Last night, Fox News's Tucker Carlson rebuked a federal judge's decision to deny bail to a 1/6 Capitol invader and his mother.
"Neither Lisa Eisenhart or her son damaged any property in the Capitol or committed any violence — they just walked in to what we used to refer to as 'The People's House," Carlson said. And yet somehow Joe Biden's Justice Department convinced a federal judge that Lisa Eisenhart was quote 'a threat to our Republic' and her son was a 'would-be martyr.' Keep in mind, these are people whose crime was trespassing in the Capitol. We're not endorsing that, but some perspective please."
This is an interesting way to characterize a man who stormed the House floor wearing military-style garb, face masked, hands gloved, and carrying flex cuffs.
Here's a photo of Eric Munchel doing what Tucker Carlson characterized as just walking in and trespassing.
If the same man dressed the same way, carrying flex cuffs, just walked into Carlson's house while his terrified family hid in a closet, would Tucker say that he should be granted bail because he was just trespassing?
Of course, he wouldn't. This sort of disingenuous reporting is typical at Fox News. And this wasn't really about this particular defendant. This is about an ongoing push by some at Fox News to downplay the seriousness of what occurred at the Capitol on 1/6.
If Tucker had explained that the right to bail is a bedrock American principle, I'd have no problem with him arguing that Eric Munchel and his mother should have been granted bail. In fact, another judge overruled the judge who denied Munchel and his mother bail and released them to monitored home confinement. When possible, this is the arrangement I'd like to see, at a minimum.
If presumed innocent really means anything, it should mean that pre-trial detention is reserved for those who present a real and immediate danger to others or a substantial flight risk. It would have been more helpful if Carlson had educated his audience regarding the widespread abuse of pre-trial detention instead of arguing that this particular individual deserved bail because he was just trespassing. But discussing pre-trial detention in such terms would probably challenge many Fox viewers who are fine with the mass incarceration of those accused but presumed innocent, even though they have a constitutionally protected right to pre-trial bail under the Eighth Amendment. And all that is beside the point if the underlying intent of the bail discussion was to convince Fox News viewers that 1/6 was merely about some people trespassing.