Reflections on the Anniversary of the Capitol Riot
One year later, media across the spectrum are reflecting on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.
One person was shot and killed, more than 140 law enforcement officers were hurt, and over $2 million in damage was done to the Capitol building as a mob sought to disrupt Congress's confirmation of the 2020 presidential election. The fallout continues: over 700 rioters were arrested, and prosecution continues against many of them. The House of Representatives formed a select January 6 committee to investigate the riot and former President Donald Trump's role, and the committee is expected to soon start releasing its findings. Survey data suggests Americans remain divided about the committee's fairness, Trump's responsibility for the riot, and how harshly rioters should be penalized.
Voices across the spectrum condemned the actions of rioters and voiced support for their prosecution, but the common ground typically stopped there. Right-rated voices were often critical of Democrats and media for their purported exaggeration of Jan. 6's impacts, political violence and the future of democracy; one writer for Epoch Times (Lean Right bias) argued that politicians and media "demonize attendees," and highlighted the perspective of people who participated. The Washington Examiner's (Lean Right) editorial board said fear-mongering about how Republican election wins may spark more violence is "crazy cultist talk." Left-rated voices often highlighted Trump's continued prominence and persistent election misinformation as evidence that Jan. 6 and opposition to the democratic process still pose threats.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the RightAnniversary of a Disgrace
On January 6, 2021, Mike Pence presided over a constitutionally mandated joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes. The Trump-Pence campaign disputed the 2020 results in election contests and in court, but by January 6, the legal options were exhausted. Each state government sent only a single slate of electors to be counted.
Under our Constitution and laws, nothing remained but to count the votes. Instead, an angry mob descended upon the Capitol to prevent that from happening. This will, and should, be remembered as a stain on the...
From the CenterA look back at Americans’ reactions to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol
The deadly riot that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, drew widespread attention and condemnation from the American public. But Democrats and Republicans differed sharply over key aspects of it, both in its immediate aftermath and in the months that followed.
A year later, here’s a look back at how Americans saw the events of Jan. 6 and how some partisan divisions grew wider over time. All findings in this analysis are based on Pew Research Center surveys conducted in January, March and September of last year.
Americans expressed shock, horror...
From the LeftJanuary 6 may be only a preview of a deeper democratic rupture
If January 6, 2021, was just one infamous day in history, its stain on the American story would still reverberate through generations.
But the US Capitol insurrection was far from a self-contained day of rage. It was both the culmination of the rule of an aberrant, demagogic President and a catalyst for the most enduring onslaught on America's system of elective governance in decades. It legitimized violence as a tool of political expression among millions of citizens and cast the haunting possibility that as horrific as that day was, it may be only...
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