They offered an alternate reality in which everyone but pro-Trump rioters were to blame.

You can’t understand America, 2021, without watching how right-wing media explained a mob storming the U.S. Capitol for the first time since the early 19th century.
The big picture: The right’s favored media conservative TV, websites and social networks offered an alternate reality in which everyone but pro-Trump rioters were to blame for the mayhem at the Capitol.
Here’s theversion of events a good chunk of America got:

  • Instead of condemning the pro-Trump mobs that stormed Washington, right-wing media outlets mostly blamed left-wing activists, the media, Vice President Pence and even police officers for the riots that some suggested were the start of a “civil war” in America.
  • Hosts on Fox News, One America News Network and Newsmax went so far as to baselessly suggest that the unlawful protestors at the Capitol may have been members of Antifa.
  • Conspiracy theorist Lin Wood tweeted to his over 1 million followers before having his account suspended: “Mike Pence @VP @Mike_Pence is a TRAITOR, a Communist Sympathizer & a Child Molester. Lock him up.”

Even when it became obvious that the riots were becoming destructive, right-wing networks downplayed the severity of events, calling those marching on the Capitol mostly peaceful protestors.

  • Presenters on OANN argued the riots were nothing compared to racial-justice protests over the summer.
  • One meme that was posted to, a fringe-right alternative social network, featured a cartoon of a police officer telling a Black Lives Matter protester, “Please stop, we can work this out” while holding a police shield, but holding a gun up against a white MAGA protestor.

Other themes that were prevalent on right-wing websites and TV networks were that rioters had no choice but to storm the Capitol in order to fight for investigations into a “fraudulent” election.

  • Some posters suggested that the Democrats’ Georgia runoff wins implied that the country was turning communist.

The bottom line … Tucker Carlson ended the monologue at the top of his Fox News show by saying: “We got to this sad, chaotic day for a reason. It is not your fault. It is their fault.”