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March 8, 2023

The Skewed Narratives About J6

Why is telling the truth about the January 6 Capitol riot so difficult?

People disagree about Donald Trump. That’s putting it mildly, of course, but ever since he rode down that escalator in 2015, there have been Americans who hate him in their bones and other Americans who follow him with cult-like devotion. That colors everything anyone says about him for two reasons: First, your own opinion shades what you say. Second, everyone else’s opinion shades what you feel free to say. That may be even more true when it comes to the events of January 6.

“The January 6 Committee lied,” Fox News opinionist Tucker Carlson said Monday night. “Its members are liars.” He’s right about that. But Carlson is also shading the truth a bit with his revelations from the 44,000 hours of surveillance footage from the January 6 riot. That’s right — riot.

We suspect he was fully aware of the irony of using the phrase “mostly peaceful” to describe those events because it was the same way a CNN reporter described the Black Lives Matter “summer of rage” riots in 2020 — while literally standing in front of a burning building. Yet Carlson is guilty of downplaying the violence and rioting while covering footage that he argues “overturned the story you’ve heard about January 6.” Actually, the word “downplaying” may be downplaying. Dealing as he frequently does in unhelpful absolutes, Carlson claimed the tapes do “not show an insurrection or a riot in progress.”

The J6 Committee lied with the help of the Leftmedia Democrat super PAC, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a riot.

The fact that two-tiered justice for the people who truly were guilty of nothing more than walking into the Capitol building is disgraceful doesn’t mean the jackasses who assaulted police shouldn’t be locked up for a long time. People at such events get emotionally swept up and do things they otherwise wouldn’t. Sometimes that’s criminal.

Attorney General Merrick Garland lied just yesterday, saying again that “five officers died” because of events on January 6. Zero officers died that day, including Brian Sicknick. That doesn’t mean none were violently assaulted or that Sicknick wouldn’t still be alive without enduring the incredible stress of that assault.

The fact that Capitol Police officers let people in and escorted others through the building shouldn’t obscure the fact that cops were vastly outnumbered and were trying to deescalate a situation in which protesters had already violently pushed through barricades, climbed walls, and broken windows.

The fact that Trump-deranged Democrats grossly overreached by impeaching Trump for “inciting insurrection,” and that they still repeatedly and histrionically call it the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War,” doesn’t make what happened that day merely an innocent and peaceful tour led by Capitol Police. Protesters were not there as tourists; many of them were there because they believed Trump’s false claim that Mike Pence could and should overturn the election results, and they thought the pressure of a massive crowd (with constructed gallows for the vice president) might encourage Pence to do that.

Not a single person in DC on January 6 has been charged with insurrection. That doesn’t mean they aren’t guilty of obstructing Congress, trespassing, rioting, or assaulting police.

To be fair to Carlson, for the reasons stated at the beginning of this article, he’s had difficulty covering Donald Trump (and events related to him) just like the rest of us. “I hate him passionately,” he texted a colleague on January 4, 2021. “We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights,” he also said that day, according to communications revealed as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News. “I truly can’t wait.” Carlson’s reason? “What he’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong.”

Then the January 6 riot happened, and now Carlson can’t wait to run more video footage every night for the foreseeable future. His reason? Ratings!

Chuck Schumer made a phony plea for Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch to pull Carlson off the air because “democracy depends on it.” Carlson was, after all, firing torpedoes into the Left’s Narrative™ about January 6, and Democrats never rebut something when they can silence the speaker instead.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell came to the defense of Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger, who criticized Carlson for coming to “offensive and misleading conclusions” based on “cherry-picked” video footage. “It was a mistake in my view,” said McConnell, “for Fox News to depict this in a way that’s completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here at the Capitol thinks.”

What gives? Is McConnell really, as some insist, “on the side of Chuck Schumer”?

Hardly. Schumer is under no illusion that Carlson will be silenced. Indeed, Schumer hopes Carlson keeps it up because he’s feeding the anger of the same people Democrats successfully smeared as a “threat to democracy.” Democrats would love nothing more than to run — and win — against Trump and his angriest supporters again in 2024. McConnell is strategic enough to know this, even if it’s long past time for him to turn over the Republican reins to someone else.

McConnell wasn’t alone among GOP senators, either. Thom Tillis called Carlson’s portrayal “bulls***.” Kevin Cramer said Carlson’s painting of events as “some rowdy, peaceful protest of Boy Scouts” is “just a lie.” Everyone’s least favorite Republican, Mitt Romney, said it’s “absurd” and “nonsense” to contradict what everyone saw “by selectively picking a few minutes out of tapes.”

Congressman Dan Crenshaw added: “I don’t really have a problem with making it all public. But if your message is then to try and convince people that nothing bad happened, then it’s just gonna make us look silly.”

You know what doesn’t look silly? Telling the unvarnished truth without pushing an agenda or getting bulldozed by the Left. And more conservatives would listen to McConnell, Tillis, Romney, and company if they heeded that advice.

Instead, Carlson lumped those Republicans in with Schumer. “Why is it so important that they would degrade themselves by telling such obvious lies and calling for censorship?” he asked. “They’re all on the same side.” No Republican we saw called for censorship like Schumer did, and there are strategic reasons for full honesty.

The Capitol rioters, personified by that shirtless moron in a buffalo hat, behaved disgracefully that day, breaking windows, overwhelming barricades, and fighting with cops. It’s beyond idiotic to claim that anyone who says so is partnering with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Yet those two and their ilk have performed every bit as reprehensibly ever since, crying from the fainting couch that our “democracy” held on by a mere thread, jeopardized perhaps forever by that Bad Orange Man. Please.

What makes it so hard to just be honest and forthright about this? Why is it so difficult to not overstate or mischaracterize virtually everything about that day? Oddly enough, the answer is Donald Trump, who all at once provokes both the deep hatred and devoted love that distort the real picture.

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