In “Journalism Ethics/Legal Ethics/Government Ethics Rot: The Democrats And Journalists Tried To Convict Donald Trump With Fake News,” Ethics Alarms covered the fact, and it is a fact, not an opinion, that the mainstream media and Democrats—the AUC, essentially—deliberately lied to the public in order to appeal to emotion and hype the significance of the January 6 riot. It appears that they were caught at the last second, which is why the decision to call witnesses was suddenly and mysteriously reversed in favor of a vote the Democrats knew they were going to lose.
I think it’s an important post about an important story, but very few people have read it (it’s been viewed 5 times today), or know that contrary to the assertions of President Biden and others, nobody was killed by the rioters, and a park police officer did not “give his life in defense of democracy.” There have been very few news stories pointing out that the Times quietly changed its false story that launched this myth, or that the Democrats deliberately entered it as false evidence in the impeachment trial.
When Ethics Alarms becomes a primary source of news that supposed journalists refuse to cover, we are in big, big trouble, especially since fewer people appear to be coming here (theories abound).
Glenn Greenwald, the primary beacon of that post, is doing what he can to spread the word of just how dastardly the AUC has been in spreading disinformation about the riot. He, as you know if you have been reading here, lost his job at his own journalism organization when it refused to allow him to spill the beans about the Hunter Biden scandal. In his latest post, Greenwlad revealed that the Brian Sicknick falsehood was far from the only example. [I will mention again here that everyone who wants to fight against the increasingly tight noose biased journalism has around the neck of our republic should subscribe to Greenwald’s feed at substack. Do it here.]
For example, we have another false story peddled by the Times and repeated up and down the news media. Here’s Greenwald:
In the days after the protest, numerous viral tweets pointed to a photograph of Eric Munchel with zip-ties. The photo was used continually to suggest that he took those zip-ties into the Capitol because of a premeditated plot to detain lawmakers and hold them hostage. Politico described Munchel as “the man who allegedly entered the Senate chamber during the Capitol riot while carrying a taser and zip-tie handcuffs.” The Washington Post used the images to refer to “chatters in far-right forums explicitly discussing how to storm the building, handcuff lawmakers with zip ties.” That the zip-tie photo of Munchel made the Capitol riot far more than a mere riot carried out by a band of disorganized misfits, but rather a nefarious and well-coordinated plot to kidnap members of Congress, became almost as widespread as the fire extinguisher story….But on January 21, the “zip-tie man’s” own prosecutors admitted none of that was true. He did not take zip-ties with him from home or carry them into the Capitol. Instead, he found them on a table, and took them to prevent their use by the police…
I’m sure you (and your Facebook friends decrying the acquittal of Donald Trump) were quickly informed of this “mistake,” correct? After all, “Democracy dies in darkness.”
The news media is deliberately fostering that darkness.
But…but…. wasn’t the riot part of a wider, organized effort to grab and harm legislators? On January 15, Reuters published an article headlined “U.S. says Capitol rioters meant to ‘capture and assassinate officials,” stating that “federal prosecutors offered an ominous new assessment of last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol by President Donald Trump’s supporters on Thursday, saying in a court filing that rioters intended ‘to capture and assassinate elected officials.’” It wasn’t true, but social media, journalists and the sad shell of Lawrence Tribe, among others, repeated this as fact. But acting U.S. Attorney, Michael Sherwin said in a telephone briefing that there was no direct evidence at this point of kill-capture teams and assassination.’”
Over and over, no evidence has emerged for the most melodramatic media claims — torn out Panic Buttons and plots to kill Vice President Mike Pence or Mitt Romney. What we know for certain, as The Washington Post noted this week, is that “Despite warnings of violent plots around Inauguration Day, only a smattering of right-wing protesters appeared at the nation’s statehouses.” That does not sound like an ongoing insurrection, to put it mildly.
All this matters because it inherently matters if the media is recklessly circulating falsehoods about the most inflammatory and significant news stories. As was true for their series of Russiagate debacles, even if each “mistake” standing alone can be dismissed as relatively insignificant or understandable, when they pile up — always in the same narrative direction — people rightly conclude the propaganda is deliberate and trust in journalism erodes further.
But in this case, this matters for reasons far more significant than corporate media’s attempt to salvage the last vestiges of their credibility. Washington, D.C. remains indefinitely militarized. The establishment wings of both parties are still exploiting the emotions surrounding the Capitol breach to justify a new domestic War on Terror. The FBI is on the prowl for dissidents on the right and the left, and online censorship in the name of combatting domestic terrorism continues to rise.
One can — and should — condemn the January 6 riot without inflating the threat it posed. And one can — and should — insist on both factual accuracy and sober restraint without standing accused of sympathy for the rioters.
See if your Deranged friends are still capable of comprehending this.