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Read this: Did the storming of the Capitol damage US media?

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Did the storming of the Capitol damage U…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 hello this week the year anniversary of the storming of the US capitol.

It's an event in America and it's Media is still coming to terms with some us news outlets have been accused of obsessing over January 6th.

I've been Condemned for normalising what happened and forgiving any space to the idea that the US election was stolen and right in the middle of all of this we have the ongoing role of the Tech giants and how they the disco's that they host for example just this week Twitter's band several political accounts so while January 61 event it had many consequences and we're going to go with the help of 5 guests day before complete his Media correspondent for National Public Radio in the US Christopher Walker is a tech journalist based here in the UK Robert Costa

Political reporter at the Washington Post his new book peril is co-authored with the Legendary journalist Bob Woodward of Watergate thing also joining us is Susan 480 chief congressional correspondent at the Washington Examiner and Susan before we go any further just help us understand, what kind of paper is the Washington Examiner reporters cover breaking news, Congress the White House politics in general elections and we also have a team of opinion columnists added into the mix well with you joining us and our final guest is insane editor-in-chief advice UK in and sing for people who don't know vice well.

What's your editorial remit in charge of vice UK

Well, we are a global youth culture website.

We have a TV film studio.

We are on tiktok social media channels Snapchat we also publish your website which is this time in age for a millennial and gen Z audience and we have offices all over the world from LA to New York London and Asia the websites are retro that's where we got to unfortunately if you're talking to people who are 18 and 19 years older purchase of 2021 and I'd like to ask the three of you in the US that story as it unfolded and the journalistic challenges that it poses let's begin with you David Welby unfolding at the store January 6th last year itself follows a predictable in the moment itself there was.

What was happening in front of the eyes of those covering it live and there was covering it in person on outlets that weren't live in the moment.

I've already had been a peaceful soon became an angry interaction and siege of the capital of course on that day.

There was even from you know depressed.

I think we made touch of the Conservative press.

I think reflection of reality of how this man this was get a shock as any citizen would have but as you get further from itself it quickly descend into a politicisation hard to some degree EN11 especially on the right but that day you know I think there was just believe I think they were shark.

I think there was grief that was playing out in the Capel building it started self-interested.

You talk about the conservative side of Us Media I wonder where you would describe npr's position in the media spectrum.

I mean we feel ourselves to be very much like the BBC we don't have opinionated on staff to tell people what to think how to vote that you might find my editorial pages of newspapers or on the A30 pages in the UK or even or in the way in which British newspapers your voice we have you know I meant to be I think they're all sides to present people in their own voices and do our best to make sure they're very for light-headed reality and fact and that's been you go for the last year's you can send yourself with the ramifications of January 6th Susan would you actually in Congress or close to it? When January 2nd 1990 security of all their over the years to various terrible incidents and I've seen how it's increased and changed in terms of access from the public.

Wok right Inn in wonder round and then it became sober fortress over the years and that was hard why it seems so shocking to us that on this huge group of people were able to I'm into into steps by pushing past the police and they're all so loud to wondering in huge numbers without any security checks by the police to shocking things happening so just from a security perspective aside from the nature of why these people did this that was really extremely surprising to me go on the car.

So where were you as I'm talking to the people who were coming in and out and trying to find out I mean the challenge for me was trying to get out.

Why they hope to accomplish different types of people there there a big Monolith which I think is unfortunately depressed.

Reported that way different types of people there are many types and the most violent among them was the smallest people in my challenge was to try to find all types of people who are in that building in trying to get them to tell me what they were trying to convey.

What are they felt breaking a Windows in attacking a police was going to help them accomplish their goal taking over the Senate chamber was that can I help? What was behind their thinking? It was really fast can have long conversations with the corporate and people just wanted in and people it's the capital I can walk in here the police.

Let me we had a nice chat.

I was able to hang out for a while.

So was it was fascinating and I think it was important to find out like if you're recovering a black lives matter you're burning down.

You wanna do the same thing I say why you doing it's what's at the heart of wine feel you need to be violent to hurt people that because it really was shocking as Davidson I felt when things like that happen.

We as reporters.

She really good in there and ask questions, so you wanted to get in there and understand why these people were doing what they're doing Robert Costa from the Washington Post if I could bring you in here.

Do you think the fact that there was only one film crew inside the capital building the ITV News film crew the fact that many were surprised that this happened was evidence that the US Media is a whole just had been talking to this section of society anywhere near enough in the weeks and months running up to January 6th.

