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CNN Airs Soft-Focus 'Profile' Of Violent Capital Rioter

Reprinted with permission from Press Run

Five months after rioters smashed windows, hung nooses, brawled with cops, and desecrated the U.S. Capitol, CNN decided to portray a killed Trump insurrectionist from January 6 in a positive light. Leaning into interviews with the family of Ashli Babbitt, CNN did its best to present a pleasing picture of the mob member who was shot and killed by U.S. Capitol police as she and a lawbreaking Trump gang tried to force themselves into the Speaker's Lobby as all hell broke loose that dreadful day.

It was a bewildering and misguided profile that whitewashed a deadly serious topic —radicals who wanted to invalidate an American election and use overwhelming physical force to make it happen. The lawless, violent mob rampaged inside the Capitol for hours, knocking officers unconscious and destroying offices of Democratic members.

CNN framed the report as a Both Sides one: Supporters see Babbitt as a patriot, while liberals see her as a terrorist. CNN then proceeded to completely ignore the liberal perspective for the entire Babbitt report. Readers were repeatedly told what a kind and conscientious person she was. But they were never given the other side of that Both Sides equation.

The CNN misfire was a classic example of what happens when journalists land sought-after interviews, in this case with members of Babbitt's family, and then spin the story in their favor. They tell the tale just as the interview subjects would want it to be told.

"She was brave. She came out that way. Always was that way," Babbitt's mother told CNN. "Elizabeth Babbitt grew up a tomboy in a suburb of San Diego. She kept pace with four brothers and their friends, riding bikes, jumping them over ramps, skateboarding and "playing in the dirt,"" CNN gently reported. As for the deadly insurrection, "I feel like she went to the Capitol because she felt like her voice wasn't being heard," Babbitt's brother told an understanding CNN.

It's impossible to think that if Babbitt weren't a white woman who grew up in suburban America that CNN would ever consider publishing a feel-good piece about a possible terrorist who's been turned into a martyr by the radical right. The report, with its soft family lens, reflects a larger media obsession over the last five years to help humanize Trump's extremist and dangerous white voter base.

Routinely depicted as hard-working folks in search of a political path, and thankful for Trump leadership, Trump voter coverage for years failed to pull back the curtain and reveal a small glimpse of the vicious mob that emerged in January. Even a Trump supporter who had nice things to say about Nazis received a gentle New York Times profile.

Last winter, as Trump supporters rallied around the deranged idea that the election had been stolen, too many journalists expressed empathy for them. In an interview with Vanity Fair, CNN's Jake Tapper said, "I feel sympathy for them, is the truth," he said. "I feel bad. They're outraged because they're being told things that aren't true."

In terms of CNN's Babbitt profile, there's nothing wrong with providing context and detail about her life, particularly since she seems to be a textbook example of someone whose life, even before January 6, was swallowed whole by the cultist, far-right movement to worship Trump like an idol. Since her death, friends have expressed shock at the fanatical and anger-filled turn her politics took, as well as the rabid and often incoherent screeds she began posting online. ("They can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours.") If Babbitt wasn't a full-on QAnon devotee at the time of her death, she was awfully close.

But that's not the type of context CNN provided. Instead, the network worked overtime to play down Babbitt's actions on January 6, as well as the actions of thousands of insurrectionists who did their best to overthrow democracy by pummeling police officers for hours on end. Not once in the 2,000-word piece did CNN mention the raging violence that Trump's mob unleashed, as members of the Capitol police force battled in hand-to-hand combat with the remorseless, bloodthirsty gang.

One day before CNN published its insurrectionist valentine, the Department of Justice released additional head cam video from the riot, showing officers being mauled by the deranged mob. Specifically, it showed a retired NYPD officer charging through metal barricades and attacking police with a flagpole during the riot. "You communist motherfucker, fuck you!" the retired cop screamed, before pushing down the crowd-control barrier and swinging a flag pole. He then tackled and began beating an officer.

Multiply that by hundreds, if not thousands of times, to create the deranged bedlam of that day. More than 480 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the riot. From a May report: "One video shows a rioter trying to rip off a police officer's gas mask, then picking up a baton and hitting officers with it. Another video shows a rioter punching officers while wearing gloves with metal knuckles."

But CNN's report breezed right past those difficult truths in order to present Babbitt as a slightly misunderstood "patriot," in the eyes of her family. CNN made no effort to get a comment from any members of the Capitol police force, some of whom had to beg for their lives at the hands of the January 6 mob that Babbitt so proudly championed.

