By Tuesday afternoon, it appeared that testimony from a Jan. 6 committee hearing had really broken through on Fox News — a network that had coverage and largely mocked the committee’s work. anchor Bret Baier described ex-White House assistant Cassidy Hutchinson‘s explosive statementsin which she said government officials knew January 6 would be “poorand that Trump knew the crowd was heavily armed and… I didn’t careas the most “compelling testimony we’ve heard on Capitol Hill in many, many years” — a sentiment akin to CNN and MSNBC’s coverage of the hearing.
“I’ve been covering politics for a long time,” said Baier, Fox’s chief political anchor. “I don’t think there’s been a testimony like this — that’s overwhelming in a way — about the workings of a White House in crisis after, you know, right now, on January 6, that we’ve seen since Watergate. ” He further referred to Hutchinson’s account from hearing ‘the word ‘Oath Keeper’ and… the word ‘Proud Boys’ closer to planning the January 6 rally when Mr. [Rudy] Giuliani would be nearby.” Even while noting that Trump was refuting Hutchinson’s claims in real time via posts on Truth Social, a social media platform launched by the former president’s media company, Baier added the caveat: “Cassie Hutchinson is under oath on Capitol Hill,” and, ” the president is on Truth Social making his statements.”
It was the kind of coverage that was in stark contrast to the handling of the network of the commission’s first hearing, which Fox News did not broadcast live, but instead holds Tucker Carlson and the regular prime-time lineup. But it soon became apparent that Baier was a minority vote on Fox News as his primetime colleagues further dismissed the testimony as mere “bad acting†
Sean Hannity called the hearing “hearsay,” orchestrated by an “anti-Trump kangaroo court.” He also downplayed Hutchinson’s claim that Trump was “fucking furious” with the crowd at his January 6 rally and that, as she said, Secret Service Agents weren’t “letting people through the magazines” [magnetometer metal detectors] with weapons—[with] what the Secret Service considers weapons.” In answerHannity, referring to Hutchinson as a “so-called witness,” said that “Trump flatly denied this claim and pointed to a simple fact. Zero guns were ever fired by those who broke through the Capitol or in DC that day.”
Similarly, Laura Ingraham, another Fox News host, attacked the witness’ credibility, proverb“I spoke to some former White House staffers in the afternoon, three or four, and they knew her well. And no one had anything good to say about her performance today, because they watched.” (Both Hannity and Ingraham’s lyrics White House officials around Jan. 6 have been brought up during the proceedings.)
Still, the tone of the proceedings on some Fox News shows Tuesday seemed remarkably different. Just after the hearing, Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto early Former Assistant US Attorney Alex Klein, “How much of this has criminal implications for the former president – again, if true?”
“If you’re okay with the fact that there’s a greater risk of harm because people have guns and weapons and they’re marching toward the Capitol, then that shows a real betrayal of your oath and… goes directly in line with charges like seditious conspiracy, ” said† “You can say, ‘Hey, I’m not worried about them hurting me.’ But you have to worry that they harm the democratic process and the people in the Capitol.”