A lot of details were initially overlooked in last week’s Capitol Hill mob riot. After a few hours and days, we learned that the demonstration-turned-insurrection was premeditated and that Capitol police kinda sorta definitely knew what was coming. We’ve also learned the extent to which pro-Trump insurrectionists targeted the news media.
By now most people have seen the infamous photo of the words “Murder the Media” scratched into one of the Capitol doors. But things got way heavier than that—reporters were charged at, equipment was broken, and the true effect of Donald Trump referring to the media as an enemy of the state was clear and obvious. Here are some of the more shocking incidents of violence toward media members from last week.
Insurrectionists Approach Media, Trash Equipment
JUST NOW: protestors charging the media pic.twitter.com/cANlcv5CMP
— William Turton (@WilliamTurton) January 6, 2021
Bloomberg’s William Turton captured this footage of angry Trump supporters cascading down upon a media setup and attacking equipment with flags and fists. The video shows the insurrectionists pushing over lighting, smashing equipment, and yelling at journalists to “move” and “get out of here” as they overtake the area and continue destroying the equipment. According to further detail, these demonstrators became enraged when they saw a New York Times press badge on one journalist and loudly chanted “CNN sucks” while destroying cameras—but according to USA Today’s Christal Hayes, it was AP equipment.
Outside the Capitol, pro-Trump protesters are smashing cameras and other media equipment yelling “CNN sucks!”
One man took a wooden stick and bashed the pile of destroyed equipment.
This stuff isn’t owned by CNN. They are destroying AP equipment. pic.twitter.com/NeIUUSuYaC
— Christal Hayes (@Journo_Christal) January 6, 2021
AP News Photographer Attacked
Despite repeatedly showing his press badge, AP News photographer John Minchillo became the target of rioters’ ire as they streamed inside the Capitol building. Minchillo was repeatedly thrown backwards into the crowd of insurrectionists while being hit. At one point he’s even pushed over a wall. The video also shows several Trump supporters asking him if he’s a member of Antifa before summarily shoving and chasing him further toward the back of the advancing crowd.
Capitol Police Arrest WaPo Journalists for Filming
— Zoeann Murphy (@ZoeannMurphy) January 7, 2021
WaPo‘s Zoeann Murphy tweeted this video of her and her colleagues being arrested for filming the demonstration outside the Capitol. According to Murphy, they were released shortly afterward, but the incident shows somewhat of a disparity between how Capitol police were ready to treat journalists vs. how they treated the mob rioters who actually invaded the building and killed two of their own.
These incidents don’t fully capture what were surely countless aggressions against journalists and news media last week. There were reports of several other journalists facing assault and attack at protests in other parts of the country too. So much of Trump’s rhetoric has revolved around portraying the media as an evil, insidious enemy. It’s hardly surprising to see his supporters taking those words seriously and actually threatening and assaulting journalists. But it doesn’t make it any less shocking or scary to watch unfold.