Two Fox News contributors quit over Tucker Carlson’s Jan. 6 documentary

A pair of Fox News contributors have quit their roles at the network, saying prime-time host Tucker Carlson’s recent documentary series examining the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was a breaking point. 

Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg, two leading conservative writers and pundits who have regularly appeared on the network since 2009, announced they had finalized their resignations from Fox following the release of Carlson’s controversial documentary. 

News of the pair’s departure was first reported by the New York Times on Sunday evening. 

“The special — which ran on Fox’s subscription streaming service earlier this month and was promoted on Fox News — is presented in the style of an exposé, a hard-hitting piece of investigative journalism,” the two journalists wrote in an entry on their political news and commentary website The Dispatch.

“In reality, it is a collection of incoherent conspiracy-mongering, riddled with factual inaccuracies, half-truths, deceptive imagery, and damning omissions. And its message is clear: The U.S. government is targeting patriotic Americans in the same manner — and with the same tools — that it used to target al Qaeda,” they added.  

Carlson’s series, dubbed “Patriot Purge,” purports to tell an alternative story of the Jan. 6 insurrection and features at least one subject who suggests the event may have been a “false flag” operation. The series has been widely criticized, including by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) of the House select committee investigating the attack. 

Goldberg and Hayes in their entry on Sunday bemoaned a trend they say they have seen where Fox’s top opinion hosts have “amplified the false claims and bizarre narratives of Donald Trump or offered up their own in his service.” 

“Indeed, the news side of Fox routinely does what it is supposed to do: It reports the truth,” they wrote, noting it remains the case that “there are still responsible conservatives providing valuable opinion and analysis.”

“But the voices of the responsible are being drowned out by the irresponsible,” Hayes and Goldberg concluded.

Of Carlson specifically, Goldberg and Hayes wrote, “If a person with such a platform shares such misinformation loud enough and long enough, there are Americans who will believe — and act upon — it.”

When reached for comment by The Hill, a Fox executive said the network had no intention of resigning Hayes or Goldberg when their contracts came up in 2022.

A Fox News spokesperson declined to comment to the Times on the resignations. In an email to the Times, Carlson said the departures were “great news.”

Goldberg said he’s not going to second-guess Fox employees who remain at the network in an interview with the Times. 

“There are lots of people there that I respect and like and consider friends, and they’re making a decision based upon how to provide for their families and deal with their careers and all of that,” Goldberg said. 

“And there are also lots of people over there who think the Fox opinion side today is awesome,” he added. 

Updated at 10:10 a.m

Tags American writers Donald Trump Fox Broadcasting Company Fox News Jonah Goldberg Liz Cheney Mass media Tucker Carlson Tucker Carlson

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