Geraldo Rivera criticizes his Fox News colleague Tucker Carlson.

Fox News’ top-rated host Tucker Carlson faced criticism Thursday – including from a prominent colleague in his own network – after announcing plans for a documentary series featuring theories of the Conspiracy debunked on the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol.

The three-part series, “Patriot Purge,” slated to air next month on Fox News’s streaming service, Fox Nation. An 84-second trailer aired on Fox News on Wednesday included the baseless suggestion that the riot was a so-called “false flag” operation created to demonize the political right.

As tense music plays on the soundtrack, Mr. Carlson threateningly says that “the helicopters have left Afghanistan and now they have landed here at home”. Various speakers are spreading the misconception that Democrats want to persecute and jail conservatives.

The trailer sparked a dismayed public reaction from veteran Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera, who used a layman’s term in a Twitter post to dismiss the claim that the Capitol riot was a “false flag” operation. “. This theory has been debunked several times.

Speaking with The New York Times on Thursday, Mr. Rivera explained his concerns.

“Tucker is wonderful, he’s provocative, he’s quirky, but – man, oh man,” Mr. Rivera said in a phone interview. “There are things you say that are more inflammatory, scandalous and unsubstantiated. And I worry about it – and I’m probably going to be in trouble for this – but I wonder how much is done to provoke rather than enlighten. “

“Messing around with the Jan 6 stuff …” added Mr. Rivera, pausing briefly. “The results for me are quite clear, there was a riot that was instigated, encouraged and started by Donald Trump. “

When asked if he would urge his Fox News bosses to reconsider airing the Mr. Carlson special, Mr. Rivera objected, saying, “I don’t want to go, this is not. is not my job. “

But he added of Mr. Carlson: “He’s my colleague. It is my family. Sometimes you have to talk about your family.

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr Carlson’s prime-time provocations helped propel him to the best cable news ratings, even though he used rhetoric sometimes used by white nationalists. He frequently questioned media coverage of the January 6 attack, saying government agents were involved in the events and describing the rioters as mostly peaceful.

“The vast majority of people inside the Capitol on January 6 were peaceful,” he told viewers September 23. “They weren’t insurgents, they shouldn’t have been there. They were not trying to overthrow the government. It’s a total jug.

The trailer for “Patriot Purge” features an interview with Darren Beattie, a former Trump White House speechwriter who was fired in 2018 after it was revealed he attended a rally with white nationalists. Ali Alexander, a far-right activist and one of the most prominent supporters of the lie that President Biden stole the 2020 election, also appears in the trailer.

Among Mr Carlson’s criticisms on Thursday was Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming. In a Twitter post, she accused Fox News of giving Mr. Carlson “a platform to spread the same type of lies that sparked the violence on January 6”.

Mr. Rivera, who is scheduled to appear on Fox News’ afternoon show “The Five” on Thursday, recently renewed his contract with the channel as part of a multi-year contract. In an announcement last month, Suzanne Scott, Managing Director of Fox News Media, described Mr. Rivera as “an important voice on Fox News Channel for the past two decades,” adding: “We are delighted that he continues to ‘being a part of the Fox family.

Fox News wasn’t the only branch of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire to come under scrutiny this week. The Wall Street Journal was criticized on Wednesday for publishing a lengthy letter to former President Donald J. Trump’s editor that contained numerous lies about the integrity of the 2020 election.

Davey alba contributed reports.

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