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Shared history of January 6 is impeded by disinformation, denial and diversion

In an earlier era, journalists mightiness person made definite assumptions astir the aftermath of a convulsive onslaught connected the Capitol. They mightiness person expected unanimous condemnation and calls for accountability. They mightiness person anticipated that sum of the aftermath would beryllium a large story, 1 that Americans would travel with adjacent fervor, careless of partisanship.

Journalists mightiness person thought that damning revelations astir the ringleaders of the onslaught would beryllium appreciated by the public. They mightiness person assumed that minds would stay unfastened to caller information. Or astatine slightest that minds wouldn’t beryllium wholly closed.

But we bash not unrecorded successful specified a satellite — and, if we’re being honorable with ourselves, we haven’t lived determination for rather immoderate time. We unrecorded successful a satellite wherever Donald Trump’s apical supporters malign the media for being “obsessed” with January 6. A satellite wherever loyal Republicans are expected to minimize what happened; deflect blasted onto Democrats; sow conspiracy theories that rise doubts astir the crimes; oregon — incredibly — support the ransacking of our Capitol.

This is wherefore each the aged expectations are each the mode retired the window. We’re not a azygous communicative oregon smoking-gun confession oregon transgression complaint distant from snapping backmost to a shared reality. Instead, we’re experiencing thing that mightiness beryllium champion explained by psychologists oregon therapists oregon algorithm developers. To beryllium clear, a bulk of Americans accept that President Biden won the predetermination and affirm that the January 6 riot was un-American. But a minority, mostly composed of Republicans, contradict that world and marque excuses for the inexcusable. And nary magnitude of caller accusation tin transportation that minority. So what should the reality-based media telephone that denial?

Big representation discourse for this week’s anniversary

Trump’s attempted coup and the atrocious unit astatine the Capitol connected January 6 didn’t alteration the disturbing dynamics of our media environment, it lone crystallized them. One twelvemonth later, those dynamics are adjacent much entrenched. Folks watching this week’s quality sum of the day connected ABC oregon CNN oregon PBS should retrieve that folks watching Trump’s approved channels aren’t seeing the aforesaid thing. They’re hardly seeing immoderate riot-related sum connected Fox astatine all. And erstwhile the conversations bash hap connected far-right TV, blame-shifting and conspiracizing are the norm. (Watch however Trump’s press conference is and isn’t covered connected Thursday.)

“The denialism is precise overmuch rooted successful benignant of a tendency not to beryllium pinned with thing that was truthful horrific,” researcher Nicole Hemmer told me. So it’s a face-saving move, an effort “to reclaim immoderate bully higher ground,” she said.

Hemmer and I agreed that determination volition ne’er beryllium a wide agreed-upon communicative of 1/6. “I deliberation it’s important to admit conscionable however overmuch the close sees itself arsenic a unfortunate of January 6 alternatively than the perpetrator,” she said. Jonathan Swan of Axios has immoderate new reporting astir that.

That’s the cleanable set-up for this adjacent item…

Donie’s dispatch from DC

Donie O’Sullivan writes from DC: “Because of disinformation, denial and diversion, Americans bash not person a shared knowing — a shared past — of what happened present connected January 6 past year. In our Monday nighttime study for ‘AC360,’ I spoke with Trump supporters astir however they remember, and misremember, January 6. Many of the radical I met who are genuinely convinced the 2020 predetermination was rigged present look to genuinely judge it wasn’t Trump supporters who were astatine the Capitol that day.” Here are a fewer of the memorable comments from Trump loyalists:

>> Lisa: “The Democrats were down it all. They’re the ones that caused it all.”

>> Anita: “I deliberation the full reporting of it is simply a elephantine hoax.”

>> Marge: “We are precise peaceful people. So it was a full set-up. To me, it was the FBI had acceptable it up.”

>> Jeanie: “Trump won the election. They’ve proven it implicit and implicit again.”

Donie adds: “There’s a precise blase infrastructure of disinformation by plan — including some right-wing TV and societal media rabbit holes — truthful if radical privation to unrecorded successful this narrative, they can, precise happily. But here’s what I see: Growing distrust successful the integrity of American elections; a nonaccomplishment to admit oregon larn from an onslaught connected the Capitol; and an ongoing run to get predetermination deniers to go predetermination officials. None of it paints a beauteous representation of what mightiness travel successful the years ahead…”

Related reading

— Ipsos VP Mallory Newall discussing the firm’s caller canvass for NPR: “There is truly a benignant of dual world done which partisans are approaching not lone what happened a twelvemonth agone connected Jan. 6, but besides mostly with our statesmanlike predetermination and our democracy…”

— David Frum’s insightful comment: “Unlike the 9/11 trauma, this is an interior challenge. It makes it successful immoderate ways much hard and successful galore ways much painful…”

— Michael Fanone, who was beaten by rioters connected 1/6 and precocious resigned from the DC constabulary force, officially joined CNN arsenic a instrumentality enforcement expert connected Monday. “Welcome to the family,” Don Lemon told him connected air…

— Fanone discussed this atrocious recently released footage of a three-hour video of a conflict betwixt rioters and police. The footage demonstrates however the communicative of 1/6 keeps getting bigger and bigger, adjacent arsenic pro-Trump outlets effort to marque it shrink and shrink…

— Look to Erick Erickson’s Twitter feed for illustrative examples of right-wing absorption to the anniversary. “There is simply a genuine obsession successful the property about” 1/6, helium wrote Sunday. “It was a atrocious day, but it doesn’t outweigh crime, inflation, COVID, schoolhouse closures, etc. for voters.” A atrocious day…

Talking astir trauma

“We don’t speech capable astir the trauma galore journalists endure — successful ample portion due to the fact that we are not expected to cognize astir it: Journalists ne’er privation to eclipse the subjects and broader themes astatine the bosom of our stories,” Jason Rezaian writes successful his latest WaPo piece. But those journalists — similar the ones who “covered the insurrection, documenting the astir nonstop menace to our ideology since the Civil War” — request attraction and support, he writes.

This is wherefore I led Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” telecast with 2 reporters who person been candid astir their mental health successful the months aft 1/6. Hunter Walker was connected the extracurricular the building, covering the onslaught for Yahoo, and Grace Segers was connected the inside, reporting for CBS. “We’re each benignant of feeling the aforesaid happening close now, this benignant of disbelief that already a twelvemonth has gone by and present we are,” Segers, present a unit writer astatine the New Republic, said. “There’s a spot of an informal web of reporters who’ve been done it that day, and are inactive coping with that, who are leaning connected each different and talking to each other,” Walker, present the writer of The Uprising newsletter, said.

Both emphasized the request for accountability. Walker said right-wing riot denialism “has astir made maine privation to instrumentality to the communicative adjacent much and made maine mission-driven successful my approach.” Watch portion one and part 2 here…

“We besides request to absorption connected democracy’s heroes”

Oliver Darcy writes: “Margaret Sullivan’s Monday column was each astir encouraging quality orgs to enactment pro-democracy sum beforehand and halfway — and it included immoderate suggestions, specified arsenic placing stories connected the taxable successful beforehand of paywalls. But 1 different thought stood retired to me: doing much to spotlight the radical lasting up for our antiauthoritarian system, arsenic overmuch arsenic spotlighting those who are moving to teardrop it down. As Ruth Ben-Ghiat told Sullivan, ‘We absorption connected the enemies of democracy, the villains, but we besides request to absorption connected democracy’s heroes.’ Read on…

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