Washington Post finally calling for a serious investigation into COVID origins, Rachel Nichols getting replaced as a sideline reporter for the NBA finals, and CNN’s April Ryan saying voting rights in the US have ‘collapsed’ round out today’s top media headlines
Vice News commemorated the six-month anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot with a report documenting the journalists who “survived” that day and how they’re “still struggling,” and some media critics found the piece overwrought to say the least.
Glenn Greenwald mocked CNN’s leftwing media guru Brian Stelter for tweeting how he wished he “thought to write this story.” He also ridiculed the cover image of the report that featured Jake Angeli, best known as the “QAnon Shaman” on how journalists “survived the insurrection.”
He also wondered if the journalists affected by the Jan. 6 riot bothered to compare their “trauma” to what WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has experienced in recent years.
According to the report, Punchbowl News co-founder John Bresnahan, who witnessed the chaos fueled by the pro-Trump mob, said “returning to the Capitol after the riots was difficult” and he was “so, so angry” the next day.
“Reporters have discussed their personal experiences in the days immediately following the Capitol insurrection. But few have publicly talked about the lasting effects in the months since—the toll that day took on them, the difficulty some have faced in returning to a site where they experienced trauma, and what it’s been like covering a Congress still deeply divided on the events of that day,” Vice News wrote. “Some reporters who were there won’t go back into the building. A number have sought therapy to deal with the trauma. One longtime Capitol Hill reporter opted for early retirement shortly after living through the riot. Many still aren’t sleeping well.”
PBS NewsHour correspondent Lisa Desjardins told Vice News, “I’m still not sleeping like I used to, even to this day … I became kind of an insomniac.”
Desjardins expressed the “harder part” is seeing how “emotional” lawmakers have been, saying it’s “like when you know your parents are bitterly, abusively fighting, and you go into a room and can sense their hostility, and can sense nobody’s figured out a way out.”
Bloomberg News reporter Erik Wasson compared the aftermath of the “traumatizing” riot to the end of “Jaws” when “Everything feels copacetic on the beach. But you wonder if there’s anything out there.”
Wasson told Vice News he experienced symptoms of “post-traumatic stress disorder—depression, short-tempered irritability that led to fights with his wife over nothing. This went on for nearly a month.”
“I do remember just feeling unsafe in my house,” Wasson said. “It occurred to me, like, I wonder if some protesters could be tracking me or could show up at my house. There was definitely a moment of fear, and just trying to assess whether there was actually any danger to me and my family.”
Despite how some of these journalists covered wars and natural disasters, “this was different.”
“That day we weren’t just observers; we were one of their targets,” NBC News political editor Ginger Gibson said. “A lot of us reporters are having a tough time with that.”
Bresnahan suggested that Jan. 6 “changed” how he and other reporters cover “lies” of lawmakers, particularly those who downplay the events of the Capitol riot.
“We cannot fail to call it what it was: It was an insurrection. They tried to destroy democracy,” Bresnahan said.
The Punchbowl News co-founder went on to regret his coverage of the Tea Party movement after hearing a use of the N-word during a protest.
“We used a lot of euphemisms. That was white rage and we should have covered it as white rage, and we didn’t, we covered it as conservative backlash. They were booing John Lewis, for God’s sake,” Breshnahan told Vice News.
Freelance journalist Matt Laslo expressed how he no longer talks to prominent GOP lawmakers like Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley for their support in challenging the results of the 2020 election and got emotional about how he no longer wants to be in the Capitol building.
“It’s my office, the building I love most in the f—ing world. I used to call the Capitol my girlfriend. I’ve devoted 15 years of my goddamn life to that building,” Laslo said. “Now? Instead of being there every day, I’m there once a month. I don’t want to be there.”
While some journalists praised their liberal colleagues for speaking candidly about the distress they have faced since Jan. 6, others mocked the Vice News report.
“This is laugh-out-loud funny,” conservative author Dinesh D’Souza reacted.
“Get a freaking grip, you bunch of whiny babies,” The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis told the journalists.
“Some of us have seen real struggle. We’ve been to the border, reporters have been chased down by Antifa and fled the country, some reporters have been jailed filming rioting (cc: @ShelbyTalcott) and we don’t complain about our trauma,” Daily Wire reporter Chrissy Clark wrote while giving the Daily Caller reporter a shoutout. “Kindly, do your flippin’ job or get out.”
“‘Reporters who still survived…’ You mean…all of them?” Blaze TV host Sara Gonzales tweeted.
“Confronting trauma is one of the most valuable human endeavors. Reducing it to a solipsistic exercise for self-important Beltway media personalities is a perversion of that experience. The real Capitol trauma is that which its occupants inflict on their own country and the world,” liberal journalist Aaron Maté wrote.
Greenwald was also amused by CNN’s Brian Stelter wishing he had thought to write the Vice piece himself.