The alleged sequel to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot turned out to be an absolute dud.
The “Justice for J6” rally in Washington, D.C., was planned by right-wing supporters of individuals arrested and charged for their actions on Jan. 6. Media and government officials built the event up as a major threat to the security of the city, with hundreds of members of federal law enforcement, local police and the National Guard mobilized to put down any unrest.
Take: Justice for J6 rally has been overhyped by irresponsible reporters who gave legitimacy to a non-event
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) September 18, 2021
The event ended up drawing only 100-200 attendees according to most estimates, with Capitol Police estimating that a maximum of 450 people showed up including protesters, counter-protesters and journalists. Many journalists at the event estimated that media members outnumbered actual rally attendees.
There were four arrests made at the rally, one of which was of a Customs and Border Patrol Officer who was carrying a firearm. The officer won’t be charged.
Several security measure were taken for the event: helicopters circled the air, park police surrounded the event on horseback while riot shields were deployed by other officers and 100 National Guardsmen were put on standby. Ultimately, all of that was done for a crowd of less than 200 protesters who were dispersed by 3 p.m.
Even though it was a dud, “Small crowd at Capitol protest” is still the lead story on Sunday’s WaPo front page. Why? Because, as the story’s lead says, it was “the most anticipated visit by right-wing activists to the nation’s capital since a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on 1/6.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 19, 2021
The media who built the insignificant rally into a headline-grabbing event continued to treat it as such even after it turned out to be a false alarm. A recap of the rally still led The Washington Post, and CNN’s top media pundit Brian Stelter agreed with the characterization of the rally as the “most anticipated visit by right-wing activists to the nation’s capital” since Jan. 6.
Security at the Justice for J6 rally 👀 pic.twitter.com/PtgbOpWWP7
— Richie🎥McG🍿 (@RichieMcGinniss) September 18, 2021
If the rally drew a major crowd or turned violent, it undoubtedly would’ve drawn major media coverage from every corner of the political spectrum. When it ultimately was a non-event, corporate liberal media still covered it as a major happening, with the spin being that the authorities were ready for the right-wing mob this time around. (RELATED: Liberals Downplayed BLM Riots. Now They’re Inflating QAnon Threats To Militarize The Capitol)
Perhaps the worst of it came from @CNN, who pushed nonsense for days leading up to the event.
“Renewed fears of political violence grip Capitol Hill” actually turned into “more press than protestors.”
Will CNN tell that story now? pic.twitter.com/Z7d08DCMSf
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) September 18, 2021
It remains unclear what evidence there was that the Capitol was “gripped” by “renewed fears” of political violence, as CNN described the scenario ahead of time.