OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer looked set to appear on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s program Wednesday evening to discuss Carlson’s previous remarks that accompanied the airing of previously unseen video footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, but it didn’t work out in the end.
That’s because of one condition the New York Democrat put on any appearance — one that Carlson was never going to agree to.
“I was invited on Tucker Carlson’s show. I will agree to go on after Tucker Carlson admits to his viewers live on air that he has been lying to them about the 2020 elections and about what happened on January 6th,” Schumer tweeted on Tuesday.
I was invited on Tucker Carlson’s show.
I will agree to go on after Tucker Carlson admits to his viewers live on air that he has been lying to them about the 2020 elections and about what happened on January 6th.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 8, 2023
Carlson’s producers invited Schumer on the program after he claimed that airing the footage was somehow a threat to “democracy.”
“These lies continue tonight. [News Corp. owner] Rupert Murdoch, who has admitted they were lies and said he regretted it, has a special obligation to stop Tucker Carlson from going on tonight, now that he’s seen how he has perverted and slimed the truth, and from letting him go on again and again and again,” he told reporters.
“Not because their views deserve such opprobrium, but because our democracy depends on it,” he said.
Schumer: "Rupert Murdoch has a special obligation to stop Tucker Carlson from going on tonight [and] from letting him go on again and again and again [because] our democracy depends on it." pic.twitter.com/uld6eaCl3C
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 7, 2023
The Senate leader appears to be referring to claims made by some hosts and guests on Fox News in the past who questioned the outcome of the 2020 election. But Carlson’s airing of Jan. 6 footage has nothing to do with that; rather, his stated objective is to air portions of surveillance footage he was given access to by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) that appear to dispute certain narratives — many of them pushed by Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media — about what actually happened during the riot.
That said, Schumer wasn’t the only official upset by the clips. The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police issued a memo to his staff on Tuesday after some footage appeared to show officers standing passively as a large crowd entered the Capitol on January 6.
Police Chief Tom Manger condemned Carlson’s comments and analysis, stating they was “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions” about the riot.
“The program conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video,” Manger claimed. “The commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments.”
NEW – Capitol Police chief Thomas Manger sends internal memo this am saying Carlson’s report was “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions” about Jan. 6 and says the “opinion program” never reached out with appropriate context. Reporting w/ @rachelvscott pic.twitter.com/BrnD0n4IN1
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) March 7, 2023
Manger specifically objected to a segment that featured Capitol Police officers guiding Jacob Chansley, also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” through the Capitol building and Carlson’s portrayal of them as “tour guides.”
He also expressed concern about Carlson’s emphasis on Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who a medical examiner found had died of natural causes after suffering a stroke a day after the January 6 incident while protecting the Capitol, the Daily Wire reported.
The New York Times initially reported on January 8 that Sicknick was killed by a rioter wielding a fire extinguisher during the riot. However, the paper retracted the story five weeks later after the D.C. medical examiner stated that Sicknick had died of natural causes a day after the event. Other outlets also erroneously reported that Sicknick was beaten to death.
Nonetheless, both Sicknick’s family and the police believe that his death was related to the riot.
Video of Sicknick appearing to lead people out of the Capitol building after “he was supposedly murdered outside overturns the single-most powerful and politically useful lie the Democrats have told us about January 6,” Carlson noted.
Manger noted that Capitol Police “maintains, as anyone with common sense would, that had Officer Sicknick not fought valiantly for hours on the day he was violently assaulted, Officer Sicknick would not have died the next day.”
The chief thanked and praised members of the Capitol Police force, commending their efforts on January 6. “You fought like hell on January 6 and risked your lives to protect the Constitution and everything this country stands for,” he wrote. “You, along with our law enforcement partners, saved every member of Congress and their staff.”
It’s unclear if Manger has been asked to appear on Carlson’s program to tell his side of the story.