Were these ill-equipped, basically unarmed protesters really planning a coup?
By S.T. Patrick
There is a disconnect within the Department of Justice about the motivations of the Jan. 6 Capitol protestors. One U.S. attorney has been arguing in court that the “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley (aka Bull Horn Guy) case includes “strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, [to support the claim that] the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials.” Another assistant U.S. attorney is arguing that retired Lt. Col. Larry Brock, who was carrying zip-tie restraints, “means to take hostages—he means to kidnap, restrain, perhaps try, perhaps execute members of the U.S. government.” This goes directly against the most recent statement of the nation’s top prosecutor in D.C., U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin, whose jurisdiction the Capitol protest falls within, that “there is no direct evidence at this point in time of kill-capture teams or assassination.”
The confusion can partially be traced to an incompetent and dishonest mainstream media (MSM), which has done little but inflame the obediently observing masses throughout the past year. It is a media that, rightly so, criticized Donald Trump’s tendency to berate, attack, lambaste, and pillory opponents into either emotional submission or frothing hatred, yet it has, at the same time, adopted those exact tactics against Mr. Trump and his supporters.
Even if there were a physical threat, which seems unlikely at this point, the main target was Republican Vice President Mike Pence. Yet Pence has not been the politician to use it most for political gain. When Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) agreed with the tweet of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (R-N.Y.) about starting an investigation into the decision of Robinhood (a commission-free stock and investing app) to halt trading of GameStop stock (a moment of unity for which the Biden team has been begging), Cortez responded to Cruz, “You almost had me murdered three weeks ago, so you can sit this one out.”
Democrat Rep. Cori Bush (D-Minn.) moved her congressional office later in the week because, Bush tweeted, “A maskless Marjorie Taylor Greene [and] her staff berated me in a hallway. She targeted me [and] others on social media. I’m moving my office away from hers for my team’s safety.” A videotape was later released by Rep. Greene’s office. It was Bush who yelled at Greene in the hallway for being unmasked. It was Bush who instigated the confrontation, yet it was Bush who capitalized on the recent media narrative that all Democrats are to be afraid for their lives when confronting all Republicans, especially those tied to support for Trump.
Joe Lauria for “Consortium News” wrote, “Even if there were such murderous intentions, it would not have amounted to a coup attempt without the backing of the military or paramilitaries, and without taking over the airport and radio and TV stations. These days it would probably mean taking over social media companies, too. The U.S. government and media structures are vaster and more powerful than just the legislature.”
Charging any Capitol protestor with “seditious conspiracy” will be next to impossible as long as the Justice Department keeps confirming that there was no assassination threat against politicians and there was no “vast right-wing conspiracy” to take over the country in a coup d’état without taking over something other than one building in Washington, D.C. Even had it been a coup attempt, it would have been the most poorly executed coup in history, as Congress could have just reconvened elsewhere with the same constitutional authority. The protesters would have had the physical building, but they would have none of the constitutional power, the military, the media, major infrastructure etc.
Lauria summed up the real plight of the protesters, writing, “What happened at the Capitol cannot be condoned. But unless Congress defies its oligarchic backers and serves the interests of average Americans, who also fund them, a real insurrection may be inevitable. Instead of the reforms to defuse that and bring more economic justice, we are witnessing a crackdown that will only further inflame the country.”
Rather than getting real stories about massive internet censorship, reneging on the promise of $2,000 stimulus checks, and a healthcare overhaul to combat a pandemic, the media has glowed like a giddy little girl that the Biden pets had arrived at the White House, that Joe Biden had overcome a speech impediment half a lifetime ago, and that Hunter Biden is a skilled bagel runner (which did prove that he does something well other than dropping off shady laptops). We have also gotten a level of fearful reportage unlike any seen in contemporary American history: “Democrats, be very afraid of Trumpers because your lives are in danger. They must all be expelled from every professional and public position they hold. After all, they have a political ideology that we, as responsible mainstream media members, hate.” Freedom of the press, we are reminded, also allows freedom of bad press, and it allows your freedom to ignore the press.
As more news consumers turn to individual blog sites and alternative media outlets, the major media empires of years past cling to fear. But it’s the misplaced fear to which they cling. The real fear for them is that their reporting will increasingly be considered irrelevant to real events, increasingly antagonizing of the hard-working middle class, and increasingly less important in people’s lives. The market share then dwindles, the ad revenues are lost, and the MSM then has about as much power as the Whig Party.
Fear is what sells, and fear is what they will keep peddling as long as it brings in eyes and dollars to their media empires.
S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is [email protected]. He is also an occasional contributor to TBR history magazine and the current managing editor of Deep Truth Journal (DTJ), a new conspiracy-focused publication available from the AFP Online Store.