Somehow the lack of insurrections, violence, and attendees only assures the dangers of MAGA Nation.
Saturday proved an amusement for many on the right as the heavily-hyped Justice for Jan.6 Rally went off without a hitch — and without a purpose. For weeks, the media was claiming how the Capital was in a clutch of anxiety over the prospect of this gathering, wanting desperately for this to be a sequel to the mob scene that played out at the start of the year. But as they were heavily promoting Capitol Riot 2: MAGA Boogaloo, reality entered to ruin the premiere.
As I had called last month amid the hype, hardly anyone showed, the press ratioed the protestors in attendance, and so desperate were they for any evidence of trouble that stats were stretched for headline sake. Stories of “Four arrests on weapons were made” had to include one person with a questionable knife, and two people detained during a traffic stop well away from the event. The worst offender appears to have been an undercover officer whose disguise was blown by the Capitol Police.
After more than a month of promises that D.C. would be shaken by this arrival of violent hordes, how do the media and the Democrats address being so wrong? They simply do not. Much like Love means never having to say you are sorry, it seems to be Bias means never having to address being incorrect. The best course of action is to sidestep your promises and, instead, reframe the issue.
A perfect example of this comes from California Representative Ted Lieu. On Friday, when echoing a New York Times story about the rally and how the danger was looming, Mr. Lieu gave a pithy response.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 17, 2021
Then, after Saturday proved to be the polar opposite of what the Times and Ted expected, he fired back with a rather contradictory serving of invective.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 18, 2021
Somehow, these Republicans are a direct threat to the very core of our democratic values and are about to render the country as a result, AND they are an inconsequential group of zeros with minuscule influence where nobody listens. That Ted delivered both of these assessments within one day speaks to his own impotent influence, but it also serves to typify the whiplash impressions we see in the press. To show this instantaneous reframing let’s look over some of the predictions we were served before Saturday.
CNN – Fears of political violence grip Capitol Hill ahead of right-wing rally
NEW YORK TIMES – Officials have warned lawmakers and their aides to avoid the area on Saturday
YAHOO NEWS – DC Braces for rally
NPR – The Capital faces its biggest security test
WASHINGTON POST – Police said they have gleaned intelligence on possible violence
NEWSWEEK – The “Justice for J6” rally planned for Sept. 18 might present a “challenge” to American democracy
After a gathering that drew less than any Power Balance wristband sales pitch at the boardwalk, the media is in regather mode. Now, in the face of a fizzled throng, they are attempting to sell this as an expected result and just a continuation of the dangerous force in the Trump universe. The desperation between the lines is basically in a larger font.
NEW YORK TIMES – Though even the organizers lamented the sparse turnout, the scene showed how the Capitol assault continues to reverberate eight months later.
PHILIP BUMP – The worrisome pro-Capitol-riot activism isn’t a rally. It’s in right-wing media. If the goal of the rally this weekend is to elevate a sympathetic view of the rioters, it doesn’t really matter if it fails. After all, that elevation is already happening in the attention-seeking right-wing media ecosystem.
HUFFINGTON POST – Right-wing researchers like Jared Holt had said that online chatter among extremists suggested few people would show for fear of a trap by law enforcement. Far-right figures, including Gab CEO Andrew Torba and QAnon conspiracy leader Ron Watkins, encouraged their followers not to attend for fear of ― as Torba put it ― becoming “a political prisoner of the state.”
And there we have it. Despite a result on Saturday that was a full-on rebuke of all the promises made in the press, they refuse to acknowledge being wrong. Also, despite the reality of a lack of evidence — and this failure being added to the other promised uprisings after January 6 which never happened — the press cannot be dissuaded from their narrative.
The lack of a crowd Saturday, to say nothing about the lack of a violent uprising, changes nothing in the plotline in the press. All it requires is a rewriting of some pages in the script, because they need this narrative to be kept alive. How else can they demonize a sweeping poisonous mindset in a political party and the conservative movement if they admit to it being a small-scale movement?
So if a murderous mob turned out to simply be a couple of hundred misguided souls in novelty t-shirts not included on updated email chains it simply means that a roiling majority of conservatives have moved elsewhere to hatch ever more nefarious plots in the recesses of the Dark Web. Take the word of the press on this; these people are Dangerous!
Somehow the growing list of failed promised violent outbursts does not disprove anything. The myth continues to be sold as the need to delude viewers with assurances of political danger persists. Ironically the press being more incorrect than an evangelical prophet with four mortgages manages to only deepen the faith of their followers.