One year ago, the three branches of government, the media, and law enforcement stood aside as Trump forces stormed, overran, and took over the Capitol of the United States of America.
Patriotic Americans watched as thousands of thugs and people who hate America pushed aside Capitol police, ignored warnings from a few brave officers inside the Capitol, and accomplished what their Confederate heroes could not: wave their traitorous leader’s flag around the rotunda in victory. But not forgotten was the Confederate flag that, unlike in the Civil War, *also made its way there, waving triumphantly and being watched by hundreds of millions of people here and abroad as the mighty American empire was about to crumble.
All of America’s enemies – including 70 million Trump voters and his media wing at Fox News – were breathlessly awaiting the moment of final failure that they’d all longed for since forever. They were aligned with nations and states around the globe who also longed for America’s final comeuppance.
Showing the story, in addition to America’s toughest media enemy Fox News, were the other major televised media networks who showed the story while their executives counted viewers and hiked up their advertising costs so as to capitalize on the greatest revenue driver in generations. The money was rolling in and nothing could stop ABC, CNN, CBS, MSNBC, Fox, and NBC from seeing dollar signs and bonuses generated from the best programming since the 1980s “Must See TV.”
And it wasn’t only television, because America’s older media – print – long in decline and headed toward earned obsolescence, assigned all its writers, editors, and contributors to get in on the action, generate views and clicks, and also help drive advertising increases. Print media, which spent eight years working overtime to harm President Obama and four years celebrating Trump’s lies, racism, misogyny, and idiocy, saw the warped “value” of siding with anti-Americanism at home as long as it was mainly white males who expressed their hatred as they always had done: with violence directed at anyone and everyone who opposed their view of righteousness.
The New York Times, Politico, Washington Post, Washington Examiner, L.A. Times, and GOP-owned papers across amber waves of hatred, from coast to coast, from Oregon, Florida, Missouri, Alabama, Ohio, Montana, Vermont, Virginia, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Arizona, and all those other states that allowed and encouraged anti-American acts of lies and violence and vote-counting and certification confusion. (This paragraph/sentence needs a verb and an object.)
And now, one year out from the near-destruction of the “Greatest Democracy” and the world’s “Greatest Military” and an attack on the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body,” the same media organizations and people are poorly and incorrectly telling the story of what has happened and conveniently leaving out their role in the narrative.
The shaping of the narrative is in the hands of the very people who created the environment that fueled the insurrection.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t need the Beltway or mainstream media, which are exclusively owned and operated, governed, and managed by conservative white men, to tell me what happened on January 6, 2021. And I don’t need to see the faces or read the bylines of the same men who spent the prior five years excusing the acts and behaviors of one of the worst presidents ever.
They have, to a person, disqualified themselves from being acceptable mouthpieces and chroniclers of the insurrection. They are biased and compromised because they refuse to see their complicity in the insurrection.
Further, they should be ignored on racial matters, especially, but not exclusively, with regard to Black and brown women, because they have proven they cannot be trusted to provide accurate information, facts about our history and current events, or shine any light on racism.
We have 400 years of inept coverage of race, white violence, voting, reproduction, law enforcement, and government by a group of men who have proven themselves incapable of understanding or effective and accurate communication of issues beyond their own noses.
But because they own all media, including the entire publishing industry, their views are given wide audiences, no matter how inept, dumb, reductive, or just plain wrong their views, opinions, and slanted reporting is.
The Axis of Evil – television, print, and publishing media – has failed in its duty to speak truth to power, shine a light on government, or report facts without bothsidesing lies and malfeasance because they generate clicks, views, and revenue.
The stories you’ll see and hear about January 6, 2021, are not the stories that will focus on the right people, be told by the right people, or which will be analyzed by the right people. So remember that as you view cable and network news, or as you scroll on social media.
None of them have the public’s greater interest in mind. None.
You won’t see or hear most of the stories about Black or brown voters who saved this nation. You won’t see or hear many stories about how racism was the main driver of the insurrection. And you won’t see or hear from many non-white pundits at all.
You’ll hear from those who stand to gain the most, and in those gains are the slanted rewriting of history that continues the American tradition of promoting white supremacy and fairytales, and burying any stories that focus on Black, Native, and people-of-color narratives.
No. As always, when there is a reckoning in this country, all the rest of us are sidelined while the declining majority work out their issues – issues that endanger all the rest of us.
So as we watch somber coverage of the one-year anniversary of the attack on democracy, please take note that the horror you witnessed that day was aided and abetted by the Beltway media on television, print, and the publishing industry. Your memories of that day are your own and you don’t need the Chuck Todds, Andrea Mitchells, Tucker Carlsons or any writer at Politico, the New York Times, or anywhere else to media-splain what *actually happened. Because in their broadcasts and written words, they will omit their complicity and strike it from the historical record.
January 6th should be remembered as a sad day in America. A day America survived a coup by the outgoing president and his troops. A day that racists almost toppled American democracy.
And a day of horror that the American media gleefully helped bring about.
© 2021 by Myron J. Clifton.
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Myron J. Clifton is slightly older than fifty, lives in Sacramento, California, and is an avid Bay Area sports fan. He likes comic books, telling stories about his late mom to his beloved daughter Leah, and talking to his friends.
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