Gee, Axios, you don’t say: "Republicans plot vengeance on Jan. 6 committee."
How slow of a news day is it that we needed to be told—without any new facts or quotes from named individuals—that Republicans would like to use a congressional majority to try to discredit whatever conclusions the Jan. 6 select committee eventually releases?
One of the Republicans cited by Alayna Treene and Jonathan Swan as plotting vengeance already lost his primary, so he won’t be doing squat. There will be plenty to take his place, of course: “When Republicans retake the majority, we will exercise our oversight responsibilities including subpoena authority to review all transcripts and information that the committee has access to in order to identify the truth,” according to an unnamed “senior GOP staffer on the House Administration Committee.”
But there’s nothing new here. Republicans will always use any power they have not to improve people’s lives or invest in infrastructure or avert climate disaster, but to attack Democrats in hopes of getting more power. And creating an official narrative that the attack on the U.S. Capitol was no big deal is an important part of that goal, as is attacking Democrats for having investigated at all. After all, Republicans shot down the attempt to create an independent bipartisan commission to investigate—because they did not want an investigation, and if there had to be one, they wanted to be able to attack it as partisan and have reporters of the Axios variety accept that more or less at face value.
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In an important thread, Marcy Wheeler looks at “how many ways Axios treats truth as a game in this piece,” from the acceptance of the Republican insistence that their “investigations” would somehow change the truth of what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, to the gauzy vagueness of one of the few on-the-record quotes in the piece about just what Republicans would be investigating, to this fundamental closing point:
Considering what terrible journalism it is, it’s amazing how much this article shows about why our politics are the way they are. Republicans care about nothing but dragging other people down and building their own power, and reporters are willing to treat Republican plans in that vein as news without treating it as a problem worth considering more deeply.
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