'Federalist' Editor Wishes You Monsters Would Play Fair And Look At All The OTHER 'Insurrections'

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Mollie Hemingway, senior editor of rightwing grievance factory The Federalist, would like to offer America's media and political class a quick lesson in Dissociative Press style: You are hencefoth not allowed to call the very brief period of disturbance at the US Capitol on January 6 an "insurrection." If you do, you are a bad person who is harming America! Now, she might allow you to call the "few hour riot" an "insurrection" but only if you apply the term equally to a lot of other events that didn't include an attempt to overturn the results of a presidential election. She's serious, you guys, so you'd better shape up.

It's actually amazing how many lies can be packed into a brief Twitter thread, so let's Doktor of Rhetoric this sucker.

People who call the few-hour riot at the Capitol by unarmed protesters an "insurrection" are bad people who are harming the country. PARTICULARLY so if they don't use term for the months-long violent, coordinated attacks on White House, federal courthouses, small businesses, etc.

It's almost halfway clever how Hemingway tries so hard to force the comparison between the attack on Congress and last summer's protests by starting with other government buildings like the White House, the courthouse in Portland that was the focus of Antifa protests, and the nation's federally operated small businesses.

We certainly don't recall any violent coordinated attacks on the White House — perhaps she meant tear gas drifting over from when police cleared out nonviolent protesters at Lafayette Park?


But of course there is no real equivalence between January 6 and the riots that broke out last year at a tiny percentage of the protests against police brutality. Not unless Congress was secretly meeting at a Wendy's in Minneapolis to ratify a presidential election, and we're pretty sure we would have heard if that had happened. A car lot set on fire is definitely serious property damage, but nobody was attempting to overthrow democratic governance by burning a Hyundai. And we certainly don't recall anyone setting up a gallows to hang elected officials at any of last year's protests, or even during the riots.

If we're going to argue about definitions, let's also note that "unarmed" is a hell of a dishonest word for people wielding baseball bats, batons, stun guns, stolen police shields, knives, and whatever they could grab to beat police officers. Oh right: and guns. But hooray for DC's gun laws, because the actual firearms were mostly left back at the hotels. (Four rioters so far have also been charged with firearms violations as well.)

Now, Hemingway knows the attempt to block the election certification is the essential difference between January 6 and the events of last summer, because look how hard she works to throw out unrelated bafflegab and to downplay the seriousness of the real insurrection in subsequent tweets.

Let's look at all the lying here.

I'm infinitely more terrified of powerful people calling the riot an "insurrection" and rewriting reality as a ploy to seize unlimited/unaccountable power and brutally oppress their political opponents than I am of Mr. Buffalo Head or Grandma-in-the-Rotunda, or Mr. Feet on Desk.

Now, as this entire discussion demonstrates, the only person rewriting reality here has been Ms. Hemingway and the Trumposphere. She claimed America is somehow being harmed if people don't adopt her false equivalence, but America can survive the accurate use of a noun. We're in far more danger from Trump's Big Lie, and from the little liars who pretend the Capitol attackers were merely on a tourist visit.

Hemingway continues in that vein here, reducing the attackers who left 140 police officers injured to a man in a funny outfit, a nice old lady, and a guy with his feet on the desk of an aide to Nancy Pelosi — and please ignore both that he was a self-described white nationalist, and that he had a "ZAP Hike N Strike 950,000 Volt Stun Gun Walking Stick" tucked in his belt. Unarmed, huh?

In contrast to the still images Hemingway wants her pals to think of, we'd once more recommend the 40-minute "Day of Rage" video investigation from the New York Times, which details just how violent the mob was.

We're not sure who these terrible people trying to use the attack on the Capitol as an excuse to "seize unlimited/unaccountable power and brutally oppress their political opponents" are supposed to be. Probably those elected members of Congress who are out to investigate the insurrection, and the Department of Justice? Yep, that's some terrifying stuff, maybe if you wave your arms and say they need to be hanged by the neck until dead, to protect America.

Hemingway's final tweet of the set reflects the way most of the wingnut Right now talks about January 6:

Also, to call it "deadly" after spending months brazenly lying that protesters killed a cop while downplaying the fact that the only killing was of an unarmed protester by a still-anonymous cop is ... peak propaganda.

Not only was it not an insurrection, but in fact, if you play around with language creatively enough, you can magic away the deaths by pretending the only person "killed" was Ashli Babbitt. She's the woman who was shot while climbing through the shattered glass of a door that led directly to the House chamber, while representatives and staff were still being evacuated.

Ah, but she was unarmed, so please don't think too much about what could have followed had she and the rest of the mob made it through that door. Probably just tourist photos as everyone posed for selfies with members of Congress who may or may not still have been breathing.

The death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick the day after the riot was ultimately ruled to be due to "natural causes" — he suffered two strokes. From a legal perspective, that does mean it's unlikely that the men who attacked Sicknick with chemicals, probably bear spray, can be prosecuted for homicide. But that legalistic distinction doesn't mean the assault didn't contribute to Sicknick's death; the Washington Post reports DC chief medical examiner Francisco J. Diaz said that "all that transpired played a role in his condition."

In addition, three members of the mob died during the attacks, and two police officers killed themselves in the days following. But their deaths magically don't count either, so please let's stop calling January 6 a "deadly" insurrection, since only one actual martyr died.

Sure is good someone's out there to protect us from propaganda, huh?

[Mollie Hemingway on Twitter (via Brian Stelter) / CBS News / NPR / New York Times on YouTube]

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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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