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OPINION

A Different Narrative on Jan. 6?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently aired on his show portions of the Jan. 6th video footage he received from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Carlson claims the previously unseen video shows a broader picture than the narrow one crafted by the House Select Committee.

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Carlson asserts the videos, which were reportedly cherry-picked and heavily edited, present a more complete narrative than the one chosen by the committee and shaped by a former ABC News executive.

As reported on the conservative website Libertynation.com, "...prominent...was footage of Officer Brian Sicknick, who died the day after the events on Capitol Hill of what coroners describe as natural causes, suffering two strokes. The tapes show Sicknick escorting people out of the building while wearing a helmet, apparently unharmed. Early media reports stated that the officer had died after being struck in the head by rioters, a narrative that was soon dismissed upon investigation."

The Sicknick family has issued a statement denouncing Carlson and Fox News for promoting what it called "lies." Don't both sets of videos present a fuller picture of that day? No responsible person is suggesting the lawbreakers were justified in attacking the Capitol and attempting to reverse the election results, but Democrats and the left are usually in favor of full disclosure. So am I.

Carlson claims his edited video "overturns the single most powerful and politically useful lie that Democrats told us about January 6th." That's an overstatement, but they do add perspective.

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On her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow seemed more concerned about Carlson acquiring the tapes than what they show. She criticized McCarthy's decision to give the tapes to Fox: "So the Speaker of the House just gave them all of the security camera footage from the actual Capitol for them to play with, to see what they can do... 'Here you go, Fox News Primetime. Hopefully, you can use this official government material to concoct an alternate narrative to give us some more convenient revisionist history about what happened on January 6.'"

Again, Carlson's videos do not serve as justification for those who rioted and broke other laws. But some who breached the Capitol but didn't cause damage have also been prosecuted and jailed. The worst these people should have been charged with - if they were to be charged at all - would be trespassing and entering parts of a government building, such as the Speaker's office which is off limits to the public.

Like videos we have seen of police using force to subdue suspects only to subsequently learn from the full video that some violently resisted arrest and tried stealing an officer's gun, Carlson claim the videos he aired on his show offer a more complete picture than what the unanimously anti-Trump Select Committee showed the public.

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Donald Trump has accumulated his own heavy baggage, but the Fox videos are the alternative view of some on the right that the story of that day was only partially told and the narrative created by the committee was designed to produce a predetermined political outcome.

Dictionary.com offers one of several definitions of the word narrative: "a story that connects and explains a carefully selected set of supposedly true events, experiences, or the like, intended to support a particular viewpoint or thesis."

That is precisely what Fox and Carlson think the House Select Committee did by projecting an "incomplete" narrative to support its view that Donald Trump was responsible for those who rioted on that terrible day.

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