New Insurrection Video Shows Trumpist Punching Police Officer’s Face

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The Department of Justice has released another video of insurrectionist activity at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. This one appears to show a man in a camouflage jacket shoving and then punching a federal officer in the face, hitting his face-shield.

"Prosecutors say this is NJ gym owner Scott Fairlamb (in the camo jacket) shoving a cop (at 0:28), and then punching him in the face (at 0:31). Fairlamb pleaded not guilty," CNN's Marshall Cohen reports (tweet and video below.)

There is a DOJ Criminal Complaint for Fairlamb filed January 21 that lists offenses including "Certain Acts During Civil Disorder," "Assaulting a Federal Officer," "Carrying a Dangerous Weapon," and "Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds."

As the video shows, a handful of D.C. Metropolitan Police officers waded into a veritable sea of agitated Trump supporters.

The man, allegedly Fairlamb, seems to pick a fight with one of the cops, then another, leading very quickly to him grabbing an officer, shoving him, then punching him "in the head," as the Complaint asserts.

The complaint also says there is video of him saying, "What Patriots do? We fuckin' disarm them and then we storm fuckin' the Capitol."

The Washington Post has a "detention decision" online that says "he must be detained," meaning kept in jail before trial.

Watch:

GOP Rep. Clyde Wouldn't Shake Hand Of Police Officer Who Defended Capitol

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone was one of 140 law enforcement officers injured protecting the U.S. Capitol and members of Congress on January 6. He was so badly beaten he suffered a heart attack fighting Trump's insurrectionists but he was conscious enough to hear at one point the rioters scream, "Kill him with his own gun!"

On Wednesday, one day after 21 House Republicans voted against a bill to award Congressional gold medals to all the police officers who fought to save lives and democracy on January 6, Officer Fanone was in the U.S. Capitol, and ran into Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA).

Congressman Clyde, who sits on the Homeland Security Committee and is one of the 21 who voted against the awards, refused to even shake Officer Fanone's hand.

Clyde is the lawmaker who falsely compared the rioters and insurrectionists to a "normal tourist visit."

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) took to Twitter to make the accusation, which was backed up by Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican.

Here's video of Officer Fanone being attacked by Trump's insurrectionists:

Here's Congressman Clyde literally barricading the door on Jan. 6, with members of the Capitol Hill Police:

Here's Clyde outright lying:

Far-Right Republicans Vote No On Congressional Medal For Capitol Police

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

House Democrats are criticizing their GOP colleagues after 21 Republican members Tuesday night voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to law enforcement officers who responded to the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

The bill passed the House on Tuesday by a vote of 406-21 — with every "no" vote coming from Republican lawmakers. All but two of the 21 House Republicans who voted against the award for the law enforcement officers also voted to overturn the 2020 election results.

A number of the members have also tried to downplay the attack, such as Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) saying the violent riot was just a "normal tourist visit" and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) falsely saying the rioters weren't armed.

"I think this is a new low for this crowd. They voted to overturn an election. But in their vote today, they kind of sealed the deal of basically affiliating with the mob," Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said in an interview with CNN.

Connolly added, "They now are part of the insurrectionist mob. They brought enormous disrepute and dishonor on themselves in not honoring the brave men and women who defended the Capitol of the United States — everybody in it, but also defending the symbol of democracy in the world, not just here in the United States."

Meanwhile, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) tweeted that the Republicans who voted against the award amount to "a sad commentary on the @HouseGOP."

And Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) called the Republican votes against the award "sick."

"I mean, they have to live with themselves," McGovern told Politico. "It's sad, pathetic."

The vote was made by agreement between members of the House and Senate. The Senate had voted only to award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman — who helped steer the insurrectionists away from the Senate chamber to give senators time to safely evacuate — with the Congressional Gold Medal.

But the bill that passed the House on Tuesday awarded four Gold Medals, to the entire Capitol Police force, to the Metropolitan Police Department officers who responded to the attack, and two to be displayed in the Smithsonian Institution and in the Capitol.

The House had passed a similar bill in March, and at the time 12 Republicans voted against it. But that number grew on Tuesday to 21.

Republicans said they voted against it because they took issue with the fact that the legislation called the rioters "a mob of insurrectionists."

"I wouldn't call it an insurrection," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told Politico of the January 6 attack, when a Donald Trump-supporting mob tried to block the peaceful transition of power from Trump to President Joe Biden.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.