HomeUS News updateWhat was happening in Fox News around the Jan. 6 riot

What was happening in Fox News around the Jan. 6 riot

As early as January 2021, Fox News hosts and officials were ready to move on from then-President Donald Trump and his insistence that the election was stolen.

“It’s been eight weeks and none of them have produced anything concrete or verifiable. And now he wants thousands of his supporters to go to DC without shelter or food to demonstrate,” host Lou Dobbs said on January 3. texted a producer on his show. “I believe the election was stolen – but without proof we can’t do anything significant.”

“We’re so close to being able to ignore Trump on too many nights,” Tucker Carlson wrote in a Jan. 4 text to an unidentified person. “I really can’t wait.”

“I hate him passionately,” he continued. “I can’t handle more than this.”

The revealing private messages were unsealed Tuesday night, part of a larger cache of evidence in the $1.6 billion Dominion defamation lawsuit against Fox News and Fox Corp. Motivated the mob to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Fox News argued that the voting system creator was skewing the evidence.

A Fox News spokesperson said in a statement, “Dominion was again caught red-handed using more distortions and misinformation in its PR campaign to defame Fox News and trample on freedom of speech and the press Is.”

Dominion has said that the documents released speak for themselves.

In his texts, Carlson continued, “Trump and his lawyers have “discredited their own case and those of the rest of us to some extent.” “Absolutely pisses me off.”

The next day, January 5, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox Corp, taps an email on his iPhone: Maybe our top talent needs to take a stand.

“It has been suggested that our primetime three should independently or together say something like ‘The election is over and Joe Biden has won. We are all disappointed by this. We love America and want to turn the page. We will now have the loyal opposition criticizing every liberal mistake the new administration makes,” Murdoch wrote to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott.

He added, “Not those words, but a refinement would go a long way to debunk the Trump myth that the election was stolen.” “And the basis of his 2024 campaign.”

Scott forwarded the email to Mead Cooper, executive vice president of prime-time programming.

“I told Rupert privately they’re all there – we need to be careful about using the show and offending the audience but they know how to navigate.”

Trump’s problems are increasing. His business is now ruined! Who’s going to have a party at his golf club or hotel?

Rupert Murdoch in an email on January 12, 2021

But Fox News’ top talent has never taken a stand.

Instead, the prime-time hosts talked about the Stop the Steel rally taking place in Washington on January 6.

On the night of January 5, prime-time host Sean Hannity put Eric Trump on the air, who looked at a laundry list. The claims of fraud he exaggerated or dismissed suggest he cost his father the election.

“The republic, its future, our future hangs in the balance,” Dobbs said on January 5, teasing Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, who argued that the outcome of the election could be changed by state legislatures and Congress on January 5. . 6.

And the next morning, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to block the certification of the results of the 2020 election. Rioters broke windows and doors, looted and ransacked offices and engaged in violent clashes for hours. About 140 officers were attacked that day, and two pipe bombs were also planted nearby, but did not explode.

The private texts and emails included in Dominion’s evidence offer a remarkable snapshot of the frustration and disenchantment at Fox News in the hours and days after the attack – messages very different from what they were putting out on the air.

Carlson’s producer Alex Pfeiffer complained in a text exchange with Carlson’s senior executive producer Justin Wells and an unnamed person dissecting Carlson’s show on January 6, “He’s not saying what’s really going on ” People think it was stolen? Did not become spotless. Trump told them what happened.

Inside the Fox companies, change was necessary, sometimes frenetic.

,Fox News is very busy. … We want to make Trump a non-person,” Murdoch wrote in an email on January 8.

Fox News “is turning around as fast as it can. We have to lead our audience which is not as easy as it may sound,” he wrote another day later.

The day after Biden’s inauguration, Murdoch was facing heat from Republican senators.

That morning, he met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and other GOP senators opposed to impeaching Trump.

“Still getting mud thrown at us!” Murdoch wrote. “Maybe Sean and Laura went too far,” he continued, referring to Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

He asked Scott whether it was “undoubted that high-profile Fox voices fed the story that the election was stolen and that there was a significant chance to overturn the result on January 6.”

Scott pleaded with a group of officers, noting that “Please send the details.”

Six hours later, Irena Briganti, the Fox News executive in charge of communications, responded with more than 15 pages of transcripts of examples.

In a January 12 email exchange with former House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Murdoch said that “everything changed” on the day of the riot.

“Trump’s troubles are on the rise. His businesses are now ruined! Who’s going to party at his golf club or hotel?”

He added: “Can he still resign and get Pence pardoned, then disappear? Will Mike Pence agree?”



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