New report details right-wing media's shameless effort to 'cover up' for the Jan. 6 insurrection

New report details right-wing media's shameless effort to 'cover up' for the Jan. 6 insurrection
President Donald J. Trump participates in a town hall interview taping with Sean Hannity of Fox News Thursday, June 25, 2020, at Green Bay-Austin Struble International Airport in Green Bay, Wis. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

Media critic details how Sean Hannity is poisoning the minds of viewers against democracy

After Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, now House minority whip, survived a domestic terrorist attack in June 2017, Fox News and other right-wing media outlets covered the attack obsessively — and they were equally obsessive whenever a radical Islamist group carried out a terrorist attack in the past. But the January 6 insurrection is one violent event that right-wing media have seriously downplayed. And reporter Eric Kleefeld, this week in Media Matters, describes the efforts of Fox News and others in MAGA media to "cover up" the events of January 6.

"What happened on January 6 was very much the result of a right-wing media propaganda operation that sought to delegitimize the 2020 election," Kleefeld explains. "Since then, there has been an effort to cover up what happened and to spread further conspiracy theories that would erase any semblance of accountability. Adding to this disinformation campaign, Republican politicians have almost unanimously opposed any comprehensive investigation into the events of that day."

Kleefeld adds, "And it's not just about 2020, either. Behind all the smoke and mirrors is a real political battle going on for 2024."

The Media Matters reporter goes on to cite specific right-wing media figures who have been trying to "cover up" the January 6 violence and the GOP's role in it, including radio host Mark Levin, Infowars' Alex Jones, Fox News' Laura Ingraham and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon (who now hosts a podcast).

"Following the insurrection's failure…. right-wing media pivoted to new narratives that attempted to cast responsibility with anyone except the obvious perpetrators," Kleefeld observes. "Sean Hannity may have already been hedging his bets. In the same radio broadcast when he said the assault on the Capitol had been 'building for a long period of time,' he also cited reports speculating 'that groups like Antifa, other radical groups.… were there to cause trouble. Likewise, The Gateway Pundit also alleged, on January 6, that 'at least one bus load of Antifa goons infiltrated the Trump rally as part of a false flag operation,' even as the site was openly celebrating the Capitol assault itself."

Kleefeld also points to One America News' Pearson Sharp as an example of someone who has pushed the bogus claim and nonsense conspiracy theory that Antifa was part of the January 6 attack.

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