Dr Naomi Wolf
There is no way to avoid this moment. The formal letter of apology. From me. To Conservatives and to those who “put America first” everywhere.
It’s tempting to sweep this confrontation with my own gullibility under the rug — to “move on” without ever acknowledging that I was duped, and that as a result I made mistakes in judgement, and that these mistakes, multiplied by the tens of thousands and millions on the part of people just like me, hurt millions of other people like you all, in existential ways.
But that erasure of personal and public history would be wrong.
I owe you a full-throated apology.
I believed a farrago of lies. And, as a result of these lies, and my credulity — and the credulity of people similarly situated to me - many conservatives’ reputations are being tarnished, on false bases.
The proximate cause of this letter of apology is the airing, two nights ago, of excepts from tens of thousands of hours of security camera footage from the United States Capitol taken on Jan 6, 2021. The footage was released by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson [https://www.axios.com/2023/03/08/mccarthy-defends-jan-6-footage-tucker-carlson-fox-news].
While “fact-checkers” state that it is “misinformation” to claim that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was in charge of Capitol Police on that day [https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/07/27/fact-check-nancy-pelosi-isnt-in-charge-capitol-police/8082088002/], the fact is that the USCP is under the oversight of Congress, according to — the United States Capitol Police: [https://www.uscp.gov/the-department/oversight].
This would be the same Congress that convened the January 6 Committee subsequently, and that used millions of dollars in taxpayer money to turn that horrible day, and that tragic event, into a message point that would be used to tar a former President as a would-be terrorist, and to smear all Republicans, by association, as “insurrectionists,” or as insurrectionists’ sympathizers and fellow-travelers.
There is no way to unsee Officer Brian Sicknick, claimed by some Democrats in leadership and by most of the legacy media to have been killed by rioters at the Capitol that day, alive in at least one section of the newly released video. The USCP medical examiner states that this Officer died of “natural causes,” but also that he died “in the line of duty.” Whatever the truth of this confusing conclusion, and with all respect for and condolences to Officer Sicknick’s family, the circumstances of his death do matter to the public, as without his death having been caused by the events of Jan 6, the breach of the capitol, serious though it was, cannot be described as a “deadly insurrection.” [https://www.uscp.gov/media-center/press-releases/medical-examiner-finds-uscp-officer-brian-sicknick-died-natural-causes] Sadly, though the contrary was what was reported, Officer Sicknick died two days after Jan 6, from suffering two strokes. https://lawandcrime.com/u-s-capitol-siege/capitol-police-officer-brian-sicknick-died-of-natural-causes-after-suffering-two-strokes-day-after-jan-6-report/
There is no way for anyone thoughtful, even if he or she is a lifelong Democrat, not to notice that Sen Chuck Schumer did not say to the world that the footage that Mr Carlson aired was not real. Rather, he warned that it was “shameful” for Fox to allow us to see it. The Guardian characterized Mr Carlson’s and Fox News’ sin, weirdly, as “Over-Use” of Jan 6 footage. Isn’t the press supposed to want full transparency for all public interest events? [https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2023/mar/07/biden-medicare-taxes-desantis-trump-2024-live-updates] How can you “over-use” real footage of events of national relevance?
Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate minority leader, did not say the video on Fox News was fake or doctored. He said, rather, that it was “a mistake” to depart from the views of the events held by the chief of the Capitol Police. This is a statement from McConnell about orthodoxy — not a statement about a specific truth or untruth. [https://www.c-span.org/video/?c5060662/senator-mcconnell-calls-tucker-carlsons-depiction-january-6-attack-mistake]