NC’s Tillis has one word to describe Tucker Carlson’s latest Jan. 6 coverage on Fox News

·3 min read
Chris Carlson/AP

Sen. Thom Tillis is calling out coverage by Fox News on Monday night of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“I think it’s bullshit,” Tillis told reporters.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson released never-before-seen footage from inside the Capitol given to him by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Carlson called the Jan. 6 committee and members of the media liars for how they portrayed the insurrectionists over the past two years and said the attackers were simply sightseers who revered the Capitol.

“I was here,” Tillis, a Republican, countered in remarks to NBC News. “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.”

Tillis confirmed his statements to McClatchy, adding that he believes Carlson’s reporting is just as wrong as when a “liberal media outlet” says there were mostly peaceful protests “with a burning Kenosha,” making reference to the riots in Wisconsin that broke out following the police shooting in August 2020 of Jacob Blake.

“There’s no place for either of those two extremes,” Tillis said.

Tillis and January 6

Tillis is in his sophomore term in the Senate and talked about his memories of Jan. 6 as he walked from an underground train car to the Senate chamber on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol.

He said it began as any other day with protesters on the mall expressing displeasure. Then things took a stark turn.

“I saw people breaching fences, assaulting police officers, using pepper spray, breaking windows, destroying this building we’re walking through right now,” Tillis said. “And it was wrong.”

Was Tillis ever scared for his safety?

“Not at all,” Tillis said. “Because I would have picked up something and defended myself.”

Tuesday’s reaction to Carlson’s coverage of Jan. 6 isn’t the first time Tillis has spoken out against the events of that day. Previously, he called it “a dark day in American history that should not be repeated.” He asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the insurrection and hold responsible anyone who broke the law in an attempt to stop the election certification of President Joe Biden and keep former President Donald Trump in power.

Pushback to Jan. 6 accounts

Not long after McCarthy became House speaker he released 44,000 hours of video footage from Capitol security cameras exclusively to Carlson.

The decision was met with backlash from both political parties. Concerns included whether McCarthy might have inappropriately released security details and why he chose to release the footage to a news host who has repeatedly pushed conspiracy theories about the insurrection.

Other members of Congress have spoken out against Carlson and McCarthy since Monday night’s segment aired, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer who called it “one of the most shameful hours we have ever seen on cable television.”

Schumer said McCarthy is as culpable as Carlson and further eroded the country’s democracy.