No, I I think the media was paying Close attention to trump during the transition period the Challenge for the media and for me at the time writing a book with Bob Woodward is we did not know all of the facts about what was happening behind the scenes you had a president coordinator in a pressure campaign against its own Department of Justice state officials is own vice president other age are makers on Capitol Hill in at the time.

It seemed like this was more than egotrip for trump to have a rally but it actually was the combination of a coordinated effort to overturn election switch on January 50 year ago today.

We just work really clear about and evidence of that is my own reporting.

I was outside the Willow hotel on the 9th of January 5th or hearing rumours that giuliani in bed or inside up to no good, but I don't really know the full picture until months later and it's very clear after we discovered this document call the Eastman memo and did other deep background interviews but Trump

Not an ego trip you was not just having a rally this was not just a spasm and have a part of the country the media was ignoring this was an attempt to overturn election and it took months to really piece together that story and was still peace out of the story and of course writing using deep background methods is something that goes many years back Bob Woodward your co-author used in of course famously in the 1970s series what you're saying that actually the story was extraordinary, but it didn't reveal any structural problems with the way that us Media or us journalism works.

I think we all need to step back in the media in follow.

The two words I tried to follow every day which is assume nothing.

I think 6 was not a failure of the media.

It was a failure of imagination that the American democratic system could be taken to the brink by an incumbent president in the final weeks of his presidency people in the media brothel in politics current really fathom that the Peaceful transfer of power would be truly disrupted remove Ford and hear people say we need to cover the market more that to me is right argument to have more than imagination sometimes oblique one about what is possible in the United States and to be attentive to that it's an interesting way of framing at to describe it as a year of imagination David from NPR I can hear you trying to come in.

I think we just have to listen carefully the podcast it's just said right there Innocence the media had done so much to hear from Trumps in the period after Joe Biden victory in the 2020 election but really ever since the American video was taken by complete surprise on 2016.

There was no failure to talk to from supporters to talk to people in in that we can see trump territory.

There was a failure to recognise the implication unreported was showing and then there was this extra layer that makes it very different from violent protest for Social Justice obln as important.

Is it to cover does social movement criminal activities that me and Sue this is different because there are structural forces at play their institutions placed in motion or it open at revolt.

Against leaders and their work efforts to Leverage his powerful positions in government overturned the will of the American Bar and so when we consider the description you've just David and the description Roberts just giving us Susan 400 from the Washington Examiner I wonder if you feel that American medias coverage of the Fallout from January all the way through the last 12 months has been proportionate.

I think it's about trying to tie Republicans to overthrowing an election and overthrowing the government there a lot of people who feel very Trump's first is only likely was undermined by Democrats in the whole Russian collusion storyline that dominated his entire term drove him to some of the behaviour we saw and that's a storyline and also deserves consideration and obviously I'm not hungry here with the guest on this issue, but I feel like the reporting of the media and America Jeremy speaking is generally biased toward Democrats big paper big radio stations and that's just been a kind of fact of life here in America and so for them to look at this says really democracy about to be overthrown I saw.

Kind of like I think I'd really rather die, but I think it had dire consequences what he did in his final weeks and office.

I don't know if I really felt like she was under threat it seemed to me that was never a real possibility that the election was going to be taken away from Joe Biden I think there's a lot of strange things going on in the election big changes big last minute changes in the American voting system that undermine public confidence in that is all played in at Ouija including Trump's only access to what happened on January 6 was terrible and I wonder as we consider your critique of how the Liberal view in the US cover January 6th and the monster the follow Robert Costa do we also need to factor in here that Donald Trump was very very good business for the Liberal Media in the US and

The sick does a loud his impact on us politics and it's impact on their bottom line to reach beyond his presidency.

No, I reject that premise your insinuating the media is driving it's covered in a transaction away.

Please don't click to follow trump.

I I don't think that's accurate show me ever well.

I could point to the fact that say a TV network like MSNBC is spending an awful.

Lot of time looking at January 6th and the consequences of everything that I followed you could argue that journalistic sound and justifiable, but it's critics would say it's also a good way of driving ratings to inflate the importance of the story vs other stories to not say it's not important but to give it a disproportionate amount of time.

What you're assuming intent there, but I don't know the intent.

I do know you're right the covering it.

That's a fair thing to say MSNBC is covering a lot Fox News covering the light in in in an entirely different way CNN covering its own way the auction here is what to not cover a major committee work on investigating checking the US capitol in focus on Byron's agenda.

Climate build Back better social spending infrastructure that is an editorial choice to also cover January 60 year after but I don't see I sexy January 16th and different within the committee the committee season in recent days framing at least congresswoman Cheney is about trump Being Idle on January 6th is not the story may have been idle for a few hours and January 6th itself the story is the weeks prior and the intent was there to disrupt elections another reason and I give my credit.

