The following is a news analysis.
Today, much of the news has been transformed into advocates groups for political, pharmaceutical and other corporate interests-- rather than journalistic endeavors that seek to hold those entities accountable.
The news as we knew it prior to 2016 is not longer recognizable. It was 2016 when when we had the well-funded organized takeover by fake fact-checkers, curators, those pulling strings with Big Tech, the government, and other special interests, often funded by the same power brokers looking to advance helpful narratives and keep the public from knowing about other facts and studies.
It was in this atmosphere that the January 6 Trump rally, anti-voting fraud protest, peaceful march to the Capitol, and the rioting on the Capitol grounds occurred and were reported on.
These stories were covered almost universally in a one-sided fashion on the news.
Rarely were opposing narratives, facts and nuances given their due as many news organizations would have done prior to 2016.
Here are several ways the prevailing news coverage of January 6, 2021 would have been covered if we had a generally neutral press.
Ashli Babbitt was an unarmed white veteran shot and killed by a black Capitol police lieutenant, Michael Byrd. This is the only homicide associated with the January 6 events, according to officials. The prevailing news narratives told the public that Babbitt, who was attempting to climb through a broken interior window at the capitol when she was shot dead, "deserved what she got" and that the police officer "saved lives" by killing her. Lt. Byrd was cleared of criminal wrongdoing in a secretive investigation where the public and victim's family had no opportunity to monitor or oversee matters such as whether all the facts were considered, and whether the probe appeared to be thorough and fair.
If we had a generally neutral press, the police lieutenant's name would not have been kept hidden for months, and the investigation would not have been conducted in secret without the normal opportunity for public review. While the lieutenant might not have been criminally prosecuted, in the end, there would have at least been some public discussion and debate about potential civil rights violations, the fact that no other officer or SWAT team member in close proximity saw Babbitt as any sort of threat, and consideration of a possible racial component with the lieutenant being black and shooting a white woman.
One need only look at the deeply flawed media coverage of the Michael Brown shooting in 2014 to find a stark contrast.
According to the Obama Justice Department, the criminal suspect, Michael Brown, had never raised his hands or said, "Don't shoot." He had repeatedly attacked police officer Darren Wilson, who acted in self defense in shooting and killing Brown.
The press reported none of that in the early, inflammatory stories that sparked riots. Instead, the media published fabricated stories from "witnesses" who, according to the Obama administration, made up the accounts of Brown putting his hands up and saying "Don't shoot," among other tales. The media failed to balance those false accounts with counterpoints from other witnesses or from officer Wilson's supporters. The media reported these events, which they had not witnessed firsthand, without attribution, as if the false accounts were proven and true. And, lastly, the media presumed a false racial narrative simply because Wilson happened to be white and Brown happened to be black. As the Obama investigation found, there was no evidence of any such racial motive in the shooting.
But when it comes to Ashli Babbitt, the same themes and discussions were not heard.
The rioting that happened on the Capitol grounds was conducted by a relative minority of the throngs of peaceful protesters present that day, and the violent attackers included not just right-wing Trump supporters, but also some left wing activists who joined the crowd, and an undetermined number of undercover federal officers. The media has generally treated the entire "date," and everyone who attended the Trump event in Washington D.C., as if it were some sort of criminal conspiracy from beginning to end.
If we had a generally neutral media, the media would be careful not to lump the mostly-peaceful rally attendees and the peaceful protesters in with the violence that happened at the end of the event on the Capitol grounds. The press, if neutral, would also demand to know the extent to which the FBI or other federal officers were planted as undercover agents in the crowd, and what role they played. It would not be the first time that federal agents or their operatives took a controversial part in an event as part of an undercover mission; it's a legitimate question to ask. It's especially relevant since it's been proven that Dept. of Justice and FBI officials conspired against Trump for years, from the time he was a candidate, including an FBI attorney doctoring documents in order to secretly spy on a Trump associate.
If fair, the media coverage would frequently mention that President Trump explicitly asked his supporters to march peacefully, which they did, and that the citizens of this country have a Constitutional right to march to the Capitol to rally, or in support or protest.
Not usually mentioned (though it should be) is that Americans also have the right to enter the Capitol building and watch Congressional proceedings from the gallery. The attendees who were invited into the building by Capitol police had no right to be violent, but they arguably had a legitimate right to enter the building to watch the proceedings.
