On Fox this week, a host and guest shut down claims from former Vice President Mike Pence that members of the media have been reporting on the aftermath of the January riot at the Capitol as part of some kind of intentional scheme to simultaneously distract people from the Biden administration’s supposed failures and impugn the reputations of Trump voters. Pence made these remarks on Fox itself, claiming that news outlets hope to divert attention from “the Biden administration’s failed agenda by focusing on one day in January.” Downplaying what happened — no matter how fervently — will not magically erase the fact that a mob stormed the Capitol and violently threatened top leaders (including Pence!) under the inspiration of the then-president.
Fox host Howard Kurtz observed that “saying ‘one day in January’ is kind of like calling 9/11 one day in September. It was a pretty tragic day!” Subsequently, he asked Fox contributor Mara Liasson as follows:
‘Do you buy [Pence’s] argument that the media are doing this deliberately to distract or deflect from Joe Biden’s considerable woes?’
Liasson insisted that such was not the case. As she put it in response:
‘No. I think there has been tremendous coverage of Joe Biden’s considerable woes. I think the media has been like a dog with a bone on that… The other thing that Mike Pence said which I think is absolutely false, is to say that by focusing on January 6, the most violent insurrection against the Capitol in over 100 years — somehow [that’s] denigrating the 74 million people who voted for Donald Trump. That’s just completely false.’
Broken clocks like Fox News are apparently on-point sometimes. Check out the on-air take-down below:
Pence’s willingness to gloss over the reality of what took place seems especially notable, since he was one of the targets of the mob over his perceived lack of sufficient loyalty to Trump. The then-president had hoped for Pence to intervene in the Congressional process of certifying the presidential election outcome and swing things in his favor, but Pence did not actually possess the legally recognized power to do that. The aim was for Pence to stop the certification of certain electoral votes for Biden, and when he refused to try, Trump publicly flipped out. At the Capitol, a group of rioters at one point shouted to “Hang Mike Pence!” — and a gallows was constructed outside, offering a troubling look at what might have happened if the mob had reached him. Pence and other government leaders only barely escaped the oncoming crowd.