Fox News host Tucker Carlson went after Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn on his primetime show this week, characterizing the officer — who participated in the defense of the Capitol against rioting Trump supporters on January 6 — as an “angry left-wing political activist.” As evidence for his claim, Carlson presented material including a tweet that Dunn had posted in which the officer described racism as “so American.” After Carlson’s on-air comments, lawyers Mark Zaid and David Laufman, who are representing Dunn, released a statement expertly undercutting the host’s nonsense. Zaid and Laufman are representing Dunn ahead of his imminent appearance before the House committee investigating the Capitol riot.
Carlson’s description of Dunn is, of course, flat-out ridiculous. Dunn is not a “political activist” — he’s a cop, who, just like Carlson and just like millions of other Americans, happens to have opinions about relevant social and political issues. After all: that’s the way democracy works! Would Carlson simply prefer those with different opinions than him to remain quiet? Perhaps he’d like to pretend that they don’t exist.
The statement from Zaid and Laufman reads as follows:
‘Tonight Fox News allowed its host Tucker Carlson, who has not served a day in uniform, whether military or law enforcement, to criticize the heroism and service of African-American U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn. Our client has served 13 years in law enforcement and on January 6, 2021, fought against an insurrectionist violent crowd – no doubt many of them Carlson’s supporters – to protect the lives of our elected officials, including Vice President Pence. Officer Dunn, who would lay down his life to protect a Member of Congress, regardless of being a Republican or Democrat, will testify next Tuesday before the House Select Committee investigating the events of the insurrection. Frankly, the last thing Carlson wants is for the truth to emerge of what happened that day and why.’
Read the comments below:
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) July 22, 2021
Carlson, of course, is part of the chorus of voices on Fox who spread the conspiratorial nonsense that provided the inspiration for the Capitol riot, which unfolded under the explicit pretense of lies about the documented integrity of last year’s presidential election. Attempts by individuals like Carlson and others to downplay what happened will not somehow erase the reality that scores of officers were violently assaulted by Trump supporters, many of whom attempted to directly access top government leaders — at which point further devastating violence could have unfolded. What if the crowd had reached Pence? Some were chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” over his perceived disloyalty to Trump, and an actual gallows was put up outside the Capitol.