The latest episode of Tucker Carlson Originals titled The Trial of Kyle was co-written, edited, and produced by Scooter Downey, who previously worked on the controversial Patriot Purge series, a fascist propaganda reel that promoted conspiracy theories about the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Downey has a background directing white nationalist films with prominent members of the far right, including Mike Cernovich, Lauren Southern, and Theodore Beale (aka “Vox Day”).
Downey and Carlson’s controversial three-part Patriot Purge, which embraced many of the far-right figures involved in planning the January 6 attack and promoted debunked conspiracy theories about the day’s events, was so poorly received that Fox News apparently tried to distance itself from the product. It also did not go over well with some insiders at the network. Anchors Bret Baier and Chris Wallace reportedly brought their grievances to senior Fox News executives. (Baier later sheepishly ducked questions about the series from his colleague and Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade, and Chris Wallace recently resigned from the network after working there for 18 years.) Two longtime Fox contributors, Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes, resigned in protest.
Downey’s latest Fox Nation riff is a continuation of Carlson’s bromance with Kyle Rittenhouse, who gave his first interview to Carlson after being found not guilty on charges including intentional homicide after killing two men during last year’s unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake. It is reminiscent of the hero worship of Rittenhouse that is currently prominent within the right-wing media echo chamber. The Tucker Carlson Originals episode starts with Carlson providing a definition of “anarcho tyranny,” claiming the trial was the opening shot of a Bolshevik-style revolution.
Carlson goes on to assert that “for most Americans, Kyle Rittenhouse is more meme than man.” After they shake hands and express mutual admiration for each other, the video cuts to a freeze frame and record scratch sound, followed by Rittenhouse’s voice-over: “That’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation.”
Carlson later echoed the viral remarks he made on his Fox News show after the unrest in the summer of 2020, saying, “If authorities had done what Kyle Rittenhouse did -- worked to prevent chaos -- there would have been no riot in Kenosha. There would have been no need for a 17-year-old to take a rifle and try to maintain order.”