The Committee to Protect Journalists is troubled by the violence threatened against journalists as part of the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by supporters of President Trump and opponents of the election results.
According to CPJ those included intimidation of news crews, destruction of equipment, and the words "Murder the Media" scrawled on a door inside the Capitol. Journalists were forced to shelter in place in the Capitol and so had a first-hand view of the chaos.
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Earlier in the day the President had addressed the soon-to-be mob saying the media had helped Democrats rig the election, and that it would take strength, not weakness, to face the theft of his rightful second term. He then told the crowd to go to the Capitol, where the electoral votes that would certify his opponent, Joe Biden, as the winner were being counted.
The result was that several police barricades were breached, the Capitol was briefly occupied by the crowd, five people ultimately died either during or as a result of the insurrection, property was stolen, and some of the mob trashed Hill offices.
CPJ has published interviews with some of the journalists covering the violence, including one who said that three people had threatened to shoot them. "I'm coming back with a gun tomorrow and I'm coming for you," Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, freelance photojournalist on assignment for The Washington Post, said one person in the crowd warned her.
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President Trump has spent most of his tenure claiming the mainstream media were enemies of the people, fake, failing, and worse.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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