In 2016 and 2018, our finest newsrooms let right-wing demagogues frame immigration as a story of nonwhite invasion. This time around, let's kick the political reporters off the story and have immigration-beat reporters tell the real story.
Steven Sund, the former Capitol Police chief, was explicitly warned in a Jan. 3 memo that thousands of desperate, violence-prone Trump supporters were planning to target Congress on Jan. 6, encouraged by the president himself. But he waved it off. Ask yourself why.
Our newsroom leaders still cannot bring themselves to declare that the hysteria and conspiracy theories that once inhabited only the lunatic fringes of our political discourse – until Rush Limbaugh, and then Donald Trump, came along – don’t merit respect, but banishment, rejection, and denial.
It’s hugely important for our major news organizations to break themselves of the habit of obsessively focusing on what the president says – and instead devote themselves to exploring much more broadly what the White House is doing, and how, and why.
Reporters should be aggressively pursuing this story, and operating under the assumption that Capitol Police leaders either were too racist to see the threat posed by Trump supporters, or looked the other way on purpose.
It wasn’t until they could point to a guy with face paint and bison horns and a bunch of spittle-flecked bros waving flags that they could bring themselves to say something they were unable to say of people in power.