Fox News host Bret Baier dodges question about Tucker Carlson's controversial Capitol riot special: 'I don't want to go down this road'
- Bret Baier on Monday tried to evade a question on Tucker Carlson's January 6 Capitol riot special.
- The Fox News anchor was asked about the mini-series by network colleague Brian Kilmeade.
- "Brian, I don't want to go down this road," Baier said on Kilmeade's radio show.
Fox News host Bret Baier dodged a question posed by his colleague, "Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade, about primetime host Tucker Carlson's controversial special about the January 6 Capitol riot.
Kilmeade asked on his radio show on Monday whether Baier, whose nightly news show claims to provide objective news and reporting, whether he was "bothered by" Carlson's special, "Patriot Purge," which promotes a slew of unsupported claims about the deadly riot.
Kilmeade said he watched the feature and that it offered an "interesting perspective I didn't get before."
"I didn't get hurt by it. I didn't get damaged by it," Kilmeade told Baier. "Were you bothered by it? Because that's the reporting."
After a pause, Baier replied, "Brian, I don't want to go down this road. You know, I mean, there were concerns about it, definitely."
"I think that the news division did what we do — we covered the story," he added.
Last week, two longtime Fox News contributors, Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg, resigned from the network in protests of Carlson's special. In a post on their conservative news site, The Dispatch, Hayes and Goldberg condemned Carlson's three-part special as "a collection of incoherent conspiracy-mongering, riddled with factual inaccuracies, half-truths, deceptive imagery, and damning omissions."
"With the release of Patriot Purge, we felt we could no longer 'do right as we see it' and remain at Fox News. So we resigned," they added.
Baier, who's hosted both Hayes and Goldberg on his show, called the contributors' decision to resign "sad" and wouldn't criticize the move when Kilmeade asked him about it.
"I think it was a tough choice but one that they made on principle," Baier said. "I'm going to let them speak for themselves."
A spokesperson for Fox News declined to comment on Baier's remarks, but a network executive told Insider the network had no intention of re-signing either of the contributors when their contracts expired in the coming months.
"Patriot Purge" marked a dramatic departure from the way anyone else at Fox News has covered the deadly Capitol insurrection. Although Carlson has made baseless claims on his show previously about the FBI organizing the attack , no one else at the network has gone that far.
In Carlson's telling, the Capitol siege was inspired by Capitol Police and FBI informants, and now the US government is using it as a pretext for "hunting" all conservatives. Leaning on innuendo and comparisons to the War on Terror, "Patriot Purge" makes false assertions that omit inconvenient but established facts like the violence committed by rioters and some of their affiliations with hate groups .
Save for a few segments in the immediate aftermath of January 6 about the unsubstantiated involvement of Antifa , Fox News' coverage has settled on describing the day's events as a riot without the kind of sympathy Carlson has demonstrated for those involved.
In the streaming special, Carlson features friendly interviews with several figures involved in planning the "Stop the Steal" march on January 6 and others who entered the building, such as Richard Barnett, the rioter who put his feet up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk .
Carlson co-wrote the series with Scooter Downey, a promoter of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory and a comic book artist whose hero's outfit in "Rebel's Run" closely resembles the Confederate flag .
The special debuted in early November as part of "Tucker Carlson Originals," one of the host's two shows on the Fox Nation streaming app.Read the original article on Business Insider