- Fox News ran several segments on Monday and Tuesday pushing a conspiracy theory on "reeducation camps" for Trump supporters.
- The ominous package on Tuesday relied on just two soundbites from liberal-leaning shows, including a Katie Couric appearance on HBO's comedy program "Real Time with Bill Maher."
- "Is the plan of Couric and others to cram everyone into a digital reeducation camp, or are they gonna set up a concentration camp like that for the Uighur Muslims in communist China to make sure everyone gets reeducated and deprogrammed?" co-host Dagen McDowell asked.
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Fox News dedicated multiple segments on Monday and Tuesday to a new conspiracy theory, baselessly floating the false idea that Democrats, "big tech," and the news media are pushing for "reeducation camps" or forms of "reprogramming" in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill.
"Is the plan of Couric and others to cram everyone into a digital reeducation camp, or are they gonna set up a concentration camp like that for the Uighur Muslims in communist China to make sure everyone gets reeducated and deprogrammed?" co-host Dagen McDowell asked former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on the 12 p.m. hour of "Outnumbered."
In another segment earlier in the same show, host Harris Faulkner described "a new call from the left" to "deprogram" Trump supporters as cult members, citing an MSNBC soundbite from Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson on "Morning Joe."
Primetime host Sean Hannity also ran a segment on the same theme on Monday night, specifically using the term "reeducation camps." The overall topic of "big tech censorship" has become a mainstay of Fox News coverage over the past two weeks.
—Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 19, 2021
After going on a tangent about how "Loving a white person does not make me a cultist," Faulkner came back on the other side of the commercial break to have the panel discuss the notion of "deprogramming."
While the material was lumped in with tech companies severing ties with Trump-related accounts, the only mentions of Trump supporters being "deprogrammed" over their beliefs that the election was stolen came from just two soundbites.
Aside from the Robinson clip on "Morning Joe," the other came from former CBS anchor Katie Couric during an appearance she made last Friday night on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."
"What do you do about people who are in the government who don't believe in our way of government?" Maher, a liberal comedian, asked Couric in an exchange that was not shown on Fox.
—Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) January 18, 2021
"I mean, it's really bizarre, isn't it, when you think about how AWOL so many of these members of Congress have gotten," Couric said in the clip shown on "Outnumbered," referring to Republican lawmakers who still dispute the results of the 2020 election along with President Trump.
"But I also think some of them are believing the garbage they are being fed 24/7 on the internet, by their constituents, and they've bought into this big lie," Couric said. "And the question is, how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump?"
In response to the Couric and Robinson clips, Huckabee dialed up the rhetoric and claimed he knows Trump supporters who are worried about being rounded up by the feds, echoing similar talking points to militia groups and other extremists who were behind the Capitol Siege.
"Well I know one thing, all of the Trump supporters are getting Ring doorbells so they can see who's knocking, because they think it might be some government goon coming to take them away because they voted differently than Eugene Robinson or Katie Couric," Huckabee said. "This is crazy stuff when people talk like that."
There is no evidence suggesting the incoming Biden administration plans to take Trump voters into custody because of their voting records.
Fox News did not respond to Insider's request for comment.