(CNN)”There is no question the media represented it as so much worse than it actually was.”
That’s Megyn Kelly, the former Fox News and, briefly, NBC anchor, on the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.Yup, that’s what she said. (Kelly made the comments on her podcast — in an interview with a comedian named Chrissie Mayr: “I was there and anybody who was there on the 6th is, like, blown away by how, like, inaccurate the media coverage is,” Mayr claimed on the podcast.)Well, here’s the thing: Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts. And the facts of what happened January 6 at the Capitol are indisputable.1. More than 500 people have been charged for their roles in the Capitol riot.Read More2. A total of 140 police officers were injured trying to deal with the insurrectionists.3. Five people died in the riot.How then, exactly, did the media cast the 1/6 riot as “so much worse than it actually was?” Was the body count of dead and injured not high enough for Kelly? Did she need more videos of rioters attacking the police with, well, just about anything they could grab?What Kelly is doing — whether intentionally or not — is playing a part in the attempted reshaping of what actually happened that day.
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From Sen. Ron Johnson’s insistence that January 6 wasn’t an “armed insurrection” (it was) to Rep. Andrew Clyde’s laughable claim that it was a “normal tourist visit” to Donald Trump’s insistence over the weekend that the rioters “were peaceful people, these were great people,” there is a concerted effort by the former President and his allies to whitewash what really happened on January 6.(Sidebar: Senate Republicans’ opposition to the creation of an independent commission to investigate the causes and effects of January 6 seems all the more shortsighted and overtly political in hindsight.)Forgetting what happened or, worse, lying about what happened is a surefire recipe for it to happen again. And I don’t know about you, but I am good with just the one assault on democracy during my lifetime.The Point: Words matter. Especially amid a large-scale effort to rewrite a very dark day in American history. Kelly should know better.