CNN's Brianna Keilar on Tucker Carlson's January 6 series: “Why does Rupert Murdoch want to destroy America?”

Keilar: “This is the point. The hate and the anger and the lies are the point.”

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Citation From the October 29, 2021 edition of CNN's New Day with John Berman and Brianna Keilar

JOHN BERMAN (CO-HOST): So, Fox TV branching into fantasy programming. A new series from Tucker Carlson traffics in conspiracy theories surrounding the insurrection on January 6. 


This comes on the heels of a letter published in the Wall Street Journal by former President Trump that was full of falsehoods and debunked claims about the election that he lost. And it's no coincidence that both Fox News and the Wall Street Journal are owned by Rupert Murdoch's news empire. Joining us now is CNN's senior political analyst, John Avlon. You know, I had seen the Tucker Carlson trailer before but seeing it again takes your breath away. When you hear someone on that special say false flags and, I don't want to make light of this but, Geraldo Rivera tweeted about this "False flags? Bullshit." You've lost Geraldo.

JOHN AVLON (CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST): When you've lost Geraldo. But you know, when Fox's primetime host is going into full conspiracy theories or rewriting of history around January 6. This is recent history, and rewriting history is something typically, I don't know, communist regimes engage in. It's a very dangerous use of that power and that pulpit. It is part of a piece. There is an overall effort to rewrite history we have seen members of Congress indulge in and certainly Donald Trump with his repeated lies that the real insurrection was on election day, not January 6. They are now a party to this. They are responsible for this. And while the direct responsibility may fall on Tucker Carlson, the larger responsibility does fall on the people who own the company, the people who run the company. And many of them may view this as 'that's not me, this is a business decision.' You can say that's the height of cynicism, which it is, but it's something worse because you are dealing with incredibly dangerous stuff with our democracy. And so it's not only on Murdoch to say what's too far, what's the line? Stop rationalizing this as a business decision to play to a niche constituency that's being eaten at itself by the far right. What's too far for people like Paul Ryan? Who said he cried?

BERMAN: Who is on the board.

AVLON: Who is on the board. Excuse me. Which is important to point out, because it is a question of what is too far? Where do you draw the line. If the line doesn't exist, then you're complicit. 

BRIANNA KEILAR (CO-HOST): It seems like it's the point, right? He's not allowing -- this is the point. The hate and the anger and the lies are the point. Why does Rupert Murdoch want to destroy America? 

AVLON: The anger and the anxiety is the point from getting a repeat audience perspective. That's one of the things the Facebook files has shown us, and I think we've seen engaging it happening over a long period of time. To appeal to a narrow but intense niche audience, you need to keep them addicted to anger, anxiety, and resentment. That is to a large extent been the business play. It has just been literally weaponized by the ex-president and his minions and the people who enable him in Congress. The rise of hyper-partisan media has helped to lead us to that moment. And Rupert Murdoch has paid a very powerful driving force in that, but that monster has also gotten out of the box. And here we learn again that Golem turns on his creator.



BERMAN: The fact that this is happening in broad daylight. It's happening in broad daylight. Tucker Carlson is putting that out in broad daylight. Rupert Murdoch is letting it happen or wants it to happen. Right before our very eyes, a rewriting of history here. This is dangerous. We know historically how dangerous this is. And it's just happening before our eyes. 

AVLON: Everyone particularly in positions of power who enables it, or rationalizes it, or excuses it is 100% complicit.