JULIAN CASTRO (HOST): More than 20 million Americans watched the first January 6th committee hearing. No thanks to Fox News. It's the only major TV network not airing the hearings. Instead, running their own shows without any commercial breaks. Joining me now to talk about this, Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters. And back with me, as well, MSNBC political analyst, Juanita Tolliver.
CASTRO: Now, Angelo, you've been following Fox News and the right-wing for a long time. What do you make of Fox's refusal to air these hearings?
ANGELO CARUSONE: I mean, a couple of things. One, it didn't surprise me one bit. You know, in part because they can't because they're a part of it. I mean, you know, there were parts — and here's one example that proves that. They had the hearings sort of quiet in the background. So, in the top corner, they have the hearing room. Of course, they don't play the sound, because they didn't air them. But there were moments during the hearing that they had put up messages from Sean Hannity, for example, which are evidence where Fox quickly cut away. They didn't even let that part pop up, and that's because they can't. Because they can't let their audience see anything that their hosts were saying at the time. And then, separately, it’s because they're a partisan operation. So, if they were to play the hearings live, it actually cuts against their political agenda. It's like asking why a Republican super PAC wouldn't be delivering, you know, paying to distribute this to their audience. It’s because it's completely contradictory to what they're designed to do, which is actually to serve as a political operation. And the evidence there — even if they weren't a part of it, which they are — the evidence actually hurts their political interests, and that's why it wasn't remotely surprising.
What was surprising was that people like Tucker, for instance, were hosting individuals that had called the attack on the Capitol a false flag operation. They had other guests that had said that the police officers that were testifying were crisis actors. That actually was surprising. And I'm a Fox viewer — I don't think that there's a bar there. It doesn't surprise me when they do irresponsible things. But even that, I found it to be a pretty jarring counter-narrative, you know, even from them. It's one thing not to show it, it's another thing to go full Alex Jones.
CASTRO: And Angelo, look a social media is important here. These hearings have to be told in a way that most Americans can easily consume. Do you think that the committee in this first hearing achieved that goal?
CARUSONE: Yeah, I do, actually. And I am often, you know, an alarmist about the asymmetry in the information landscape between, you know, news operations, left-leaning content, right-leaning content. You know, we track this stuff everyday. And typically, on any given day, the right-wing ecosystem has about 65% of the total share of voice online, on social media. And then, the rest is divvied up between news and then left-leaning content.
The day after the hearing was one of, truly, one of the only days out of the year — also occasionally when Michelle Obama wishes Barack Obama a happy birthday, it tends to tip the scale — but that's really it. Like, I'm not even being sarcastic. It is almost every day that the right-leaning content typically dominates. And the day after, that wasn't the case. News and left-leaning content had the disproportionate share of the voice. So, I think that it's not only my generalized impression, but I think the data actually backs that up. And it speaks to what Juanita was saying before.