The left-wing activists objecting to the lawful U.S. Supreme Court proceedings illegally banged on the door to interrupt and potentially stop proceedings were not treated the same way in the media; not even close. At the time, MSNBC Reported, "Just as they did at the Capitol-now besieging the front steps of the [U.S. Supreme] Court."
Neither was the May 2020 left wing rioters who tried to storm the White House and had to be forced back by police treated the same. Democrats and many in the media actually criticized police for interfering with the rioters.
The media at large has worked hard to convince the public, without evidence, that there wasn't any voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, and that anybody who thinks otherwise is not only crazy but "a danger to democracy."
However a neutral press would have acknowledged the huge number of Americans who attended January 6 and do believe there were anomalies in the election. A neutral press would not pretend to know there was "no fraud" or "no meaningful fraud," since most of the press did not do a widespread, firsthand investigation in America's cities and towns. Instead, the media should be reporting claims on both sides, and digging into the still as-yet inexplicable cases.
To name a few of the most publicized, obvious allegations:
There was the fictitious flood at a Georgia precinct that emptied the building of Republican observers while Democrats continued counting ballots.
Results were reversed in Antrim County, Michigan after it first appeared Biden beat Trump in a landslide by 6,000 votes there. Michigan officials later blamed “user error” for the incorrect results, and declared Trump actually won the county. The state blamed an Antrim County clerk for failing to properly “update software used to collect voting machine data.” The reason the information got a second look is because people who know the county thought the initial Biden landslide seemed unlikely.
A recount monitor flagged a 9,626-vote error in the hand recount in DeKalb County, Georgia according to the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party in a declaration. One batch had 10,707 votes for Biden and 13 for Trump. But the true count was 1,081 for Biden and 13 for Trump. Two official counters had signed off on the miscounted batch.
A post-election audit and recount discovered memory cards with thousands of uncounted ballots, most of them for Trump, two weeks after the election: 508 in Walton County, 2,600 in Floyd County and 2,755 in Fayette County. The discovery cut Biden’s lead in the state by more than 1,400 votes.
Voter fraud is not uncommon, and claims of voter fraud are not uncommon. For the media to pretend these issues come only from unhinged Trump supporters in 2020 is evidence of biased coverage.
On Nov. 18, Cobb County shredded white privacy envelopes for absentee ballots, which are required to be saved under Georgia law to show if each ballot arrived via mail Nov. 18.
The Voter Integrity Project says 8,443 people who voted in Nevada did not meet the legal residency requirements.
1.8 million absentee ballots were mailed out for the 2020 election in Pennsylvania, but 2.5 million were counted, according to testimony at a Pennsylvania state hearing.
A truck driver for a subcontractor with the U.S. Postal Service claims that a trailer he was driving with as many a 288,000 ballots disappeared from its parked location, at a Lancaster, Pa., USPS depot, after he dropped it off. He says he transported them from New York.
A social worker at the Mexia State Supported Living Centers in Texas is charged with illegally submitting 67 voter registration applications for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities without signatures or meaningful consent, including some who are not eligible because they are totally mentally incapacitated.
A USPS subcontractor claims he was told the postal service planned. to improperly backdate tens of thousands of ballots after the Nov. 3 election.
A disability service coordinator who works with adults in assisted living facilities and group homes in and around Milwaukee, says every one of her more than 20 clients told her that they were either pressured to vote for Biden or had a vote cast for Biden before they ever had a chance to see their ballot.
The Trump campaign questions an estimated 238,420 ballots from two counties, Dane and Milwaukee, where election clerks filled in missing information on the certification envelope; where voters declared themselves “indefinitely confined”; and roughly 69,000 absentee ballots cast in person before Election Day. Biden won Wisconsin by about 20,000 votes.
Whether there are reasonable explanations for some or all of the hundreds, if not thousands, of allegations, a fair press would not have brushed them off on the front end when covering the January 6 events, and would at least give that side of the story its due, for the sake of balance, in news reports.
There is no dispute that voter fraud occurs. For anyone to pretend it's crazy to think that people in powerful positions wouldn't want to commit fraud to try to keep Trump from getting re-elected-- theirs is the position that doesn't seem reasonable.