Nov 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Fox News commentators resign over Tucker Carlson Jan. 6 series

Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) Feszt on August 7, 2021 in Esztergom, Hungary.

Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium Feszt on in Esztergom, Hungary, in August. Photo: Janos Kummer/Getty Images

Two Fox News contributors announced Sunday that they've resigned from the network in the wake of host Tucker Carlson's special on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg had regularly appeared on Fox News since 2009. Their brand of conservatism has "fallen out of fashion" amid former President Trump's grip on the Republican Party, per the New York Times, which first reported on the resignations.

Driving the news: Hayes and Goldberg wrote in an article published by The Dispatch Sunday that Carlson's three-part series on the insurrection, titled "Patriot Purge," represented "a collection of incoherent conspiracy-mongering, riddled with factual inaccuracies, half-truths, deceptive imagery, and damning omissions."

  • This included the false notion that the U.S. government was "targeting patriotic Americans in the same manner — and with the same tools — that it used to target al Qaeda," they added on the site that they co-founded with Toby Stock.
  • "This is not happening. And we think it's dangerous to pretend it is," Hayes and Goldberg wrote. "If a person with such a platform shares such misinformation loud enough and long enough, there are Americans who will believe — and act upon — it."
"Over the past five years, some of Fox's top opinion hosts amplified the false claims and bizarre narratives of Donald Trump or offered up their own in his service. In this sense, the release of Patriot Purge wasn't an isolated incident, it was merely the most egregious example of a longstanding trend. Patriot Purge creates an alternative history of January 6, contradicted not just by common sense, not just by the testimony and on-the-record statements of many participants, but by the reporting of the news division of Fox News itself. "
— Hayes and Goldberg

Yes, but: Hayes and Goldberg stressed that the news side of Fox "routinely does what it is supposed to do: It reports the truth."

The other side: Fox News spokesperson Irena Briganti declined to comment on the resignations "but sent data showing that independents watch Fox," the NYT notes.

  • Representatives for Fox News did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper: Rupert Murdoch criticizes Trump for staying "focused on the past"

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