Man who threatened to kill congressman says he was radicalised by Tucker Carlson

Man who threatened to kill congressman says he was radicalised by Tucker Carlson
California congressman shares direct messages from angry Canadian

A Canadian man who sent direct messages to a California congressman admitted in the messages that he was radicalised and driven to hate Democrats by US media figures on the right, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan, a podcast host.

Rep Eric Swalwell shared a lengthy exchange with a man he identified as Jeremy Marshall in a series of tweets on Thursday; in the messages, Mr Marshall opens by telling the Democratic lawmaker that he should be “shot” for allegedly committing treason.

After being pressed on the issue at length by the congressman himself in private messages, Mr Marshall relented, stating that he didn’t really believe that Mr Swalwell should be shot and had merely been driven to make angry comments by criticism of Mr Swalwell from several sources. He identified right-wing media circles as being a source for misleading or false claims about the congressman, and in particular cited their repeated false claims about an incident in which Mr Swalwell was targeted by a Chinese spy, and for which he was cleared of any suggestion of wrongdoing.

Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) listens during the House Judiciary committee hearing on “Oversight of the Department of Justice: Political Interference and Threats to Prosecutorial Independence”, on Capitol Hill on 24 June 2020 in Washington DC

Mr Marshall went on to apologise after Mr Swalwell showed him a comment from an FBI official stating as such, and noted that he had not seen that particular fact of the story covered in right-wing media.

I “really got dragged down a rabbit hole”, Mr Marshall admitted, before laying the blame on the shoulders of Mr Rogan and Mr Carlson: “[O]ne was Joe Rogan, probably the most influential”, he said, and added, “Tucker Carlson slammed you too much and lost me when he said you had multiple [sexually-transmitted diseases]”.

The Independent has reached out to Fox News for his comments about Mr Carlson, and to The Joe Rogan Experience for comment from Mr Rogan.

Fox News has remained a bastion of right-wing anger under the Biden administration, and many of the conservative company’s top pundits remain fiercely loyal to former President Donald Trump, whose embrace of conspiracies about the 2020 election and Democrats is well-documented.

The network itself underwent a minor purge of journalists earlier this year when it fired Chris Stirewalt, who was the on-air face of the network when it called Arizona for President Joe Biden on election night and enraged members of Mr Trump’s team, who expected the same loyalty from the network’s news side that they enjoyed from its opinion hosts.

Officials at the network later issued an icy statement when longtime Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace departed the network a few short months later, further depleting the network’s bench of unbiased hosts.