Back in 2016, CBS News’s Lesley Stahl asked Trump why he was relentlessly attacking the media and accusing them of being liars and spreaders of fake news. He cynically replied that he wanted to preemptively discredit them in the eyes of his followers so that when they reported anything negative about him, they would not be believed. He steadily ramped up the attacks on the media at every chance he could, even referring to them as enemies of the people and scum. And you have to admit that his strategy worked. His cult following refused to believe anything bad that the media said about him. His enemies became their enemies.
On Wednesday we saw where this could lead when the mob attacked journalists and destroyed their equipment while they were covering the rampage.
Outside the Capitol, pro-Trump protesters are smashing cameras and other media equipment yelling “CNN sucks!”
One man took a wooden stick and bashed the pile of destroyed equipment.
This stuff isn’t owned by CNN. They are destroying AP equipment. pic.twitter.com/NeIUUSuYaC
— Christal Hayes (@Journo_Christal) January 6, 2021
Here is video of an Associated Press reporter being attacked and threatened with death during the riot after being accused of belonging to the one group they hate more than the media and that is antifa. Fortunately for him, he was escorted to safety by one of the less extreme people.
My friend @johnminchillo of AP being assaulted outside the capitol yesterday. The words spewing from Trumps mouth about the press as “enemies of the state”leads directly to this. Anyone who supports or repeats his bile about the press is complicit https://t.co/RCKATf7wAo
— Lucas Jackson (@Lucas_Jackson_) January 8, 2021
Meanwhile the people who proudly posed or posted photos of themselves during the riot now being arrested. Bad as things were, they could have been much worse.
On Friday the DoJ said one Capitol attacker, Lonnie Leroy Coffman, 70 and from Alabama, was alleged to have had in his vehicle “one black handgun, one M4 Carbine assault rifle along with rifle magazines loaded with ammunition, and components for the construction of 11 ‘Molotov cocktails’ in the form of mason jars filled with ignitable substances, rags, and lighters”.
A statement said: “Coffman was [also] found to have on his person a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun [and] a 22-caliber derringer style handgun.
“… Coffman told officers that the mason jars contained melted Styrofoam and gasoline. [The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] advised that the combination of melted Styrofoam and gasoline is an explosive mixture that has the effect of napalm because, when detonated, the substance causes the flammable liquid to better stick to objects that it hits.”
Coffman was charged with unlawful possession of a destructive device, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years, and carrying a pistol without a license under Washington DC law, which carries a term of up to five years.
Citing court documents, CNN reported that another attacker, Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr, was alleged to have sent texts in which he said he had “a shit ton of … armour-piercing ammo” and wanted to “[put] a bullet in [Pelosi’s] noggin on Live TV”. He also reportedly said he had considered running Pelosi over.
FBI agents who searched Meredith’s truck and trailer reportedly found a Glock 19, a 9mm pistol and an assault rifle and “approximately hundreds of rounds of ammunition”.
Also facing federal charges, CNN reported, was Christopher Alberts of Maryland, accused of wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a handgun and ammunition on Capitol grounds.
There are also reports that the mob was looking for Mike Pence, furious over his ‘betrayal’ of their Dear Leader. They even built a makeshift gallows on the Capitol grounds to emphasize their anger.
Trump supporters chanting 'HANG MIKE PENCE' at the Capitol Building pic.twitter.com/iMSOl4u3tg
— Dallas (@59dallas) January 6, 2021
However, after being one of the people who most devotedly fed and nurtured the monster that is Trump, Pence now wants us to feel sorry for him.
For allies of Pence, it was a deeply upsetting episode that put the vice president in danger after four years of unstinting loyalty to the president and left Pence himself feeling hurt.
“I just think he’s had enough,” said John Thompson, who served as Pence’s campaign spokesman and and also worked for the Republican Governors’ Association.
“Yesterday just really pulled on his heartstrings,” Thompson said. “He’s been this loyal individual and the president was asking him to break the law and act outside his constitutional duties. I think it just reached a boiling point and the vice president said, ‘I’ve had enough.’”
Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma told Tulsa World, “I’ve never seen Pence as angry as he was today.”
“He said, ‘After all the things I’ve done for (Trump),’” Inhofe added.
Pence does not seem to have the self-awareness to realize that that is precisely the problem. Doing everything that Trump wanted was what resulted in Trump turning on him on the one occasion when he didn’t. Trump does not know the meaning of gratitude for what you have done for him in the past. He only cares what you can do for him now and in the near future. Loyalty for him is a one-way street. You would think that having seen Trump up close for four years, Pence would have figured that out.