If you were watching Fox News on the day of the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, you probably didn’t think it was all that horrible. Sean Hannity erroneously claimed that Black Lives Matter demonstrators and other progressive activists had infiltrated the pro-Trump throng that night on his show. Since then, they’ve either minimized it or pushed nonsense conspiracy ideas. However, the House committee examining the tragic day released panicked texts written by several of the network’s stars on that day on Monday. You can see how they clearly contradict what they were telling Fox News viewers thanks to CNN.
Three network hosts’ texts are juxtaposed with what they informed viewers in the video. Laura Ingraham, for example, was noticeably nervous when she wrote a message to former chief of staff Mark Meadows. She wrote, “The president ought to urge everybody at the Capitol to go home.” “This is causing us all pain. He’s sabotaging his own legacy.”
Ingraham seemed unconcerned about it in July. “It was not a terrorist attack,” she assured her adoring supporters. “It wasn’t 9/11, it wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened to America, it wasn’t an uprising.”
There was Fox & Friends’ Brian Kilmeade. On Jan. 6, he wrote, “Please get him on TV,” saying that he was “destroying everything you have accomplished.”
Kilmeade, on the other hand, had altered his mind just four days later. “He wasn’t saying go take the Capitol,” he remarked of Trump’s inciting speech before his followers stormed the Capitol building. “He planned on protesting at the Capitol.” “Take the bike racks and throw them away,” he wasn’t saying.
And who was it who texted Meadows, “Can he make a statement?” Sean Hannity, who was whining on Jan. 11 about how “Trump supporters are getting blamed for what transpired at the Capitol,” and claimed the “great majority” of demonstrators “doing it quietly,” said that.
Did their private messages match their public pronouncements? Not at all. However, CNN’s John King went even further, branding it “hypocrisy” and accusing them of not being journalists:
“For starters, everything they did, including reaching out to Mark Meadows, was unethical journalism.” But the irony is number two — they’re not journalists — number two. To act as though it never happened. It was critical on that day; the president needed to do something; the president needed to rescue his legacy on that day; and by that night on TV, [the riot] was no big deal. And [the riot] isn’t even remembered now.”
The Fox News hosts’ contradicting claims, according to King, only emphasizes “why it is so vital to get to the complete facts of that day.”