Two conservative commentators who have appeared on Fox News for more than a decade have resigned from the right-wing network over what they say is a “dangerous” Tucker Carlson special filled with lies about the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes, two co-founders of the conservative website The Dispatch, wrote that Carlson’s “Patriot Purge” special was “a collection of incoherent conspiracy-mongering, riddled with factual inaccuracies, half-truths, deceptive imagery, and damning omissions.”
They praised some of the reporters at Fox News, but said the “voices of the responsible are being drowned out by the irresponsible.”
“The tension between doing that work well and remaining loyal to Fox has tested us many times over the past few years,” Goldberg and Hayes wrote. “But with the release of Patriot Purge, we felt we could no longer ‘do right as we see it’ and remain at Fox News. So we resigned.”
Hayes told the New York Times that Carlson’s special is “truly dangerous in a way that the usual hyperbole that you get on a lot of cable news isn’t.”
The two had been paid contributors to Fox News since 2009, according to the Times.
Carlson’s special for Fox Nation claimed, among other things, that the insurrection may have been a “false flag” operation secretly orchestrated by the left, and that the left is somehow hunting conservatives and locking them up in Guantanamo-like conditions, complete with waterboarding.
“It is political propaganda that is meant to rally a support base that has shown a willingness to mobilize on the basis of disinformation and lies,” Michael Jensen, a senior researcher at the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, told PolitiFact. “That’s how we got Jan. 6 in the first place.”
As his on-air presentation has become more radical, his prime time show has notched Fox News’ highest ratings. Carlson has railed against immigrants, and both he and his guests have disseminated white nationalist talking points.
He told the Times that the resignations were “great news” for the network.
“Our viewers will be grateful,” he was quoted as saying.