The False & Exaggerated Claims Still Being Spread about the Capitol Riot – Glenn Greenwald

Insisting on factual accuracy does not make one an apologist for the protesters. False reporting is never justified, especially to inflate threat and fear levels.

Glenn Greenwald, Feb 16 2020

What took place at the Capitol on January 6 was undoubtedly a politically motivated riot. As such, it should not be controversial to regard it as a dangerous episode. Any time force or violence is introduced into what ought to be the peaceful resolution of political conflicts, it should be lamented and condemned.

But none of that justifies lying about what happened that day, especially by the news media. Condemning that riot does not allow, let alone require, echoing false claims in order to render the event more menacing and serious than it actually was. There is no circumstance or motive that justifies the dissemination of false claims by journalists. The more consequential the event, the less justified, and more harmful, serial journalistic falsehoods are.

Yet this is exactly what has happened, and continues to happen, since that riot almost seven weeks ago. And anyone who tries to correct these falsehoods is instantly attacked with the cynical accusation that if you want only truthful reporting about what happened, then you’re trying to “minimize” what happened and are likely an apologist for if not a full-fledged supporter of the protesters themselves.

One of the most significant of these falsehoods was the tale — endorsed over and over without any caveats by the media for more than a month — that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was murdered by the pro-Trump mob when they beat him to death with a fire extinguisher. That claim was first published by The New York Times on January 8…

The problem with this story is that it is false in all respects. From the start, there was almost no evidence to substantiate it…

Despite this alleged brutal murder taking place in one of the most surveilled buildings on the planet, filled that day with hundreds of cellphones taping the events, nobody saw video of it. No photographs depicted it. To this day, no autopsy report has been released. No details from any official source have been provided…

Sicknick’s brother said that “Sicknick had texted [the family] Wednesday night to say that while he had been pepper-sprayed, he was in good spirits.” That obviously conflicted with the Times’ story that the mob “overpowered Sicknick” and “struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher,” after which, “with a bloody gash in his head, Mr. Sicknick was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support.”…

The fire extinguisher tale was far from the only false or dubious claim that the media caused to circulate about the events that day. In some cases, they continue to circulate them…

It’s worth reading this article. Glenn Greenwald is an excellent researcher and writer and has explained clearly how the facts have been distorted in this and other stories about the January 6 Capitol invasion.

Read lots more at https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-false-and-exaggerated-claims

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