A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.
I spent the morning of January 6, 2021 on the phone with one of my sources at Fox — a true conservative who hated what Donald Trump had done to the channel and the Republican party. We lamented Fox’s support for Trump’s election lie and why so many people wanted to believe a fairytale. We wondered if Trump would fade into the background now that he had lost to Joe Biden. So much for that.
We hung up, and then I watched Trump’s speech on Fox and watched the riot on CNN. I wasn’t in DC that day, so I want to use this space to highlight the first-hand accounts of those who were, along with some other outstanding columns and reflections:
— “For many who were present at the Capitol, it’s not over,” Grace Segers explains in this must-read for The New Republic. She says 1/6 has not left a scar because “scars only form when wounds heal,” and “we are nowhere close to healing.”
— Matt Fuller let it rip about that hellish day and every day since in this essay for The Daily Beast. One of his many observations: “In the aftermath of Jan. 6, most of the media still hasn’t really figured out how to cover Republicans,” specifically those who sought to subvert democracy.
— AP photographer J. Scott Applewhite wrote about his iconic photos from inside the House chamber: “The Capitol is where I work every day, and I am a familiar face to most police. When those on the chamber floor shouted up at me to get out, I told them I was fine and refused to leave. This is what we do: We stay and report.”
— Via the LA Times: “Photographer Kent Nishimura followed the attack on the Capitol in real time. As he sent in photos and video of the event, he let his GoPro camera, attached to his helmet, run as long as the battery could last. That footage had never been shown until now.”
— “What made the day so remarkable is how quickly everything turned, and how spaces assumed to be secure became scenes of chaos and destruction,” THR’s Alex Weprin wrote in this story based on his interviews with TV reporters and producers who were under siege alongside lawmakers.
— One of the reporters Weprin interviewed, Fox’s Chad Pergram, also penned an online column about his “grim memories” of the mob’s assault that day. “I remember these things because I was here on January 6,” he wrote. “And I hope you remember them, too.”
— Ryan Reilly is out with a new story about the “Sedition Hunters,” the band of online sleuths that “has had an enormous effect on the Jan. 6 investigation. Next up: Holding the FBI’s feet to the fire.”
— Kasie Hunt’s tweet: “Tomorrow is going to be a tough one for those of us who were there or had loved ones in the building. Thinking of all of you and finding strength knowing I’m not alone in this. Thank God for the USCP, DC MPD, and every person who fought to keep us safe that day.”
— “What would have happened if Mike Pence had said yes?” David French ponders that question in a column for The Atlantic titled “America’s Near-Death Day.”
— National security expert Peter Bergen, writing for CNN.com, says “the January 6 insurrection was both a peak of contemporary American White nationalism and a dress rehearsal for what will likely come next.”
— On the “American Radical” podcast, Ayman Mohyeldin and Preeti Varathan “explored the little-known story of Rosanne Boyland,” a QAnon believer who was trampled on 1/6 and died that day. They’ve expanded on the reporting in this new VF story about a “lost soul” who was “radicalized,” sucked into a “conspiracist abyss.”
— What has the past year been like for the children of insurrectionists? A few shared how their parents were brainwashed in this Teen Vogue story by Fortesa Latifi. She also discussed the story on CNN’s “New Day.”
— Washingtonian’s Andrew Beaujon went deep on what life is really like for the 1/6 prisoners in the DC jail. He found that “facets of life inside it sound eerily familiar to the alternate universe that ultra-right-wingers occupied on the outside.”
— What is the state of the GOP one year later? CNN’s Jeremy Herb traveled to Lancaster County, PA to show how “Trump’s election lies morphed into anger over a range of issues at the local level, from mask mandates to debates over Critical Race Theory and defunding the police.”
Mood music for 1/6
— CNN’s headline: “Uptick in violent rhetoric ahead of January 6 Capitol attack anniversary, but no specific plot.”
— NYT’s headline: “A year after Capitol riot, Trump’s hold on GOP is unrivaled.”
— More from NYT: Today’s GOP “has fully embraced the lie of a stolen election” and “sidelined the few remaining members” who have publicly challenged Trump.
— WaPo reporting: “At least 163 Republicans who have embraced Trump’s false claims are running for statewide positions that would give them authority over the administration of elections.”
— PolitiFact’s summary: “A year of debunking false narratives.”
— AP’s headline: “A national day of infamy, half remembered.”
CNN’s coverage plans
Wolf Blitzer will anchor “1/6: One Year Later” special coverage on Thursday morning when Biden and VP Kamala Harris deliver remarks at the Capitol. John King, Jake Tapper and Blitzer will anchor their respective programs from Capitol Hill later in the day. At 8pm, the network will present a two-hour special titled “Live from the Capitol,” from inside Statuary Hall, hosted by Tapper and Anderson Cooper.
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