In the day long events commemorating January 6th, Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a telling statement to her fellow members and the public at large. Pelosi declared “It is essential that we preserve the narrative of January 6th.” Part of that narrative is that this was not a riot but an “insurrection,” an actual “rebellion” against our country. Pelosi’s concern over the viability of that narrative is well-based as shown by a recent CBS News poll. The majority of the public does not believe that this was an “insurrection” despite the mantra-like repetition of members of Congress and the media. The public saw that terrible day unfold a year ago and saw it for what it was: a protest that became a riot. (For full disclosure, I previously worked as a legal analyst for CBS News).
Not surprisingly, the poll received little comparative coverage on a day when reporters and commentators spoke of “the insurrection” as an undeniable fact. Yet, when CBS asked Americans, they received an answer that likely did not please many. Indeed, CBS did not highlight the answer to the question of whether the day was really a “protest that went too far.” The answer was overwhelming and nonpartisan. Some 76% believe that this was a protest that went too far.
That, however, was not one of the four options to the matinee question featured by CBS. It did not allow the public to call this a riot when it asked them to describe “What happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021?” Why? There was the ever present “insurrection” and “trying to overthrow government.” However, the other two options were “patriotism” or “defending freedom.” That is perfectly bizarre. The most obvious alternatives to an actual rebellion in a violent clash would be a protest or a riot. However, the public was simply not given those options…
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