ANALYSIS – After a year of concerted political spin by both sides, if you are Democrat, you believe the incident at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, was a deadly insurrection against democracy led by former President Trump. If you are a Republican, you believe it was at worst an unarmed riot, similar to those by BLM and Antifa in 2020, and Trump was at most only incidental to the event.
These are the unsurprising results of a new poll from the PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist.
This information only continues to heighten the division in the country. And the biased reporting by PBS doesn’t help.
As Laura Santhanam notes in PBS:
When it comes to building a shared understanding of such a harrowing moment and unifying a deeply divided country, the lack of a “common language” matters, said Barbara Carvalho, who directs the Marist Poll. That absence of consensus so many months later “speaks to our continued disconnect,” Carvalho said.
Overall, 25 percent of Americans say that day’s events amounted to political protest protected under the First Amendment, while 19 percent of adults agree the riots were unfortunate but think the country no longer needs to worry about them.
But rather than being impartial news about a country divided 50-50 by the Capitol riot, the article by Santhanam itself is partisan spin with quotes only from left-leaning ‘experts’ critical of Trump and conservatives.
Yet another example of the biased reporting that continues to surround this issue.
Much of the story is given to providing a selective summary of the worst aspects of the riot, replete with an exaggerated death count claiming nine people died as the result of the riot, when in fact only one- rioter – Ashley Babbitt – died directly during the riot. Killed by police.
Three lawful protesters who never entered the building died outside of natural causes. One Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick died of a stroke, the day after, not from injuries, as initially misreported. Four other Capitol officers committed suicide weeks or months later.
The PBS story then gives voice to anti-Trumper, Mary McCord, former acting assistant attorney general who left the Department of Justice soon after President Trump was inaugurated.
When referring to the fact that the percentage of Americans who say Trump was at fault for what happened at the U.S. Capitol has softened since last January from 63% to 53%, McCord claims that the shifting sense of blame is consistent with the narrative around Jan. 6 being recast by political ‘opportunists’ as protected speech.
She makes clear her political position, when she said last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol is unparalleled in modern history.
PBS continues giving McCord her say:
“I don’t think any member of Congress who was there at the Capitol thinks this was an ordinary day of tourism,” McCord said, adding that some who deny what happened or dismiss the investigations “see an opportunity for political gain.”
“This is all part of building up an opportunity for Trump to run again,” McCord said. “Those who might have had one view right after Jan. 6 about him, clearly there’s not an insignificant number of people who changed that view.”
No expert is quoted to provide a counterpoint to McCord, but the story has made its desired point. According to Santhanam at PBS, the country is only divided 50-50 on this issue because Republicans, despite controlling none of the establishment media, which lean strongly left, are much better at spin than Democrats.
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