To keep covering this is because the aftershock of January 6th is not that it was an isolated episode attempt to frame the 2020 election as a fragile in election continue in a rabbit weigh in many states to the point where people trying to run for office saying the election was allied change election laws saying the election was a lie.

This is a pervasive new movement in American Pie deserves attention in scrutiny.

What's your view of this the degree to which no one is suggesting this isn't a story but it's a degree.

It is the degree to which it's being covered.

Do you suspect the Liberal mean? You have had a incentives beyond editorial judgements for for focusing on this.

Well, I want to be careful about accepting the idea of Liberal Media that it's the washing poster is know exactly the way the Guardian is American newspapers.

Try by and large.

They have sensibilities outlooks experiences of their total Factor choices by you know about work different explicit that you might find it in the you I think MSNBC does play but what happened on January 6th the investigation the aftermath the implications to greater degree of dispersion degree you could argue then say place like York within your time does cover as well in great that the kind of policy arguments and political debates that Robert just referred to you.

I will remind you that cable does everything is proportionate.

Things is sort of a magazine with 17 different stories now.

They cover maybe three or four stories now and one of them.

They will do out of proportion regardless what I would say is that this is fundamentally in summer.

Story of armoni I think it's wrong to say you know well there were concerns about the integrity of the selections news organizations at times including the Washington Examiner which I actually respect but let's be clear for your viewers.

It is a right of centre outfit.

Who's CEO is currently campaigning for his publication by campaigning against or advertising against the credibility of the rest of the media.

They have cast out about some of the changes that were made because the pandemic and that's fair, but those were evaluated and found not to affect the election not for there to be any meaningful level of Friday country start casting doubt on that element of dozens of lawsuits and hundreds of evaluations by election officials of the right and the left Republican and democratic nation is to give credence to something that's been discredited and what's interesting listening to all three of you Susan Robert and David is the degree of emphasis on the functioning of American Dad

Sing sing if we can bring you in your editor-in-chief of Voice UK I wonder if you've observed this story whether this marks a broader shift in journalist interesting, how fussy functions and how that's described to their audiences certainly reflects that kind of shift in the US but I think that contrasting that was what's been happening in the UK in the UK we still have a media that focusing on the individual fibres of our politicians.

I just need to know Matt Hancock and be kissing take that was that broke last year.

You know that with the way someone like that Joe Biden is covered in the US press first someone like Carrie Symonds and what she's been coming to the UK press like the differences between the UK and the US president the US media right now.

It's very focused on democratic processes the ways in which people can be disenfranchise of them gerrymandering that occurs in elections where they think in the UK for better or worse, Whitfield

The character about politicians which is why we see people criticize for instance Boris Johnson it won't be long until they get a dig in about your the way you dress as well where you present themselves, but still very much a person political system here so we looked at how this is impacted on the way democracy is described within journalism.

We discussed the proportionate nature of this was covered to let's turn to the Tech giant because one side of the story that hasn't gone away is the role of the Tech Giants Twitter and Facebook and being accused of Acting too slowly when it came down to compose inciting violence on January 6th and they're also being accused know of overreaching of interfering in politics of banning some political accounts of course the high-profile example of that is Donald Trump is Twitter account was suspended not long after January 6th now in the last few days congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has been banned from Twitter permanently for sure.

Colbert misinformation and Christopher Walker what more do we know about that decision from Twitter to to kick a congresswoman and elected congresswoman off their platform slightly different thing was Marjorie Taylor Greene than Donald Trump Donald Trump removed from Twitter because of his insight into violence Marjorie Taylor Greene had 5 strikes I believe for Covey disinformation.

Obviously vitally important now anything the role that Twitter and Facebook and other social media platforms play in all of these conversations both national and international speaks for their power.

We're all representatives all kind of the old media and things to the lord about the way that websites are kind of giving way to social media.

We always often forget that social media is a public space.

What is privately owned and there are rules in privately owned organisations and if you fall foul of them then you'll get kicked off the challenge obviously for

Media platforms is that you have to try and benefit both sides you have to keep both sides happy in what I think we've already seen in this conversation is a pretty politically polarized debates you're damned if you do and damned if you don't if your Facebook or Twitter uncomfortable with Twitter taking decisions about which politicians can and can't reach the kind of scale that Twitter offers social media and general has you know tried to tip the scales because they can you write their private Leon they can do what they want.

They are a lot of Conservative voices of bad people who have wanted to talk more formal lovely.

