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The Attempted Scapegoating of the Media for the Capitol Riot

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I've been a freelance writer focusing on movies, hiking, stamps, volleyball, and politics.

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

One Year Later

On January 5, 2022, there appeared an opinion article titled, 'Capitol riot caused by anti-speech Democrats' in the Palm Beach Post, and was picked up nationally by Yahoo.

In it, the author, Shaun McCutcheon, tries to make the case that the failure of the mainstream—and clearly Democratic—press to publish the 'dissenting options on the electoral process' was the real cause of the anger and violence that led to the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6.

The Electoral Process

The redress of grievances that the author wrote about stems from many supporters of Donald Trump being angry that the media chose not to air their supposition and conspiracy theories after the judiciary exposed them for being just that on numerous occasions. In many cases, the judiciary appointed by Donald Trump himself was making those rulings.

In other cases, the courts rejected Trump’s attempt to change the rules of the election after the voting had already taken place so that he could get legally cast votes in Democratic strongholds nullified. Putting it in sports terms, that would be like the losing team petitioning the National Football League after they lost by two touchdowns and making the case that running scores should be banned after the fact since the other team ran the ball into the end zone for most of their points. In no world but Trumpworld does that argument make any sense from a legal or logical standpoint.

The fact that over 30 states, including many that also went for Trump in the 2020 election, modified election laws to make it safer to exercise your Constitutional right to vote during a pandemic and that access to the ballot box was detrimental to the party with the fewest registered voters is a concern for the Grand Old Party. Calling those modifications to protect the citizenry fraud, however, when the courts upheld those changes, in cases both before and after the election took place, is a choice to live in an alternate reality of Donald Trump’s biased denial of the outcomes of those court cases.

On top of that, the inconsistency that we see from Trump supporters in that they can believe that these changes should only be allowable in the states that Trump won while contesting them in the ones he lost defies logic. Many are still waiting for anyone on the right to explain how down-ballot candidates won on the same ballot that Trump lost and that members of the Trump personality cult accept those results for all but the election of the Presidency. On the one hand, the election was safe and secure for down-ballot races, but fraudulent for the least popular President in history.

One of the best points to make to dispel the notion that changes to election law in times of emergency are from 2018 when then-Gov. Rick Scott of Florida changed election laws due to his state being struck by Hurricane Michael without consulting the state legislature.

The best example has to be from 2020, however, when on July 27, Gov. Greg Abbott changed his state's election law to allow more early voting days to vote without consulting his state legislature. The state of Texas then had the nerve to sue multiple other states for doing the same thing and claiming those states violated the United States Constitution. Classic Republicanism—it is only illegal when you do it.

The Blame Game

Therein lies the difference in opinion. Many believe that the grievances of the right pertaining to the election were addressed legitimately and dismissed as easily explainable or just not downright credible when scrutinized by the courts and other elections experts. The denial by Donald Trump and his supporters to accept these outcomes and expert opinions, and the constant repetition of the ‘Big Lie’ that the election was stolen, is the actual cause of the insurrection that America saw on January 6.

Despite the author’s opinion to the contrary, many are very concerned with the outcomes of the January 6 Committee’s work to expose those responsible for fomenting an attack on our own government. Not just the brainwashed foot soldiers, but the ones who filled their heads, and continue to do so, with lies that the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ from them and then directed those angry followers to the Capitol at the very moment Congress was set to certify the electoral votes from the states.

Never mind that the ‘Big Lie’ is a similar lie that Donald Trump told in 2016 when his narcissism refused to allow him to believe he had lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. That denial then demanded the formation of a voter fraud commission led by ardent voter suppressionist Kris Kobach to investigate the issue, and the outcome led to the same conclusion we saw in 2020 that no significant voter fraud existed. In essence, Donald Trump’s own voter fraud commission proved he had fabricated an excuse for the majority of Americans voting against him as a candidate. Four years later and Trump was running the same playbook and his supporters still believed his fabricated reality.

It seems that the most disappointing thing for the author isn't the insurrection, but that the insurrection stopped the planned coup attempt that the elected members of Congress were attempting that day to throw the results back to the states despite no proven fraud being shown.

People like Shaun McCutcheon can try to scapegoat the media for the choice that supporters of Donald Trump make to believe his lies over the reality of court decisions and elections experts that tried to explain the actual electoral process, but that is just deflection. The blame is in the choice of who to believe.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 JOC