'Conspiracy-Mongering': Two Veteran Fox News Contributors Quit Over Carlson's Series on Capitol Riot

© AFP 2023 / CHIP SOMODEVILLAWASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Fox News host Tucker Carlson discusses 'Populism and the Right' during the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Fox News host Tucker Carlson discusses 'Populism and the Right' during the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.11.2021
'Patriot Purge,' a three-part series hosted by Tucker Carlson, was released earlier this month on Fox Nation, a subscription-based video streaming service. Fox News staffers have pushed back against the conspiracy theory-laden series about the US Capitol riot, as well as Carlson's recent reliance on innuendo to clear Trump's rioting supporters.
Steve Hayes and Jonah Goldberg, two longtime Fox News contributors, have left the channel after coming to the realization that responsible reporters are being "drowned out" by irresponsible opinion.
The duo detailed in a Sunday memo that Carlson's recent three-part special on the deadly January 6 US Capitol riot was the last straw. While the project is billed as an exposé, it is less of a piece of investigative journalism and more of a collection of "incoherent conspiracy-mongering, riddled with factual inaccuracies, half-truths, deceptive imagery, and damning omissions," according to Hayes and Goldberg.
Hayes and Goldberg both joined Fox News in early 2009, and are co-founders of The Dispatch, a conservative digital media company that reports and provides commentary on politics, policy and culture, according to the website.
Per the release, one scene in the series depicts the waterboarding of an individual donning an orange jumpsuit.

"The left is hunting the right, sticking them in Guantanamo Bay for American citizens—leaving them there to rot," a voice-over claims, despite there being zero evidence of these kinds of attacks and imprisonment.

The duo warned that the dissemination of such misinformation could lead to a potentially fatal event akin to the January 6 riot, in which five people were killed including a Capitol police officer.
"I thought it was irresponsible to put that out into the public airwaves," Hayes told NPR, speaking of Carlson's series.
The former Fox News contributor said that promotional videos for the special had set off alarm bells for many affiliated with the channel.

"The trailer basically gave people the impression that the US government was coming after all patriots — half of the country in the word of one of the protagonists in the piece," Hayes said. "And that's not happening. That's not true."

Goldberg said the decision they were forced into was "regrettable" because it means their conservative values-driven commentary will be cut off from "a very large audience." However, they do not regret the move, he added.
The series, which was heavily advertised on Fox News, received backlash from many staffers and reportedly prompted objections from other veteran figures, including anchors Chris Wallace and Bret Baier.
Their qualms with the special were initially shared with Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and Jay Wallace, president of Fox News. According to NPR, these objections eventually reached Lachlan Murdoch, chairman and CEO of Fox News parent company Fox Corporation.
Prior to the special's release, Baier's 'Special Report' ran a segment that dismissed false flag attack claims about the 6 January riot regarding the antifa involvement. Both Hayes and Goldberg were recurring commentators on Baier's program since joining the channel in 2009.
When asked about the departures of Hayes and Goldberg, Carlson declared that their exits "will substantially improve the channel."
"These are two of the only people in the world who still pretend the Iraq war was a good idea," the Fox News opinion show host told NPR. "No one wants to watch commentary that stupid."
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