The arrests of several crew members of CBS’s The Late Show With Stephen Colbert at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday have quickly become fodder for Republicans seeking to water down the gravity of the hearings on the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
Prominent Republicans, including Fox News anchor Tucker, have accused Colbert’s production crew of “insurrection,” ridiculously equating their arrests to those of the violent pro-Trump mob that attacked law Capitol enforcement and stormed the halls of Congress last year to stop lawmakers from certifying Joe Biden victory in the 2020 elections.
“Last night, producers from Stephen Colbert’s show on CBS committed insurrection at the United States Capitol,” Carlson gleefully claimed on his show on Friday.
The seven-man crew had been filming a comedy segment with “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog,” a puppet voiced by comedian and ex-Saturday Night Live writer Robert Smigel. The crew had wrapped up their interviews with lawmakers and were shooting the “final comedy elements” in the hallways when they were arrested, CBS said in a statement.
Carlson assailed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for granting the crew entry into the Capitol, unwittingly corroborating CBS’s position that the crew’s presence and interviews were "authorized and pre-arranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed."
“Adam Schiff illegally gave producers from CBS access to the Capitol. And then the group... remained in the Longworth House Office Building after hours," the news anchor jeered, falsely asserting that Schiff had “spent the last year and a half telling you that unauthorized violations of Capitol space are a coup.”
Carson also alleged that the crew had arrived on-site to “harass sitting members of Congress,” particularly two pro-MAGA extremists in the House: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
"It's exactly like what happened on January 6," Carlson said. "So, we'll take a close look at what the punishments are."
However, the pro-Trump violence at the Capitol on January 6 resulted in five deaths and the injury of 140 Capitol law enforcement officers. Colbert’s crew was only filming a comedy segment that’s famous for hurting conservative feelings.
"It is likely that some members of Stephen Colbert's team will be held in solitary confinement for a year and half without being charged," Carlson stated. The crew members were only charged with unlawful entry.
\u201cStephen Colbert's producers just committed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.\u201d— Tucker Carlson (@Tucker Carlson) 1655514030
Other Republicans were quick to get in on the act, hoping to discredit the bipartisan House Select Committee investigating the actual insurrection.
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) told Fox News’s Jesse Watters Primetime on Friday that House GOP members will “demand answers” on the Colbert crew arrests when Congress resumes next week.
“Now all of you engaged in insurrection & enabled targeted harassment against me and my Republican colleagues. I’m telling the full story next week,” Greene tweeted.
Republican disinformation merchant Mike Cernovich weighed in on the arrests, calling Colbert a “neo-nazi” on Twitter and suggesting that “If [Colbert’s crew] aren’t charged criminally the same as J6 defendants, then more evidence of selective prosecution arises.”
“Solitary confinement without bail. Must be done. This was a recon mission for potential domestic terrorists on behalf of their Nazi supporting boss,” Cernovich tweeted.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) — who is under fire for giving a tour of the Capitol to a group whose members took photos of staircases and tunnel entrances on the eve of the Capitol attack — also commented on the arrests.
"So while they're accusing me of giving illegal tours of the Capitol, they are giving illegal tours of the Capitol," Loudermilk whined to Fox News on Saturday.
The lawmaker failed to state that while Smigel was armed with a puppet upon his arrest, one man in Loudermilk’s tour group was seen the next day marching on the Capitol, filming an accomplice armed with a sharpened flagpole and yelling threats at Democratic lawmakers.