There is no way to avoid this moment. The formal letter of apology. From me. To Conservatives and to those who “put America first” everywhere.
It’s tempting to sweep this confrontation with my own gullibility under the rug — to “move on” without ever acknowledging that I was duped, and that as a result I made mistakes in judgement, and that these mistakes, multiplied by the tens of thousands and millions on the part of people just like me, hurt millions of other people like you all, in existential ways.
But that erasure of personal and public history would be wrong.
I owe you a full-throated apology.
I believed a farrago of lies. And, as a result of these lies, and my credulity — and the credulity of people similarly situated to me – many conservatives’ reputations are being tarnished, on false bases.
The proximate cause of this letter of apology is the airing, two nights ago, of excepts from tens of thousands of hours of security camera footage from the United States Capitol taken on Jan 6, 2021. The footage was released by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson …
This would be the same Congress that convened the January 6 Committee subsequently, and that used millions of dollars in taxpayer money to turn that horrible day, and that tragic event, into a message point that would be used to tar a former President as a would-be terrorist, and to smear all Republicans, by association, as “insurrectionists,” or as insurrectionists’ sympathizers and fellow-travelers.
There is no way to unsee Officer Brian Sicknick, claimed by some Democrats in leadership and by most of the legacy media to have been killed by rioters at the Capitol that day, alive in at least one section of the newly released video. …
There is no way for anyone thoughtful, even if he or she is a lifelong Democrat, not to notice that Sen Chuck Schumer did not say to the world that the footage that Mr Carlson aired was not real. Rather, he warned that it was “shameful” for Fox to allow us to see it. …
Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate minority leader, did not say the video on Fox News was fake or doctored. He said, rather, that it was “a mistake” to depart from the views of the events held by the chief of the Capitol Police. This is a statement from McConnell about orthodoxy — not a statement about a specific truth or untruth. …
You don’t have to agree with Mr Carlson’s interpretation of the videos, to conclude that the Democrats in leadership, for their own part, have cherry-picked, hyped, spun, and in some ways appear to have lied about, aspects of January 6, turning a tragedy for the nation into a politicized talking point aimed at discrediting half of our electorate. …
I was oddly unsurprised to see the “Q-Anon Shaman” being ushered through the hallways by Capitol Police; he was ready for the cameras in full makeup, horned fur hat, his tattooed chest bare (on a freezing day), and adorned in other highly cinematic regalia. I don’t know what Mr Chansley thought he was doing there that day, but so many subsequent legacy media images of the event put him so dramatically front and center — and the barbaric nature of his appearance was so illustrative of exactly the message that Democrats in leadership wished to send about the event — that I am not surprised to see that his path to the center of events was not blocked but was apparently facilitated by Capitol Police. …
Leaving aside the release of the additional Jan 6 footage and how it may or may not change our view of US history —- I must say that I am sorry for believing the dominant legacy-media “narrative” pretty completely from the time it was rolled out, without asking questions.
Those who violently entered the Capitol or who engaged in violence inside of it, must of course be held accountable. (As must violent protesters of every political stripe anywhere.)
But in addition, anyone in leadership who misrepresented to the public the events of the day so as to distort the complexity of its actual history — must also be held accountable.
Jan 6 has become, as the DNC intended it to become, after the fact, a “third rail”; a shorthand used to dismiss or criminalize an entire population and political point of view.
Peaceful Republicans and conservatives as a whole have been demonized by the story told by Democrats in leadership of what happened that day.
So half of the country has been tarred by association, and is now in many quarters presumed to consist of chaotic berserkers, anti-democratic rabble, and violent upstarts, whose sole goal is the murder of our democracy.
Republicans, conservatives, I am sorry.
I also believed wholesale so much else that has since turned out not to be as I was told it was by NPR, MSNBC and The New York Times.
I believed that stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop were Russian propaganda. Dozens of former intel officials said so. Johns Hopkins University said so. …
I believed this all — ’til it was debunked.
I believed that President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia — until that assertion was dropped.
I believed that President Trump was a Russian asset, because the legacy media I read, said so.
I believed in the entire Steele dossier, until I didn’t, because it all fell apart. Was there in fact an “infamous pee tape”? So many other bad things were being said about the man — why not? …
I believed that Pres Trump instigated the riot at the Capitol — because I did not know that his admonition to his supporters to assemble “peacefully and patriotically” had been deleted from all of the news coverage that I read. …
Because of lies such as these in legacy media — lies which I and millions of others believed — half of our nation’s electorate was smeared and delegitimized, and I myself was misled.
It damages our nation when legacy media put words in the mouths of Presidents and former Presidents, and call them traitors or criminals without evidence.
It damages our country when we cannot tell truth from lies. This is exactly what tyrants seek — an electorate that cannot know what is truth and what is falsehood.
Through lies, half of the electorate was denied a fair run for its preferred candidate. …
I don’t like President Trump (Do I not? Who knows? I have been lied to about him so much for so long, I can‘t tell whether my instinctive aversion is simply the habituated residue of years of being on the receiving end of lies).
But I like the liars who are our current gatekeepers, even less.
The gatekeepers who lie to the public about the most consequential events of our time — and who thus damage our nation, distort our history, and deprive half of our citizenry of their right to speak, champion and choose, without being tarred as would-be violent traitors – deserve our disgust. …
I am sorry my former “tribe” is angry at a journalist for engaging in —- journalism.
I am sorry I believed so much nonsense.
Though it is no doubt too little, too late — Conservatives, Republicans, MAGA:
I am so sorry.
hat-tip Stephen Neil