Fox News hosts attack Liz Cheney over January 6 release

Fox News hosts who texted President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 sought to explain their actions on Tuesday – while lashing out at the representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), For revealing the communications.

The texts read by Cheney on Monday night at a hearing of the Congressional committee investigating the events of January 6 clearly showed that Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Brian Kilmeade, a host of “Fox & Friends”, were alarmed by the response of the former president at the time, although they never held him accountable when they discussed the issue in their agendas for the months that followed.

The texts revealed how conservative Fox News hosts are careful not to offend the Trump base – which constitutes a large portion of their audience – even when personally disturbed by the former president’s actions.

Hannity and Ingraham rarely apologize and usually respond to criticism by shooting the messenger, and the Tuesday editions of their Fox News programs were no different.

They defended their actions and delivered their usual talking points on the events of January 6 which largely ignored the former president’s involvement in fostering the insurgency.

Hannity denounced Cheney for reading the texts and called his committee’s investigation a “sham” and “witch hunt” aimed at harming Trump and his chances of running for president again in 2024. Cheney is vice-chairman of the committee and only one of two Republicans who sit on it.

“Where is the outrage in the media over my private text messages being made public again?” Hannity told viewers. “Do we believe in privacy? Apparently not.”

Hannity returned to his usual justification of January 6, where he repeatedly asked why Congress had not formed a commission to investigate the unrest in cities across the country that erupted in 2020 following George’s murder. Floyd by the police.

“These lawmakers, they don’t really care about you,” Hannity said. “If they did, they would have a committee, they would have a commission. They care about their home, not your home. They care about their neighborhood, not yours.

Hannity did not discuss Trump’s actions that day – he shut down Geraldo Rivera, a guest on his Tuesday show, when he attempted to raise the issue – even though his texts to Meadows made it clear he was was upset that the former president did not act quickly. enough to stop the violence on January 6, which left five people dead.

“Can he make a statement?” Asking people to leave the Capitol? Hannity wrote to Meadows, based on texts read by Cheney.

The tone of Hannity’s program was best described by a graphic at the bottom of the screen that read, “Dems Jan 6th Obsession Part of Larger Effort to Grab Permanent Power and Punish Critics.” ”

Hannity condemned the riots in the program that aired on the night of the uprising. “All of today’s culprits must be arrested and prosecuted with the full force of the law,” Hannity said. “Every good and honest American we know will condemn and must condemn what happened on Capitol Hill.”

But Hannity was among the conservative commentators in 2020 who questioned the fairness of the election, even calling it a “train wreck.”

Ingraham also used it to show that she was downplaying the difference between her public position and the private concerns expressed to Meadows.

“Mark, the president has to tell the people on Capitol Hill to go home,” Ingraham wrote to Meadows, according to excerpts read by Cheney. “It hurts us all. He destroys his heritage.

Ingraham denounced the January 6 riot but refuses to call it an insurgency, even though the protesters’ intention was to overturn the 2020 election results.

On the night of January 6, Ingraham’s condemnation of the riots was softened by unsubstantiated reports that the agitators were “probably not all Trump supporters” and that Antifa sympathizers “may have been sprinkled in the crowd “. She later clarified that the report was not confirmed.

Ingraham has since repeatedly downplayed the Jan.6 attack. In April, she said “America’s most dangerous insurgents” were not in the crowd that showed up on Capitol Hill but President Biden, “and the powerful, well-heeled forces that want us to lose. view what made America great in the first place. “

On Tuesday, Ingraham dug in, saying there was no difference between what the texts revealed and what she was saying on air.

“Both in public and in private I said what I believe the violation of the Capitol on January 6 was a terrible thing – crimes were committed, some people were unfairly stalked and persecuted and prosecuted, but this was not an insurgency, ”she said. “To say something different is beyond dishonesty and ignores the facts of that day. “

Ingraham also said the Jan.6 account was hurting Democrats in MSNBC polls and ratings. “They are all so out of touch,” she said.

The January 6 insurgency continues to be a problem for Fox News.

The network took heat for a documentary series produced by Tucker Carlson that pushed for a conspiracy theory that suggested government involvement in stimulating the January 6 riots. The programs aired on the Fox Nation streaming service shocked many reporters in the network’s Washington office.

Veteran presenter Chris Wallace was among those who complained to management and announced on Sunday that he was leaving the network after 18 years to join CNN’s streaming service.

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