Fox News' Geraldo Rivera rips Tucker Carlson for pushing conspiracy theory about January 6

·3 min read
Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera visits the Dan Abrams show at SiriusXM Studios in New York City on November 1, 2018. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
  • Tucker Carlson is falsely suggesting the US Capitol riot was a government operation.

  • The conspiracy theory hinges on the fact some rioters worked as federal informants.

  • In fact, members of the Proud Boys boasted of being federal informants - against "Antifa."

One of Tucker Carlson's own colleagues is literally calling "bullshit" on the Fox News anchor's conspiracy theory - to be detailed in a three-part special - that the US Capitol riot was not the product of a mob incited by a former president but rather a government inside job aimed at discrediting his supporters

On Wednesday, Carlson shared a trailer for the coming special that suggests the January 6 insurrection was a "false flag," a discredited theory first promoted in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the US Capitol.

Geraldo Rivera, a long-time on-air presence at Fox News, tweeted his disgust a day later, sharing a post on Twitter from Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger - a member of the special committee investigating the pro-Trump riot - that called on Fox employees to "speak out."

In the hours following the January 6 insurrection, some Trump supporters falsely claimed the day's events had been orchestrated by "Antifa." The latest variation on that conspiracy theory, endorsed by Carlson and others on the far right, hinges on an apparent misinterpretation of what it means that some Capitol rioters were "federal informants."

Carlson floated a version of this conspiracy theory by falsely claiming in June that the FBI was behind the Capitol siege, and faced no repurcussions from the network.

The implication is that these informants were informing on right-wing extremists. But as Insider previously reported, a member of the far-right Proud Boys last year boasted of having been a federal informant not on the activities of his own paramilitary organization and its allies, but on supposed "Antifa" organizing.

Another member of the Proud Boys, arrested for taking part in the US Capitol riot, has also claimed to have informed on anti-fascists prior to the January 6 insurrection.

Former Attorney General William Barr had made "Antifa" a chief target of federal law enforcement, claiming the "group" was responsible for domestic terrorism ("Antifa" is not an organization, but a confrontational and sometimes violent protest tactic).

A spokesperson for Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Carlson's streaming shows - both "Tucker Carlson Today" and "Tucker Carlson Originals" - are the linchpin of Fox's streaming strategy, one based around culture wars and framed as the network's personalities taking on cancel culture.

One of his highest profile early guests was Piers Morgan, who granted Carlson his first interview following his walking off the set of "Good Morning Britain" amid backlash to his personal attacks on Dutchess Meghan Markle. Morgan subsequently inked a "global deal" with Fox News Media.

Despite Carlson's repeated attempts at whitewashing the insurrection, he has proven too big to cancel at the network, given his primetime perch with the highest ratings of any other show on Fox.

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