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Anderson Cooper says Tucker Carlson would have been ‘wetting his pants’ if he was in Capitol riot mob

Cooper said Carlson was trying to ‘rewrite history’ about one of the ‘biggest threats to American democracy’

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 08 March 2023 21:10 GMT
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Anderson Cooper says Tucker Carlson would have ‘wet his pants’ at January 6 riot

CNN's Anderson Cooper laid into Fox News' Tucker Carlson during a recent segment, suggesting the TV personality would have been "wetting his pants" if he had been at the Capitol riot.

Cooper spoke with former DC Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fannone, who was assaulted during the riot. The pair discussed Carlson's recent insistence that the rioters who attacked the Capitol and its police on 6 January 2021 in attempt to keep Donald Trump in power were simply "sightseers."

“The idea of Tucker Carlson being in that mob that day and not wetting his pants is hard to imagine,” Cooper said. “I find it hard to understand somebody who’s never put himself in harm’s way in any capacity for anyone else or on reporting a story and yet has the audacity to try to rewrite history.”

Cooper has been on the ground in numerous dangerous situations while reporting, including active war zones and disaster sites.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy recently granted Carlson exclusive access to security footage from inside the Capitol on the day of the insurrection attempt. Carlson then used the selectively-chosen footage to push the idea that the rioters were little more than tourists.

Mr McCarthy himself denounced the attack, calling the rioters "un-American."

Cooper said Carlson was attempting to "rewrite history on what is one of the most consequential, certainly one of the biggest events in American democracy — biggest threats to American democracy."

He then tossed over to Mr Fannone for his thoughts. The former police officer did not temper his response, calling Carlson "Donald Trump's chief propagandist."

"Tucker Carlson is, by his own admission, an entertainer, not a journalist. And on top of that, he's proven himself just to be Donald Trump's chief propagandist," he said.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper discussing Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s insistence that Capitol rioters were largely peaceful (screengrab/CNN)

The former officer was referencing a federal court case in which Carlson was accused of slander. Fox News' attorneys argued that the "general tenor" of Carlson's show should inform a viewer that he is not "stating actual facts" and is instead engaging in "exaggeration" and "non-literal commentary."

"Fox persuasively argues, that given Mr. Carlson's reputation, any reasonable viewer 'arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism' about the statement he makes," US District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil wrote in her opinion on the case, according to NPR.

Even Carlson's constant boosting of Mr Trump appears to be insincere. Documents made public as part of Dominion Voting Systems' defamation case against Fox News for allegedly peddling libelous conspiracy theories about the company in the wake of the 2020 election have revealed private communications between Carlson and higher-ups at Fox News. Those communications include his frustration with covering Mr Trump and an admission that he "can't wait" to stop reporting on the former president.

"I hate him passionately," he wrote in the texts, according to the New York Times.

Fox News issued a statement after the texts were revealed, claiming Dominion was attempting to “to twist and even misattribute quotes to the highest levels of our company..."

Mr Fannone said he believes that "most Americans" recognise that Carlson's report was "propaganda" to "white wash the events of 6 January."

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