Fox News is behind political violence in the United States, a media watchdog warned, after prime-time host Tucker Carlson predicted a “revolt” against the Biden administration.
In a Monday night monologue targeting the White House and military leaders on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Carlson demanded resignations. He also said: “When leaders refuse to hold themselves accountable over time, people revolt. It happens.
“We need to change course immediately and start to recognize our mistakes. The people who created them must start to recognize them, otherwise the consequences will be terrible. “
Angelo Carusone, President and CEO of Media Matters for America, a progressive group, noted: “When there’s another big, violent right-wing flashpoint that captures attention, far too many media will be asking out loud, ‘How did that happen?’ “Were there any signs? “
“You don’t have to wade through the swamps of fever online to see the cauldron of extremism simmering. Fox News is raising the heat and legitimizing every night.
“Fox News, not Facebook, will be the engine of the next insurgency. Clear and simple.
Fox News declined to comment.
Disinformation disseminated through Facebook and other platforms has been widely accused of fueling political violence, including the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, by Trump supporters seeking to overturn the election.
Earlier this month, a North Carolina man was arrested after parking his van near the Capitol in Washington and claiming to have a bomb while voicing anti-government grievances on a live Facebook broadcast.
Accused of threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to use an explosive device, Floyd Ray Roseberry faces life imprisonment. He told a judge he had not taken his “mind medication”. A court-appointed psychologist discovered he suffered from bipolar disorder.
Some defendants in cases arising from the January 6 attack cited “Foxitis” as saying too much exposure to Fox News convinced them the election was stolen by Democrats.
Carlson is not the only prominent rightist to have raised the idea of an armed revolt.
North Carolina Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn, a far-right gadfly of the party, said at an event in his state on Sunday that Joe Biden had not been properly elected.
He also said widespread election fraud, which supporters of Donald Trump continue to claim without proof, “would lead to one place, and that is bloodshed.”
“And I’ll tell you,” Cawthorn said, “even though I am ready to defend our freedom at any cost, there is nothing I dread doing more than having to take up arms against a compatriot. And the way we can have a remedy against that is if we all passionately demand that we have election security in all 50 states. “
A spokesperson for Cawthorn told CNN that the congressman was “clearly advocating that violence does not occur on questions of electoral integrity” and “feared that others would wrongly choose this path and firmly assert that electoral integrity issues should be resolved peacefully and never by violence ”.