Americans Reject McCarthy’s Decision

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

A poll released on Wednesday (March 1) shows more Americans disapprove of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to provide Fox News host Tucker Carlson with January 6 insurrection footage than those that approve.

According to The Economist-YouGov poll, 43 percent of participants strongly or somewhat disapprove of McCarthy’s actions. Only 35 percent approve, while a further 22 percent remain uncertain.

Republicans were more likely to approve of McCarthy releasing the footage exclusively to Carlson than Democrats.

Fifty-five percent of Republicans strongly or somewhat approve of the House Speaker’s decision, while 63 percent of Democrats disapprove.

Axios was the first to report that McCarthy gave Carlson and his team 41,000 hours of footage of the Capitol insurrection.

When the New York Times queried McCarthy about his decision to release what Democrats have called a “risk” to the Capitol, McCarthy explained that he was fulfilling a promise.

He added that broadcasting the footage, which he asserted “belong[s] to the American public,” would enable everyone to “make their own judgment.

Yet, Democrats have been vocal about their belief that, in the wrong hands, the footage — and McCarthy’s decision to release it — is an “egregious security breach.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also described the releasing of the footage as “one of the worst security risks” to the U.S. Capitol since the 9/11 attacks.

Schumer described the tens of thousands of hours of footage as a “treasure trove of closely held information” detailing how the Capitol is protected, claiming releasing the footage compromises the Legislative branch’s safety.

Since the pushback, McCarthy and House Republicans have claimed the footage would not be broadcast until it had first been screened for security risks.