The Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham on Tuesday had a decidedly sarcastic reaction to the harrowing testimonies of police officers who defended the Capitol from pro-Trump supporters on January 6.
At the first hearing of the House committee investigating the riot, officers including Harry Dunn, Aquilino Gonell, Michael Fanone, and Daniel Hodges described racial abuse, beatings, and fear for their lives.
Fox News’ leading opinion personalities had a deeply skeptical reading of their testimonies.
‘Today’s best performances’
On “The Ingraham Angle,” Ingraham introduced “the Angle awards for today’s best performances.”
Earlier that day, officers had recalled disturbing experiences of the riot. Dunn, a Black man, recalled rioters calling him racial slurs, while Gonell, an Iraq War veteran, said he had believed he would die during the attack.
Gonell also described rioters using baseball bats, hockey sticks, a rebar, and a flagpole as weapons that day. “No matter if it is a pen, the way they were using these items, it was to hurt officers,” he said.
Ingraham’s show homed in on the pen comment, displaying a graphic of a trophy with “best exaggerated performance” emblazoned on it.
“The winner is Aquilino Gonell, who thinks the pen is literally mightier than the sword,” Ingraham said.
Ingraham also mocked Dunn with a graphic of a trophy that read “best political performance,” saying: “The award for blatant use of party politics when facts fail, the Angle award goes to Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn.”
Dunn had said at the hearing that while he tried to keep politics out of his job, he mentioned his own vote when he tried to reason with rioters who said Joe Biden had stolen the election.
“I responded: ‘Well, I voted for Joe Biden. Does my vote not count? Am I nobody?'” he said. “That prompted a torrent of racial epithets.”
Ingraham cut the clip before Dunn mentioned the racial abuse.
She also focused on Fanone — who at one point in his testimony slammed his hand on the podium in frustration — giving him “best performance in an action role.”
Laura Ingraham is giving out best performance awards to police officers from today’s hearing pic.twitter.com/NyDynIN7rP
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 28, 2021
Ingraham also “awarded” Reps. Adam Schiff and Adam Kinzinger, both of whom reacted emotionally to the testimonies, with “best dramatic performance.”
‘It’s not Fallujah’
On “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Carlson took issue with several testimonies.
At the hearing, Gonell had said in a tearful speech that “on January 6, for the first time, I was more afraid to work at the Capitol than my entire deployment to Iraq.”
Carlson responded: “Actually, what happened on January 6, according to the video we do have, does not look a lot like Iraq. It’s not Fallujah.” He played footage of a relatively quiet segment of the Capitol invasion, with people milling peacefully about the rotunda.
Extensive footage of much more violent moments exists.
Fanone also excoriated the “indifference” shown to officers who defended the Capitol that day. “I’ve been left with the psychological trauma and the emotional anxiety of having survived such a horrific event,” he said.
Carlson outright laughed at this:
Watch Tucker Carlson literally laugh at DC cop Michael Fanone saying he's "been left with psychological trauma and emotional anxiety" from the Capitol riots.
Fanone was nearly beaten to death and suffered a heart attack!
This is truly sociopathic behavior here. pic.twitter.com/VA2QN3Rk5T
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 28, 2021
Carlson went on to suggest that Fanone should have experienced trauma from the protests last year in Washington, DC, when St. John’s Episcopal Church was set on fire and officers were hurt.
Carlson and some Republican lawmakers have frequently drawn comparisons between violent Black Lives Matter protests and the Capitol riot, suggesting a double standard in how they have been investigated.
[via Business Insider]