Far Right Revisionism On January 6 Seeks To Sway Trump Election Case (VIDEO)

Far Right Revisionism On January 6 Seeks To Sway Trump Election Case (VIDEO)
Tucker Carlson
Youtube Screenshot

I don’t know what will happen now that the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that Donald Trump is ineligible to appear on the presidential ballot. There is no precedent for implementing the 14th Amendment’s ban on candidates who supported insurrection. But there’s also no precedent for a president seeking to subvert the results of an election he lost by summoning a mob of supporters to the White House and then unleashing it on Congress to prevent the peaceful transition of power.

What I do know is that attempts to seek accountability for the events of January 6, 2021, are playing out in an environment in which the Trumpist media have developed a twisted alternate narrative of that insurrection. The right-wing stars conservatives trust most have spent the last few years downplaying the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol. They've largely succeeded in convincing the Republican base and the party’s politicians to follow them, creating a stark partisan divide over whether it was wrong for Trump to try to overturn American democracy. And after portraying Trump’s federal and state election subversion charges as illegitimate attacks on democracy, they’re now doing the same thing for the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision.

The right-wing effort to minimize January 6 and Trump’s role in fomenting it began that very day. Fox hosts who knew better told their viewers that Trump’s supporters had been responding to reasonable fears that the election had been stolen, while any violence may have been caused by antifa interlopers.

In the intervening years, Trumpist media stars — led by former Fox host Tucker Carlson — cosseted their viewers with a slew of lies about January 6. There was no “insurrection,” just a “political protest [that] got out of hand” in which “the overwhelming majority” of participants were “orderly and meek.” The rioter shot and killed by law enforcement while trying to breach the speaker’s gallery was a martyr, while the officers who were nearly beaten to death during the attack deserve mockery. The violence was orchestrated by undercover federal agents as part of a sinister plot to imprison patriotic Americans for their conservative views. The events were comparable to staffers for a late-night talk show shooting an unauthorized video in the Capitol complex, or a Democratic congressman foolishly pulling a fire alarm, or progressive protests at state capitols.

None of this is true. Of the more than 1,100 people federal prosecutors have charged with crimes related to the riot, at least 350 have been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees (roughly 140 officers were assaulted that day). Nearly a third of those were also charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon against police officers or causing serious bodily injury to an officer. Several leaders of right-wing extremist groups have been convicted of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the insurrection.

And Republican political leaders know it isn’t true. The mob forced the party’s senators and representatives to evacuate from their legislative chambers and huddle in a secure location. When they emerged, many condemned both what they described as a “violent insurrection” and Trump’s role in fomenting it.

But the influence right-wing media have on their audience is among the most powerful forces in modern American politics. The stars spun a web of lies, viewers and listeners became convinced it was truth, and GOP leaders either followed along or were purged from office. Republican members of Congress now treat January 6 as a punchline, while Trump’s serious would-be rivals are loath to try to use his attempt to subvert the election on the campaign trail. And Trump himself is promising full pardons for “a large portion” of January 6 convicts.

As news of the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision broke on Tuesday night, Trump’s propagandists flew into a frenzy.

“Tonight, America is seeing the ultimate in election interference,” Fox’s Laura Ingraham alleged on her show, before bringing on network contributor Jonathan Turley to decry the court’s decision as “strikingly anti-democratic” and “chilling.” On Steve Bannon’s War Room, a guest denounced “republic-ending tactics by the Democrats.”

The very people who supported Trump’s electoral subversion plot and minimized the resulting violent effort to overturn democracy are now lashing out at the prospect of Trump suffering consequences for his actions. They’ve convinced a large swath of the country that he did nothing that deserves accountability. And if Trump once again tries to overturn an election, they’ll be ready to help.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

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