With a New 'Threat' the Press Rails Against ‘The Big Lie’ as Journalists Continue Lying About Promised Trump-Backed Violence

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Considering how much journalists claim to despise falsehoods they continue telling a big lie of their own.

With so much strife going on in the world — Afghanistan, a major hurricane, the pandemic, still no host for ‘Jeopardy’ — many are unaware that Washington D.C. is paralyzed in fear and in near shutdown over the promise of impending calamity. That is, based at least on this CNN headline: Renewed fears of political violence grip Capitol Hill ahead of right-wing rally. 

I might beg for a small dose of clarity here as I take exception with CNN on one detail; it may not be so much a case of renewed fear, as it is continued fear. This is because ever since the Capitol riot, the press has been in a perpetual cycle of delivering these heart-arresting warnings that another uprising from election-denying Trump sycophants was on the verge of boiling over into a bloodbath. 

One other detail — the press has also been in a perpetual cycle of being completely wrong about these outbursts.

These reports have gone from being chilling at first, to being considered, then simply dismissed. Eventually, they became the stuff of easily ignored mockery, and now are just tiresome. This latest hysteria concerns a gathering on September 18, called the Justice for J6 Rally, being staged as a show of support for many of those arrested from the Capitol riot. As for who is behind this, the best CNN can come up with is this is, “organized by a former Trump campaign staffer.” Oh…kay, then. 

As for the projected impact of this event, let us just say it may not cause a ripple. After multiple paragraphs with quotes and warnings from various authorities, we learn the response to this gathering so far is tepid. Capitol police have word that 300 people said they might attend the rally. It is also being held on a Saturday, on a week when the House is in recess. At this stage, if all goes well with this rally at best somebody might happen to notice it.

This is falling in line with all of the other promises of dire danger we have been delivered, as the press has been desperate to generate another violent outburst from the right. For months now, they have been invoking the phrase The Big Lie to tie in any and all aspects of Trump-related threats and drama. But in the course of this narrative, we need to start being honest; the press has been lying about this impending violent doom.

Capitol Breach Threat
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Let’s take a look at the exhaustive, yet probably still incomplete, list of avowed violent events the news outlets have declared would take place from right-wing crowds, following the riot in the Capitol.

  • Jan. 17 — An armed march on the Capitol was supposedly planned. After beefing up security and warning residents to stay indoors. The result: “There were no gathered crowds, large or small.”
  • Jan. 20 — For the inaugural, there was promised violence in opposition to Biden’s swearing-in ceremony. D.C. was largely calm, but violence did break out in Portland, Oregon. It was by the left-wing Antifa gangs.
  • February — Congressional leaders used the call of impending attacks to not only fortify the barricades around town but keep National Guard troops on standby. 

  • Feb. 25 — In a statement before Congress, the Capitol Police Chief announced those in the January riot next wanted to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible during the State of the Union.
  • March 4 — The press was amplifying a supposed Qanon theory that Trump could be reinstalled on this date — for some reason. As a result of perceived attacks security was increased, while the House suspended its session. And not a soul arrived. National Guard members armed with M4 rifles braced for rebellion that never came. Razor wire lined miles of steel fencing that went unbreached. Trump remained in Florida, where it was 70 degrees and sunny.
  • March 12 — This was the scheduled date for the National Guard troops to finally be dispatched back home. Many in DC called to keep them in town until the fall, over more promised threats.
  • March 18 — A report from the intelligence community warned of impending violence from white supremacists and militia groups. That’s because of sociopolitical factors motivating these groups, such as narratives of fraud in the recent general election, the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the US Capitol.
  • July — The Capitol Police announced it would begin opening field offices in other states, citing the January 6 riot and the need to address growing threats to lawmakers.
  • Aug. 13 — Mike Lindell promised to deliver irrefutable proof of election errors that would have Trump reinstated. To say it was irrefutable — or even proof — was more than a stretch. As Lindell made these claims, Charlie Sykes described this talk in this fashionIt should also remind us that even though an idea is fake, the consequences of a new Big Lie can be very real, and even deadly.

As the year has shown, “can be” has been all the press has been able to deliver. There has been no certified violence from any of these promised or predicted declarations. We even saw this stretch into the governmental departments. Weeks ago, an announcement came from the Department of Homeland Security where they announced new terror alerts. This advisory was not based on any specific or credible intel they gathered — they merely gave a list of things people might talk about, and declared those to be Potential Terror Threats.

This is a clear sign of the failed narrative. The press and the government want to maintain the talking point that these right-wing wing-nuts are a danger but they lack any actual violence, so they lower the threshold of threats to what people might be saying online. Now if you debate the efficacy of wearing a mask or sound a little too ardent in your religious holiday celebration, you could be a terror threat.

Following January 6, there have been two primary acts of political violence experienced in D.C. but both strain to be connected to the press promising actions related to the Capitol riot. Recently, there was the incident with Floyd Roseberry, who claimed his truck was wired with explosives as he parked near the Library of Congress. The media declared him a MAGA member, but they had to stretch that definition to make him fit. While his wife confirmed he voted for Trump, during his standoff and in his social media posts you do not hear talk of a stolen election, an insurrection, or even Qanon theories.

Roseberry appears to be a lone wolf example, as he was espousing many boilerplate grievances — immigration, a lack of healthcare, patriotic themes, and his opposition to Greta Thunberg. We saw zero evidence he had been radicalized by the election claims, and his voiced opposition to Biden was based on policy, not the election result.

The other incident was in April, when a car burst through some barricades and struck a pair of Capitol police officers. You may need to be refreshed on this one since this incident has been basically memory-holed by the press. The driver, Noah Greene, was an African American, and a follower of Louis Farrakhan. 

Washington, DC, Capitol, Capitol Police
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

There are other differences between these events. Roseberry was taken into custody without incident and had no bombs. Greene killed one of the officers with his car, then he exited his vehicle and attacked with a long knife before he was gunned down. Despite this clear act of violence Greene is a forgotten story — but the myth of impending MAGA-Q-ELECTION violence endures in their reports. The journalists who continue to intone grave warnings about what is leading up based on The Big Lie suffer from a lack of evidence — and yet the press persists in promulgating this prevarication. 

Maybe, for their sake, the September 18 rally will deliver on their promise. Otherwise, they will have to get even more creative in crafting their myth.