CNN all week has been pondering the fragility of democracy and the “lessons” that the nation should learn on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot (it’s apparently a holiday now). But they never seem to get around to the very important one that they should have learned themselves.
So here it is, media: What Jan. 6 showed us is that democracy really is delicate and bringing it to the brink has consequences.
Cable news anchors and other journalists in Washington act like that’s a truism only one side needs to hear and it’s not theirs, but the opposite is true.
History didn’t start on Jan. 6. The riot did not happen in a vacuum. And what preceded it wasn’t just Donald Trump telling his supporters that the election was rigged. It was months of discord and discontent instigated and inflamed by the very media who now swear that they’re the ones who understand just how sensitive our self-governance can be.
But the truth is that they only cared when the voters they hate decided they’d had enough. The media spent all of 2020 excusing violent race rioting while at the same time breathing fire on anyone who tried saving their businesses and livelihoods from crushing lockdowns. They pretended to lament the politicization of a new and deadly airborne virus while at the same time blaming each and every COVID death on the president they detested and any Republican associated with him.
And that was still after three years of drumming up a non-existent Russia conspiracy for the purpose of kneecapping Trump’s agenda, and spreading non-stop hysteria about the myth of white supremacy for the purpose of keeping minority voters in lockstep with Democrats.
How anyone in the national media looks at themselves in the mirror after that without a flicker of disgust is a complete mystery. But then they’re able to fake a knot in their throats on the subject of Jan. 6, a day that five people died, all of whom were Trump supporters, and only one of whom was killed by direct violence — Ashli Babbitt, the unarmed woman shot in the neck by a Capitol police officer.
Yeah, the riot in the Capitol building was disgusting and inexcusable. But in American democracy, recognizing the disgusting and inexcusable is supposed to go both ways. When it doesn’t, there are consequences.
Everyone has their breaking point. That’s not something that’s going to be only afforded to one side. Unfortunately, the media don’t want to learn that lesson of Jan. 6.