How the Corporate Media Contributed to the January 6 Violence on Capitol Hill

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Since January 6, the news has been dominated by the breach of the U.S. Capitol building by rioters as the Joint Session of Congress counted the electoral votes in the presidential election. Many Democrats, and even a few Republicans, went so far as to call for the removal of President Trump from office under the 25th Amendment for, they say, inciting insurrection. The House voted to impeach the outgoing president on the same reasoning. Several cabinet members resigned two weeks before Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Even though most elected Republicans and conservative talking heads came out immediately and condemned the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters angry over what they perceive as the stolen election, one feels compelled to give yet another disclaimer. So, of course, I condemn violent protest and riot unequivocally. Such actions, especially if sustained over a long period, represent an existential threat to our civil society. Those committing such crimes should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Full stop.

And yet, the way the events of January 6 were treated by American corporate media, one would think they happened spontaneously, in a vacuum, as if 2020 never happened, allegations of a rigged election don’t warrant investigation, Donald Trump once again controls the actions of his followers like some sort of deity, and we hadn’t created a society where two sets of rules apply depending on your political party.

Jaques Ellul, in his book Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, wrote:

Propaganda must be continuous and lasting—continuous in that it must not leave any gaps, but must fill the citizen’s whole day and all his days; lasting in that it must function over a very long period of time. Propaganda tends to make the individual live in a separate world; he must not have outside points of reference. He must not be allowed a moment of meditation or reflection in which to see himself vis-a-vis the propagandist, as happens when the propaganda is not continuous. At that moment the individual emerges from the grip of propaganda. Instead, successful propa­ganda will occupy every moment of the individual’s life: through posters and loudspeakers when he is out walking, through radio and newspapers at home, through meetings and movies in the evening. The individual must not be allowed to recover, to col­lect himself, to remain untouched by propaganda during any relatively long period, for propaganda is not the touch of the magic wand.

Leaving aside, for the sake of this argument, the same tendency on the Right to succumb to such influences, I wish to examine the vast propaganda apparatus controlled by the Left in the corporate media, the ocean of PACs and non-profits they deploy, the complete control of the flow of information by social media and search engines, and the talking point factories they use to cow all but the most dedicated of constitutionalists into compliance with their woke mob. These thoughts also don’t include the Great Digital Purge of Friday, January 8, but one can plainly see how this information ecosystem led to it.

From the killing of George Floyd over Memorial Day Weekend in 2020 through today and on into an indefinite future, we have seen mischaracterizations of riots across America—violent riots that caused real damage, injured people, destroyed livelihoods, made neighborhoods unlivable, and even got some people killed. The leftists dismiss these crimes as the protests of the righteous, telling you that it’s just property, and that’s what insurance is for. Democratic leaders say, if the riots use Black Lives Matter as cover, they can understand the violence as an expression of pain for generational crimes.

The corporate media outlets take their cue from this messaging (along with the non-profit world that has infiltrated newsrooms across the nation), framing every report in the context of mostly peaceful protests and working hard to ignore all but the most heinous of crimes, so long as those crimes are perpetrated by the politically protected class doing the mostly peaceful protesting.

My friend John, who used to be pretty involved in the Tea Party movement, put up a Facebook post the morning after the violence at the Capitol that resonated with a lot of people.

You know I find it very telling that the media and the elitist political class keep trying to put yesterday’s events in isolation, ignoring everything they’ve done to lead us to this point, as they now ask how could this happen? Who’s to blame or at fault? When the reality is the blame lies with them, as it is them, the elitist political class establishment and their media lackeys that have stoked division and hate while belittling conservative freedom and liberty loving Americans across the country for years.

They called the good and decent principled people of the Tea Party, dangerous racist radical extremists and every other name in the book, when we were nothing of the sort, while they ridiculously called rioting, destructive, and criminal America hating violent leftist/marxist Occupy, Antifa, and BLM, who terrorized, burned, and destroyed our cities, “mostly peaceful”.

The hypocrisy, unequal treatment, abuse, mistreatment, and double standard of the elitist political class and the media applied to the people on the right in this country, compared to how those on the left are treated, knows no bounds.

It’s appalling.

It’s hateful, It’s morally wrong, unjust, and a complete travesty.

Combine this with the lockdowns, unfair forced business and school closures, job losses, and infringements on our basic liberties over what amounts to a bad flu, and all the societal strife, economic, physical, and emotional collateral damage it’s causing, and the elitist political class establishment and the media have set the stage for a civil and societal melt down, a powder keg if you will, just waiting to explode.

Add into the mix what appears to be a stolen election, so people who have been mistreated and abused repeatedly over the years no longer feel they have fair and free elections, and therefore no representation and what amounts to a hostile illegitimate government, nor an electoral solution to the existential economic and political problems they and their families face, and a way to address their grievances, as is supposedly their God given right in this country, and a seriously fractured and divided American people, political and economic system is what you are left with, is it not? And here we are.

That ain’t the people’s fault. That ain’t Donald Trump’s fault. What happened yesterday can’t be viewed in isolation. What happened yesterday happened after a long train of abuses against the American people by the elitist political class and the media.

The question before our country is…..if we no longer trust the integrity of our elections, our media to tell us the truth, and the politicians to represent our will, uphold our principles, and to legitimately have the consent of the governed, where does that leave us?

Repeating for emphasis: “That ain’t the people’s fault. That ain’t Donald Trump’s fault. What happened yesterday can’t be viewed in isolation. What happened yesterday happened after a long train of abuses against the American people by the elitist political class and the media.

The corporate media and the professional Left spent the bulk of 2020 lying to the American people about police shootings that led to riots, the riots themselves, the response to the pandemic, and the source of heightened tensions across the nation. They dismissed, in lockstep, any suggestion that the presidential election could have been rigged. They still refuse to report on the ongoing lawsuits being fought by Donald Trump’s lawyers. The motivations of the professional Left are obvious. But what of the corporate media that carried that water without a shred of curiosity or skepticism to lead them to ask further questions?

A republic can survive only with the informed and active participation of a critical mass of its citizenry, lest it devolve into oligarchy—or worse. It need not be a majority, necessarily, but a large swath of the voters must care about the founding principles enough to advance them in every law passed and every public official elected. This requires informed and educated voters.

The corporate media and their embrace of propaganda from one side only has failed America.

When paradigmatic institutions fail, whether they be in the private sector (corporate compliance culture, media as propaganda, Big Tech limiting the flow of information), or in the public sector (the marxist rot in academia, radical curriculum at the elementary and high school level, the continued growth and centralization of federal power), the result is clear.

The republic is in jeopardy because of all of these forces. Where is a voter to turn when all of these institutions become untrustworthy?

Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at Jeff hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, and on Gab at @RealJeffReynolds.

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