The New January 6 Footage and the Establishment Backlash

By Hudson Crozier

What’s happening: Fox News host Tucker Carlson has begun airing clips from the footage of the January 6 Capitol riot that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) gave to him. Because he aired clips that counter the mainstream narrative, Democrats and Republicans in Congress, legacy media, and the Capitol police condemned Carlson’s Monday segment as dishonest, offensive, and an attack on democracy.

What did he show?

Peaceful entry was allowed: The clips confirm that “Q shaman” Jacob Chansely (who was given a 41-month prison sentence) and most other Trump supporters present did, in fact, cooperate with police and were allowed inside the Capitol building to protest peacefully.

Trump supporters did not kill anyone: They also showed the activity of Capitol Officer Brian Sicknick, whom The New York Times claimed was beaten to death by protesters. In the video, Sicknick is active and apparently unharmed after the beating had supposedly occurred. He died of a stroke the day after, and the medical examiner drew no connection to the riot. Many still believe that protesters murdered him.

Controlling the narrative

Doubling down on the lies: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Carlson’s segment was “an insult to the memory of” Sicknick, who he said “perished in connection to the attack.” Newsweek responded to Carlson by falsely claiming that “hundreds” of protesters “stormed Congress” that day.

How we got here: Washington has fought hard to conceal the January 6 tapes in order to control the narrative. At first, officials made weak claims about possible security issues in releasing the footage, until the January 6 Committee aired its own handpicked footage of the event. Now, legacy news outlet The Hill describes “concerns” from Democrats that the footage could “amplify conspiracy theories.”

Why we’re seeing this: The Justice Department has used the Capitol incident to target and jail hundreds of protesters accused of misdemeanors and nonviolent offenses in one of the largest investigations in U.S. history. The January 6 Committee has also used the “insurrection” as a basis for recommending charges against former President Donald Trump so he can’t run for office in 2024. To justify this agenda, the establishment is trying to uphold its baseless and politicized narrative that the attack was on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

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