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Tucker Carlson’s special trailer of the Jan.6 crowd at the Capitol landed online on Oct.27, and that night Jonah Goldberg texted his business partner, Stephen Hayes: “I’m tempted to leave Fox for this“. “I’m a game,” Mr. Hayes replied. “Totally humiliating. It will lead to violence. I’m not sure how we can live.”
The full-length special, “Patriot Purge” appeared a few days later on Fox’s online subscription streaming service. And last week, two men, both paid Fox News contributors, ended their resignations from the network.
In some ways, his departure should come as no surprise: he is part of a new right-wing clean-up operation in the corners of the conservative institutions that still support Donald J. of the Republican Party. There are houses of resistance to Trump’s control. Goldberg, a former National Review writer, and Hayes, a former Weekly Standard writer, were stars of the pre-Trump conservative movement.
He apparently gambled on his position in 2019 when he founded The Dispatch, an online publication that he described as “a place where attentive readers can turn for conservative, fact-based news and commentary.” It now has around 30,000 paying customers.
His departure also marks the end of a lingering hope among some at Fox News, strangely enough for outsiders to understand, that the channel will at some point revert to a pre-Trump reality that is often too hyperpartisan.
Republican officials. Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch recently denounced Trumpism, although acting, as Bloomberg’s Tim O’Brien put it, was not running the company.
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The reality of Fox and similar institutions is that many of its leaders feel that the close ties between Trump and his audience or constituents leave them no choice but to go whatever they believe in. Fox employees often refer to this as “respecting the audience.” And in a polarized age, the greatest opportunities for audience, money, and attention, as demonstrated by politicians and the media, lie at the extremes of American politics.
Carlson apparently became the network’s most-watched primetime host by playing on that sideline, and “Patriot Purge,” through contrition and imagery, explores an alternate history from January 6 in which violence is a “false” flag “and the result has been the persecution of conservatives.
Goldberg said he and Hayes stayed on Fox News as long as they did on Fox because of the feeling that after Trump’s defeat, the network would try to regain some of its independence and, as he put it, “the ship is fine. “.
“It was irresponsible to put it on the public airwaves”
Carlson’s series on Capital Rebellion aired on Fox’s paid streaming service Fox Nation in early November.
“He has begun to fight a new enemy in a new war on terror,” Carlson warned the audience of him in the first episode. “No, you must understand, a metaphorical war, but a real war, soldiers and paramilitary agencies hunting down American civilians.”
Promotional videos for the series, which aired on Fox News over the weekend, sounded loud alarms across the network.
“I thought it was irresponsible to put it on the public airwaves,” says Hayes.
“The trailer [for the series] basically gave people the impression that the United States government was coming after all the patriots, half the country, at the word of a hero in the piece,” he says. “And that the federal government was going to use the later tools and tactics of al-Qaeda. And that is not happening. That is not true.”
News shows distance themselves from Carlson’s series broadcast
Viewers were able to see the prominent Fox journalist distancing himself from the Carlson series without naming him.
On the Friday before the launch of Patriot Purge, Baird aired a segment on veteran national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin’s investigation into the rebellion. Some interviews dismissed allegations of “false flag attacks” – that is, violent left-wing activists like Antifa posing as Trump fans while attacking the Capitol.
Wallace aired an interview on Fox News Sunday with Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, a leading Republican critic of Trump, who is also dismissing those false claims. She is one of only two Republican members on the House committee investigating the rebellion on Capitol Hill.
The Patriot Purge relied on well-known street vendors of unfounded conspiracy theories, people seeking the company of supremacists
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