I think about covered about lockdowns about Vaccines about the effect of The Vaccines some of the people who been banned.

It doesn't seem a quarter sense.

They were just there were just stating actual facts that from from medical doctors about Coalville

Turn off the platform because it's cold and the Strange Kind of covered misinformation ID and I feel like that.

It's caused a lot of people to question social media cancel look they are not the scrutiny of in America of Congress right now because they've got enemies people angry at them on the right and the left so I think that the next year to you going to see the government either do more to start to manage their step in because they don't have friends on either Saturday alright mate.

They're actually truly are card in them from my perspective some of the people that you see getting banned from Facebook and Twitter just doesn't make a lot of sense and it doesn't seem fair to do agree with that and I wondered whether you agree with the principles being raised here but also a specific question about your business which relies on these platforms.

Do you feel vulnerable that they could at any point take a position against you or any other business?

I think if you ask any editor of any publication that puts content on social media.

Do they feel bone about the answers always going to be yes, because fundamentally and I think this is one of the few issues.

I reckon you want this time.

It will pretty much agree with me on Technic that have far too much power to decide what goes out in what does an angel so far too much power decide who gets heard and who gets the maximum sofa instance Facebook or is it now no matter can on a dime choose to change its algorithm? It won't gather every single social media editor every single publication in explaining guys.

This is what's going to happen? This is how it's going to affect your content doesn't happen that way you just wake up one morning and you realise that your content is it before me the same way that used to this is this is happened high-profile case in the UK because the music and politics rule has been permanently suspended from Twitter this is an account that tweeted out predominantly breaking news stories from other outlets in hundreds of thousands of

Including MPs in government ministers and cress heads, it's gone tell us why well we've difficult to actually no rose it seem as if it's gone because of the fact that it was aggregating information amongst linked account that it opens although we don't really know and it hasn't definitively really said no as the owner of politics all actually come out and spoken really to the press.

So please this kind of lack of transparency that we all concerned about giving the outsized impact that social media platforms have really interesting point there in terms of this idea of we are eggs in terms of the media in baskets that we don't have control off and those of us with long memories will remember things like the medias pivot to video in the late 2000s early 2010s suddenly Facebook prioritise video content people were hired in order to produce videos regular writers were fired on the back of that and then suddenly Facebook turned off that tap of traffic.

Is platform so suddenly? Do you find the media having to go with again? And I think this is one of the biggest user is we really are seeing the media platforms being led by social media David let's bring you in on this what I think.

There's some interesting Caribbean questions here for example.

I think we forget in America with first amendment m private companies at Normans Bay dominate the way in which people I think acquire exposed to information particularly made of Facebook but also Twitter and yet.

They have their own for flights to make choices about company allowed to talk on your life and that's not regulated by the government exactly and yet.

There are questions about first principles of taking off the platform who has the authority of office to speak to her constituents duly elected.

You know that does raise significant concerns.

I think there's been a lot of journalistic.

Look at the claim made off.

Conservatives are targeted.

I do think at a time where there seems to be symmetrical.

Not that there's none on the left is symmetrical level on this information just information from certain kinds of right-wing figures about coded for example at the platforms are struggling to deal with a waste of without fully deplatforming that I think could perhaps be more fully explore the questions remain for how the media interacts with the Tech platforms just to bring this discussion back to January 6th in the last few minutes Robert Costa we've heard how you reading the book.

We've heard how you cover that story in the hours and days that followed the storming of the capital cities in a number of different types of journalism.

I wonder though you have some distance from The Event where do you think there are broader lesson now need to be applied as the media continues to cover the story is it evolves my advice to colleagues VR my own organizations would be too.

Vigorous in listening to what people doing out in the country and that means not just talking to voters but talking more the state officials to local officials what is happening out in the country to me the constitutional crisis on the horizon.

If it ever happens is in January 2025 if alternate sites of electors or a different way of counting of its proposed a broadly speaking inside the Republican party in it that seems to be a development based in my report in that is active right now.

Thank you very much.

I'm sorry.

I just know we're up against the end of the program, but that is some final advice for Robert Costa of the Washington Post or quick dimension a new Radio 4 series The Coming storm presented by Gabriel Gatehouse Gabriel's been investigating the cause of the capital riots and look specifically at q anon.

You can listen to the whole series on BBC sounds.

Thank you very much to Robert to David for conflict sing saying Susan Fred show and Kris Stocker Walker

Katie razzall will be back with you on the media show next week and don't forget you can listen back to the program via BBC sounds but for the moment for me and all of the media show team.

Thank you very much indeed for listening will see you soon.


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