Covering Themselves in Glory -- Media Salivates Over the 6 Month ‘Anniversary’ of Capitol Riot

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Not at all shocking how those who want the story to live forever are giddy about today’s alleged significance.

January’s riot in the Capitol took place 6 months ago today. There is nothing at all resonant about that time frame, apart from one simple fact: Those who want to keep hyping the event use it to keep hyping the event. Today does not signify anything in particular to the riot, no threshold or deadline has been reached, and no specific achievement has been realized. Today’s remembrance serves only to fuel the media relying upon the event to demonize one side of the political landscape.

The riot was a result of idiotic behavior morphing into mob rule. Those who rampaged through the Capitol were idiots, and they all should be charged accordingly. But the press has been insistent on building this into a catastrophic event that fails to measure up to the claimed descriptions. This was not an attempted takeover of the government. The violence claimed has not fully measured up to the hyperbolic accusations. The crowd could not even achieve an intended goal of overturning the confirmation vote; all they managed was delaying that inevitability by a few hours.

Still, the riot needs to be hyped, it needs to be constantly churned as a story, for the purpose of accusations. Various GOP politicians are assumed complicit and conservatives, in general, are called out as having been supportive of the attack. All of this is fed into the media narrative of denying the election results. The press who loved questioning the veracity of the 2016 result and attributed it to a false Russian co-production suddenly blanches at the suggestion of asking questions about the 2020 result. Now they have the fulcrum to leverage that outrage.

The favorite narrative of the year has been describing those on the Right as being part of “The Big Lie.” Journalists who fake being outraged at any reference to the Holocaust (see how Gina Carrano and Marjorie Taylor Greene have absorbed scorn for insensitive comparisons) see no ironic problem invoking this Nazi-bred concept. Of course, these are the same sensitive souls who would drop Hitler/Nazi/fascist references on a near-daily basis for four years.

We have watched as the Capitol violence has been gradually elevated, with pundits declaring it was the worst attack on our government in generations, the worst political violence since the Civil War (your ignoring Senators actually shot on the Senate floor by activists in the 1950s is required), and the strained attempt to equate it with the 9/11 by pegging the date in an identical fashion. In order to keep this charge valid they need to keep recollections of the event fresh, so today, journalists are desperately recognizing the insignificant half-year “anniversary”.

There is no lack of melodrama supplied, and since those suppliers are journalists they inject themselves into the plotline. Looking over some of the recollections you almost get the sense the worst things that happened transpired with journalists.

Kasie Hunt“Some reporters who were there won’t go back into the building. A number have sought therapy to deal with the trauma. One longtime Capitol Hill reporter opted for early retirement shortly after living through the riot. Many still aren’t sleeping well.”

Brian Stelter“Today marks 6 months since the insurrection at the Capitol, and there are new fears not enough is being done to protect it from another attack, as the FBI warns of potential violence by conspiracists…”

Jonathan Lemire – “But six months after the insurrection, the struggle reflects the massive scale of the investigation and the grueling work still ahead for authorities in the face of an increasing effort by some Republican lawmakers to rewrite what happened that day.”

Wolf Blitzer – “National Guard troops & armored vehicles are gone. So is outer perimeter fencing & razor wire. But interior fencing remains though there are reports it will soon be gone. It’s been an amazing 6 months.”

Scott MacFarlane — “Six months ago this morning.  Donald Trump used the word “fight” 20 times in his speech at White House Ellipse.”

Molly Jong-Fast — “6 months ago, and republicans have successfully memory-holed the event with their base.”

In a lengthy thread, Grace Segars delivers all of that, and more, sounding almost as if she were narrating a Ken Burns documentary of the event. She culminates it all with a passage that exposes the intent of the press in all of this. 

Again, I can only speak for myself and my experiences. But I believe it is incredibly important to remind people, and keep reminding them, of how bad it was, how bad it could have been, and how bad it still could be. January 6 was just one day. But the repercussions continue.

The press has been insistent that there was much more violence and other actions to follow in the wake of the riot. That nothing promised has transpired has been a problem — for the press. March 4 was promised to be a date of a second uprising and that led to closures in Congress, all of it leading up to…nothing happening at all. A secondary date of March 20 was announced as another chance for the true believers to see Trump reinstalled as President, and likewise, it led to zero activity. 

There has been no other violence from that sector but that lack of evidence has done little to halt journalists assuring us that there are threats imminent any moment now. They need that crisis, and it leads to their shorthand critique of anyone on the Right, so here they are “celebrating” a ginned-up signifier and once again repeating the details for which they have so much affection. 

The desperation behind the effort is becoming more blatant, and that is a sign that it has not become entrenched as a national tragedy as they intended. Pity them, as they go about celebrating today.