Fox News Veterans Quit Following Release Of Tucker Carlson’s Jan. 6 Special ‘Patriot Purge’
Two veteran Fox News contributors tendered letters of resignation last week after host Tucker Carlson released a three-part special Patriot Purge that defended the actions of the mob that stormed the United States Capitol in the January 6 insurrection.
Patriot Purge, which aired on October 27, peddled former President Donald Trump‘s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen as well as the lie that the attack on the Capitol was a “false flag” operation carried out by left-wing radicals to frame Trump’s seditious supporters.
Stephen Hayes, whose tenure at Newscorp predates the network’s ever-closer ties to Trump, decided that they had had enough following the film’s debut.
Patriot Purge was “incoherent conspiracy-mongering” and “deceptive,” the two men said.
“Fox News still does real reporting, and there are still responsible conservatives providing valuable opinion and analysis. But the voices of the responsible are being drowned out by the irresponsible. A case in point: Patriot Purge, a three-part series hosted by Tucker Carlson,” Goldberg and Hayes wrote in a joint open letter that was published after their departure. “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.”
The conspiracy theory-laden documentary was also “a sign that people have made peace with this direction of things, and there is no plan, at least, that anyone made me aware of for a course correction,” Goldberg lamented in an interview with The New York Times. “Now, righting the ship is an academic question. The Patriot Purge thing meant: OK, we hit the iceberg now, and I can’t do the rationalizations anymore.”
Goldberg had no qualms about walking away from Fox after Patriot Purge aired.
“Whether it’s Patriot Purge or anti-vax stuff, I don’t want it in my name, and I want to call it out and criticize it,” Goldberg said. “I don’t want to feel like I am betraying a trust that I had by being a Fox News contributor. And I also don’t want to be accused of not really pulling the punches. And then this was just an untenable tension for me.”
Hayes, meanwhile, blasted Carlson for suggesting “that there’s a domestic war on terror and it’s coming for half of the country. That’s not true. Particularly disturbing in Patriot Purge was the imagery of waterboarding and suggestions that half the country is going to be subject to this kind of treatment, that’s the same kind of treatment that the federal government used when it went after Al Qaeda.”
Carlson “pumped that stuff out into society, and all you need is one person out of every 50,000 people who watch it to believe it’s literally the story about what happened, that it’s true in all of its particulars and all of its insinuations,” Hayes continued. “And that’s truly dangerous in a way that the usual hyperbole that you get on a lot of cable news isn’t.”