After a mob of Trump supporters were done storming the Capitol at the President’s urging, there was a bone-chilling message left behind that was scrawled on a door: “Murder the Media.”
When the insurrectionists descended upon Capitol grounds in a violent takeover, the journalists who were covering the chaos suddenly found themselves under attack by enraged Trump followers who’ve been told for four years that the media was the “enemy of the people” and out to get their beloved leader.
In the aftermath of the riot, accounts from the reporters who were at the scene illustrated the direct impact of Trump spending his entire presidency whining about negative media coverage and painting himself as a victim of “fake news.”
BuzzFeed News Reporter Paul McLeod
As he was describing the fracas via Twitter in real time, McLeod reported that Trump supporters outside the building were destroying a large pile of equipment left behind by members of the Associated Press who were forced to flee from the mob. “We are the news now!” a man yelled, according to McLeod.
Most horrifying of all: The insurrectionists used one of the camera cords to fashion a noose.
They made a noose from the camera cord and hung it from a tree. pic.twitter.com/M9KC7odLAm
— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) January 6, 2021
Freelance Photojournalist Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Andrade-Rhoades, who was on assignment for the Washington Post during the attack, told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that though she couldn’t tell whether the insurrectionists were armed, “I had three different people threaten to shoot me over the course of the day.”
“At one point, a guy leaned over to me and said, ‘I’m coming back with a gun tomorrow and I’m coming for you,'” she said.
Washington Post Reporters Marc Fisher, Meagan Flynn, Jessica Contrera and Carol Leonnig
In their detailed timeline of the insurrection, the Post journalists reported that “about a hundred people rushed a media staging area where TV cameras were trained on the Capitol,” knocked over the barricades and trashed the equipment, “sometimes using Trump flags as weapons.”
New York Times Staff Photographer Erin Schaff
Schaff reported that “two or three men in black” surrounded her, then “became really angry” and violent when they saw her New York Times press pass.
“They threw me to the floor, trying to take my cameras. I started screaming for help as loudly as I could. No one came. People just watched,” Schaff wrote. “At this point, I thought I could be killed and no one would stop them. They ripped one of my cameras away from me, broke a lens on the other and ran away.”
Videos Highlight Of The Trump Crowd’s Violent Fury Toward The Press
BREAKING. Mob of Trump supporters swarm the media near the US Capitol. They yell what Trump frequently says, “the media is the enemy of the people.” They destroy equipment and chased out reporters. I’ve never seen anything like this in my 20 year career: @nbcwashington @MSNBC pic.twitter.com/3VLC07JQR2
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) January 6, 2021
Uploading for @DGisSERIOUS . This is appalling.
"This video of AP photographer @johnminchillo at the protest yesterday is insane. He was dragged out and nearly lynched. This should be seen by everyone. @pressfreedom " pic.twitter.com/2C8puAL2GH
— Guns, Ganders, and Goats (@MENA_Conflict) January 8, 2021
JUST NOW: protestors charging the media pic.twitter.com/cANlcv5CMP
— William Turton (@WilliamTurton) January 6, 2021
— barely informed with elad 🕵🏻♂️ (@elaadeliahu) January 6, 2021