funds for such aid.

The bill would also lower the amount of money that the state Department of Health is required to spend on pregnancy and parental support services to 85 percent, down from 90 percent. These services include pregnancy testing, counseling, prenatal classes, adoption education, and material aid such as diapers and formula. Abortion rights advocates regularly point out that states with some of the toughest abortion laws often fail to set up social welfare systems to support children after they are born.

The legislation is sure to have a ripple effect across the rest of the South, as many of Florida’s neighboring states outlaw abortion and criminalize those who seek the procedure, including South Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi.

DeSantis has declared war on “woke” culture, and that apparently includes restricting the rights of women and gender minorities throughout Florida. He has already come under fire for a plan from the governing body for the state university school system to collect data on students who seek gender-affirming care on their college campuses.

Walgreens Refuses to Clarify Decision to Stop Selling Abortion Pill in States Where It’s Legal

Meanwhile, boycott threats are growing.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Walgreens is dodging questions about its plans to stop selling the abortion pill even in states where the procedure is still legal, after coming under fire for caving to pressure from anti-abortion Republican officials.

The pharmacy chain had said in January it would seek certification from the Food and Drug Administration to dispense mifepristone, one of the medications used to induce an abortion. But Walgreens changed course a month later, following intense pressure from almost two dozen Republican attorneys general. It tried to make its position clear Monday night … except the company’s statement was anything but.

“Walgreens plans to dispense Mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legally permissible to do so,” the pharmacy chain said in the statement. “Once we are certified by the FDA, we will dispense this medication consistent with federal and state laws.”

The statement failed to specifically address Walgreens’ earlier announcement that it would not dispense the abortion pill in 21 states where Republican attorneys general had threatened legal action. Abortion is still legal in more than half of those states. Of the group, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and West Virginia have banned the procedure.

Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, and South Carolina currently allow abortion, either because the procedure is fully legalized or because a court has blocked an attempt to ban the procedure. Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, and Utah still allow abortion up to anywhere from six to 21 weeks into the pregnancy.

Walgreens’s promise not to sell mifepristone in Kansas is particularly egregious, as residents voted last summer to keep abortion protections in the state constitution but Republican lawmakers are currently working to override the will of the people.

Medication abortions make up more than half of all abortions in the United States, and are considered a crucial tool in maintaining access to the procedure since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Republican lawmakers are trying to make it harder to access abortion pills, such as in Texas, where an official introduced a bill last week that would compel internet providers in the state to block websites that sell or provide information on how to obtain the medication. Another lawmaker introduced a bill that would ban credit card companies from processing transactions for abortion pills.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday that his state “won’t be doing business” with Walgreens because it “cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk.” Walgreen stock dropped sharply after his announcement.

Calls to boycott the pharmacy have been growing online, including from documentary maker and activist Michael Moore.

The fact that Walgreens caved to Republican pressure, though, may not be all that surprising. The pharmacy chain has made several donations to anti-abortion groups in recent years, according to Popular Information.

Walgreens has donated more than $80,000 to the Republican Attorneys General Association, or RAGA, since 2020. All of the attorneys general who pressured the company over mifepristone are RAGA members.

Walgreens also donated a total of $123,500 during the 2022 midterms to 39 different members of Congress who received a failing grade from NARAL Pro-Choice America. Among those lawmakers are 12 co-sponsors of the Heartbeat Protection Act, a 2021 bill that would have banned abortion nationwide at six weeks, before many people even know they are pregnant.

Tucker Carlson Uses January 6 Footage to Tell Fox News Viewers Exactly What They Want to Hear

The protesters did nothing wrong. They just believe in the system. That’s what the cherry-picked clips show, anyway.

Tucker Carlson laughs
Jason Koerner/Getty Images

Two weeks ago, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gifted Fox host Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of surveillance footage from the January 6 attack on the Capitol. And on Monday night, Carlson, who has admitted he and his Fox colleagues constantly lie to their viewers, embarked on a new attempt to not just sanitize but validate a coordinated right-wing attack on America’s Capitol.

Carlson’s main contention revolved around the idea that, because the public has not seen every single second of January 6 footage, the already released footage showing violent insurrection is somehow invalidated. “It turns out there’s quite a bit of video you haven’t seen,” Carlson said. “Taken as a whole, the video record does not support the claim that January 6 was an insurrection—in fact, it demolishes that claim.”

“The protesters were angry: They believed the election they had just voted in had been unfairly conducted, and they were right,” Carlson proselytized. “In retrospect, it is clear the 2020 election was a grave betrayal of American democracy.”

Carlson clumsily treads between calling the protesters angry and betrayed and simply admirers of American history and democracy. “They were orderly and meek. These were not insurrectionists, they were sightseers,” Carlson proposed. “Protesters queue up in neat little lines. They give each other tours outside the speaker’s office. They take cheerful selfies and they smile. They are not destroying the Capitol,” he narrated. “They obviously revere the Capitol. They’re there because the election was stolen from them. They believe in the system.”

So these people are “protesters,” but they are actually just “orderly and meek sightseers.” And they are not “insurrectionists,” but they are also “angry” in the face of a “grave betrayal.” But they also “believe in the system.”

Got it?

Carlson also hosted The Washington Times’ Charlie Hurt to help peddle the lie that insurrectionists weren’t armed. Investigations and footage have already confirmed the rioters were armed with knives, Tasers, batons, brass knuckles, and even firearms like AR-15s.

Carlson got as granular in his lying as trying to claim “there is dispute over how Chansley [the QAnon Shaman] got into the Capitol building,” despite footage Carlson aired earlier clearly showing Chansley entering with the rioters who kicked the door in:

As expected, Carlson is using the footage to try diluting the reality of how violent the riot was. Perhaps it all came out of a coordinated hedge by McCarthy and Fox, in case Trump indeed returns to lead the party, a sort of, “Look, we cleaned up some of the January 6 mess for you!”–type offering. Maybe it was just a way for McCarthy to buy some favor from the network, given how hard it’s already been for him to manage his slim majorities and the varying interests within it.

Or, more straightforwardly, this is all motivated by the right wing simply not believing in facing consequences for its own actions. Consequences would imply wrongdoing, and this party, despite its proclamations, is not one to actually hold itself personally responsible for any violence it incites—whether it be on the Capitol, on trans people, or communities poisoned by train derailments. Regardless, the exclusive collab between the most powerful member of the House and the biggest media corporation in America is already making room for members of Congress to embrace the proposition: