For two years, the Democrats have insisted that, on Jan. 6, 2021, the republic was shaken to its foundations by an “insurrection” mounted by wild-eyed MAGA extremists. They attempted to reinforce this claim with a series of hyper-partisan hearings, complete with video edited for dramatic effect by a professional television producer. This left most of the footage captured by Capitol surveillance cameras on the cutting room floor, and the Democrats refused to release any of the unused video to the public. Thus, after the midterms, Kevin McCarthy pledged to make it public if elected speaker of the House. He kept his word, and the Democrats are clearly alarmed.
Indeed, their response to the news that McCarthy had allowed Fox News’ Tucker Carlson access to the surveillance tapes was nearly as hysterical as their reaction to the Jan. 6 affray itself. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), for example, circulated a Dear Colleague letter containing this melodramatic nonsense: “MAGA Republicans in the House have provided tens of thousands of hours of sensitive Capitol security footage to a FOX News personality who regularly peddles in conspiracy theories and Pro-Putin rhetoric.” The Putin angle was parroted by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.): “Kevin McCarthy turned over Jan. 6 videos to right-wing propagandist Tucker Carlson. A man who spews Kremlin talking points.”
These claims are not merely unhinged; they are patently false. McCarthy hasn’t turned over a trove of Jan. 6 tapes to Carlson or to anyone else. As Politico’s Kyle Cheney notes: “Carlson doesn’t appear to actually *possess* any of the video footage. His team is reviewing it via government-controlled terminals at the Capitol.” Cheney goes on to point out, “That’s exactly how the Jan. 6 select committee reviewed security footage too.” But that didn’t prevent Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) from penning a preposterous letter to his fellow Democrats contending that Carlson’s access to the surveillance tapes creates a security risk comparable to that which existed prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks:
The speaker is needlessly exposing the Capitol complex to one of the worst security risks since 9/11. The footage Speaker McCarthy is making available to Fox News is a treasure trove of closely held information about how the Capitol complex is protected and its public release would compromise the safety of the Legislative Branch and allow those who want to commit another attack to learn how Congress is safeguarded.…
It also risks exposing the carefully laid out and highly guarded plans for the continuity of government, intended to preserve our democracy in the event of an attack.
What is actually at risk, of course, is the carefully crafted Democratic narrative about what really happened at the Capitol on the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021. They have invested an enormous amount of taxpayer money and political capital in an attempt to convince the public that it was an insurrection perpetrated by MAGA extremists who have taken over the GOP and are likely to launch another attack on “our democracy” in the future. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) intimated that last week in this ridiculous tweet: “McCarthy giving 40,000 hrs of Jan. 6 tape to a pro-Putin journalist is an astounding ethical collapse. What security precautions were taken to keep this from becoming a roadmap for a 2024 insurrection?”
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This kind of rhetoric has failed, however, to convince Americans that the republic is in much danger. As we approached the first anniversary of the riot, a CBS/YouGov poll asked 2,063 adults how they would describe it. After a year of hearing the corporate media refer to the event as an insurrection, 76 percent described it merely as “a protest that went too far.” Another problem the Democrats have is that insurrection is a felony crime punishable by a hefty fine and 10 years in prison. Two years later, not one individual has been charged with that crime. A Justice Department report issued last month indicates that most of the defendants charged pursuant to the Jan. 6 melee involve relatively minor offenses.
Fully 860 of the 950 arrested were charged with the heinous crime of “entering or remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds.” The second most common charge was “corruptly obstructing, influencing, or impeding an official proceeding, or attempting to do so.” As for convictions, most have resulted from plea deals involving misdemeanors. This lackluster performance doesn’t support the insurrection narrative, and it is presumably one reason the corporate media has shown so little interest in the Capitol surveillance video the Democrats withheld from the public. Not surprisingly, this state of affairs has suddenly changed. CBS News reports that the Fourth Estate has awakened from its torpor:
A group of media organizations, including CBS News, is demanding access to a tranche of surveillance and police videos from the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol that U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy provided to Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
In a letter to congressional leadership Friday, the media companies argue the footage McCarthy allowed Carlson and Fox News to access should be made available to other media groups.
The letter was sent on behalf of CBS News, CNN, Politico, ProPublica ABC, Axios, Advance, Scripps, the Los Angeles Times, and Gannett.
It’s little wonder that the most recent Gallup survey on media credibility found that the percentage of Americans who trust the Fourth Estate “a great deal” is a dismal 7 percent and that fully 38 percent have “none at all” in newspapers, TV, and radio. Every “news” organization listed above has been perfectly willing to replay heavily edited video clips fed to them by the Democrats without asking to see the surveillance footage. They compounded that crime against journalism by uncritically parroting the findings of the hyper-partisan Jan. 6 Committee. It couldn’t be more obvious that these outlets have been asked by the Democrats to pressure McCarthy into reneging on his deal with Carlson.
The Washington Post reports that the attorney for the media consortium described above, Charles Tobin, sent a letter in which he hilariously frets: “Without full public access to the complete historical record, there is concern that an ideologically-based narrative of an already polarizing event will take hold in the public consciousness.” Heaven forefend! Are there really people in Washington who would promulgate ideologically based narratives? Their real fear, of course, is that the public will see video footage that renders the Democratic insurrection narrative literally unbelievable. The Democrats are not unlike vampires. For them, daylight is deadly. They badly need to prevent it from shining on the facts of Jan. 6, 2021.