March 9, 2023

New Jan. 6 Footage

“House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is standing by his decision to grant Fox News host Tucker Carlson access to the raw security footage from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, telling reporters on Tuesday night that he has no regrets…

“Carlson on Monday aired what he claimed to be new surveillance videos from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol in an effort to minimize the rioting as a peaceful gathering and to discredit the work of the House Jan. 6 committee and federal investigators.” ABC News

See past issues

From the Left

The left argues that the new footage does not exonerate those who attacked the Capitol.

“[Carlson states] ‘They were peaceful, orderly, and meek. They were not insurrectionists. They were sightseers.’ Even allowing for Carlson’s point that many of those on tape are not engaging in active vandalism, this is an odd description of people who broke through a cordon of hundreds of police to trespass and disrupt a constitutional proceeding. Equally strange is his insistence that they were ‘people who believe in the system,’ given that they were interfering with the system…

“Carlson zeroes in on the case of Jacob Chansley, the man in body paint and a fur-and-horn hat who is often called the QAnon Shaman. Carlson notes that while standing at the dais in the Senate, Chansley offered a prayer for Capitol Police officers, but claims that ‘you would never have known from the media coverage.’ Awkwardly, the footage he plays to show this includes a watermark revealing its origin: It was captured by the New Yorker journalist Luke Mogelson, published within days of the riot, widely replayed by other outlets, and awarded a prestigious media prize.”

David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“They gawked like tourists, only they had forcibly entered the Capitol by injuring several overwhelmed and undermanned police officers. These smiling people had arrived to stop the peaceful transfer of power… We [have] other images from that day: of police officers being tased and brutally beaten, of Confederate battle flags waving in the halls, of terrified congressmen and staffers huddling in the House chamber, many convinced they were about to die…

“It has been well established from the very beginning that Capitol Police were so overwhelmed that they were unable to gain control of the chaotic unfolding situation and were, in many cases, relegated to simply accompanying rioters.”

Alex Shephard, New Republic

“January 6 does not come up in the new book Florida governor Ron DeSantis is out promoting… Mike Pence, the former vice president and likely presidential candidate, is preparing to resist a grand jury subpoena for testimony about Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, seeing only political landmines in testifying. Nikki Haley, asked on a podcast recently if she would describe the riot at the Capitol as an ‘insurrection, a riot, or a coup,’ went instead with a more banal — and safer — description: ‘a sad day in America.’…

A lot of Republicans would just as soon forget about the events of January 6, 2021… But unfortunately for these Republicans, several key figures in MAGA-world won’t stop bringing up January 6 to advance their own political causes… If the ex-president and his allies continue to wave the bloody flag of the ‘J6 patriots’ to differentiate him from his RINO rivals, Democrats won’t need to dig too deeply to unearth memories of that eventful day.”

Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

From the Right

The right argues that the new footage casts doubt on the narrative advanced by the Jan. 6 Committee.

The right argues that the new footage casts doubt on the narrative advanced by the Jan. 6 Committee.

“Jan. 6, 2021, was a shameful day in American history, a riot stirred up by sore loser Donald Trump to stay in power. There are also questions about the actions of the Capitol Police that day, and whether some of the people who entered the building were treated unfairly by the courts. Both things can be true

“Why do two cops follow ‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley around, even opening the door for him to get onto the Senate floor? Why isn’t he escorted out of the building, or arrested? The Capitol Police tell The Post that their forces were outnumbered, that they asked Chansley to leave but he wouldn’t. They weren’t trying very hard. The behavior and effectiveness of the Capitol Police certainly should have been part of the inquiry into that day, but the Jan. 6 committee didn’t even nod in that direction.”

Editorial Board, New York Post

“If January 6 was what the media and the January 6 Select Committee say it was—a violent insurrection meant to break the peaceful transfer of power and forcibly take control of the federal government in the name of Donald Trump—is that a scenario in which Capitol Police should not only stand aside, but guide January 6 participants around the Capitol? Of course not. By their actions, the officers on the ground clearly did not interpret the protestors making their way into the Capitol as some assault on American democracy.”

Bradley Devlin, American Conservative

“The media–Democrat narrative about January 6 is not so dry as ho-hum obstruction of Congress. It is startling, horrifying: White-supremacist domestic terrorists engaged in an insurrection, besieging the Capitol at the exhortation of an out-of-control president and leaving our democracy hanging by a thread

“This narrative has always been hyperbolic. Chansley — one of the highest-profile members of the mob — was sentenced, quite appropriately, to 41 months’ imprisonment. Forty-one months, not 41 years or 410 years (i.e., not the kind of sentence meted out to terrorists, such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombers who got sentences of 240 years)… This was a riot. It was not an insurrection — the word Abraham Lincoln applied to the Civil War, and the word for a federal crime that none of the 900 defendants has been charged with…

“The video we are now seeing does not establish anyone’s innocence. It does, however, bolster the conclusion that the Democrats’ political messaging about the day has been a duplicitous exercise in mythmaking. Is Tucker Carlson presenting a depiction of January 6 that is overly sympathetic to a violent mob? Probably so… but then, the Democrat-dominated January 6 committee put its thumb on the scale as it presented Götterdämmerung.”

Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review

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