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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The lie of the year 2021: the falsehoods about the assault on the Capitol

That afternoon, the then minority leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, went to the chief of staff, Mark Meadows “Mark, the president needs to tell the people on Capitol Hill to go home”Wrote Laura Ingraham of Fox News“ This is hurting us all It is destroying his legacy, ”wrote Ingraham Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade sent similar messages to Meadows

McCarthy, the Republican leader of the House, was able to communicate directly with the president to ask him to stop what was happening McCarthy then sidestepped questions about that call, but other members of the House said Trump told him: “Well Kevin, I think that these people are more upset

A federal judge ridiculed Clyde’s characterization during the sentencing of one of the defendants in June “I’m especially concerned, Tucker Carlson, repeatedly denied that January 6 had anything to do with racial issues, falsely claiming that white supremacists weren’t responsible from what has occured

“You know what it was, and you also know what it wasn’t,” Carlson said on his Fox News show in January. “It wasn’t an act of racism It wasn’t an insurrection,” he said.

Several people linked to white supremacist groups were involved in the attack, including some now facing conspiracy charges. Symbols of white supremacy and anti-Semitism were prominently displayed: a hanging gallows; confederate flags; racist images of Pepe the toad and even a t-shirt Camp Auschwitz

Senator Ron Johnson, max Republican Greg Kelly, speculated that the protesters may have mistaken Fanone for a member of Antifa, a loosely organized coalition of left-wing anti-fascist activists, which has protested and confronted white supremacists in the last years

On Fox News, Ingraham taunted Fanone with a sarcastic award for “best performance in an action role.”

Abundant conspiracy theories

Many of the same right-wing voices that went out of their way to excuse or downplay the attack, also turned to wild conspiracy theories to try to rewrite, directed, Tucker Carlson told his millions of viewers that “the FBI was organizing the riots January 6 ”Beattie was one of his guests that day

In a speech in the House of Representatives, Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican, and said he saw Carlson’s segment. “This is like Putin’s kind of activity,” Gohmert said.

Months later, Carlson introduced Beattie as the lead in Patriot Purge, a three-episode series on January 6 that further fueled conspiracy theories about the FBI and Antifa

According to Carlson’s documentary, the ultimate goal of the FBI was to make a “purge” of Trump’s voters, a “new war on terror,” which used the national security apparatus to strip millions of their rights.

The program made victims of January 6 perpetrators They weren’t attacking democracy; they were victims of the state

They don’t want further investigation

As Carlson and others pushed their false narratives about Antifa and the FBI, Republican lawmakers responded to the attack with another way to downplay it: silence

Months after the siege, even those who initially condemned the attack decided it was no longer worth talking about what happened The Americans already knew enough, they said There would be no need to investigate further The outrage was unnecessary It was time to move on

McCarthy and McConnell, who initially condemned the attack, rounded up their Republican colleagues into rejecting a bipartisan bill that would have formed an independent commission, similar to the one that investigated the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

“I think we have a pretty good idea of ​​what happened on January 6; I was here, ”Senator John Cornyn, Republican, Geraldo Rivera, said in late May, criticized the“ scandalous and unsubstantiated ”claims in Carlson’s documentary series The two co-founders of The Dispatch, both Fox News collaborators for years, resigned in November from the network about the Carlson documentary

Representative Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, who rejected Trump’s false claims of voter fraud and voted to impeach him for what happened on January 6, is one of two Republicans on the House selection committee and used his position to criticize the sting operation theory

It’s not American to spread those kinds of lies And they are lies“Said Cheney

But the repetition of falsehoods about January 6 shows that a political movement can rally around obvious lies and that despite the facts, it can be difficult to oppose them.

“This is our new world: the denial of what your eyes are really seeing,” said Laura Thornton, Director and Senior Fellow of the Alliance for Securing Democracy ASD, in English at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

“The effort to rewrite history in the service of the goals of political power is not unheard of in America or anywhere else,” said Theda Skocpol, a Harvard political scientist who has studied the Tea Party and anti-Trump resistance. What is blatant is that the story they want to rewrite includes images of what really happened, “he said.

This is our new world: the denial of what your eyes are really seeing “

Laura Thornton asd policy expert

“Because January 6 was unsuccessful, now they have to rewrite history and, in some cases, they were doing it around the clock, saying they didn’t see what they saw,” added Phillipe Copeland, clinical professor at the School of Social Work from Boston University

Until now, the consequences of what happened before, during and after January 6 have been limited to rioters such as QAnon Shaman who were charged or sentenced for storming the Capitol

Political leaders and pundits, on the other hand, are doing business as usual. Trump, acquitted in the Senate for the second time, could run again in 2024 McCarthy seeks to regain the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives and Carlson remains one of the most popular presenters on cable television

Cheney, meanwhile, was ousted from the mainstream GOP when she was removed from her leadership position after opposing the former president. Similar movements have taken place across the country against Republicans who criticized Trump.

It’s a sign that elections could remain a controversial space over the next several years, as Republican complaints about the outcome of the 2020 race drive the rewriting of electoral laws across the country AND it’s a sign that the denial on January 6 could become yet another litmus test for voters. Republicans The primaries in 2022 are shaping up to be contests in which pro-Trump loyalists challenge any dissident

“We are in an extremely dangerous place,” Thornton said. “An attack on the Capitol where people threaten to assassinate the vice president is bad enough, but when you have a political party, one of the two in our country, that minimizes, deviates or misrepresents, it is extremely disturbing I don’t know how we can get out of that, “he said.


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