Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who tacitly defended QAnon supporters last month, said on Tuesday that there was no evidence the conspiracy theory actually exists and suggested that coverage of its influence nefarious was in fact part of a campaign of left-wing disinformation.
“We spent the whole day trying to locate the famous QAnon, which in the end we learned isn’t even a website,” Carlson said. “If it’s over there, we couldn’t find it.”
The comment followed a tirade against CNN and other media organizations for coverage exploring the radicalization of Americans through disinformation and right-wing conspiracy theories such as those launched by the mysterious “Q”.
“Disinformation networks?” Carlson said, poking fun at the other media. “It doesn’t look like a deceptive social media post, it looks like a terrorist cell. And it sounds like that on purpose. The thing about the misinformation they tell us is that it’s not just bad for you personally … The misinformation hurts everyone.
QAnon supporters, white nationalists and other far-right extremists were among the crowd of Donald Trump supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, killing five, including a police officer. They staged the insurgency after being fed a torrent of months-long disinformation about Trump’s presidential heist. They threatened to harm members of Congress and the vice president for opposing Trump.
Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, who often congregate on right-wing online networks such as Gab or Telegram, have been classified as a domestic terrorism threat by the FBI and have been linked to kidnappings, murders and violence.
If he couldn’t immediately find QAnon’s “website” or find false information from other right-wing communities and figures, Carlson argued, that had to mean everything was being made by the left.
“We have checked [Georgia Republican Rep.] Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Twitter feed because we heard she’s been trafficking disinformation, CNN told us, but nothing there. Then we called our many friends in the tight-knit intel community. Could Vladimir Putin put this stuff there? The proud boys? Alex Jones? Carlson said.
“Who is lying to America in a way that is sure to make us hate ourselves and destroy our fundamental institutions?” He continued.
“Well, none of the above, actually. It wasn’t Marjorie Taylor Greene. It was cable news. They were politicians talking on television. They are the ones who spread disinformation to Americans. Maybe they are from QAnon.
The Fox News host was criticized online after clips from his segment aired on Tuesday. Among his critics was Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, an anti-Trump Republican, who implored him to “stop lying, accept reality and use your energy to make us a better country.”
Carlson and many of his Fox News and Fox Business colleagues have been key players in amplifying, producing, and spreading misinformation regarding elections, Trump, and other topics. Fox Corp is sued by the $ 2.7 billion voting systems company Smartmatic, which accuses the media giant’s election coverage of being false and defamatory.
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