Despite warning for days that the “Justice For J6” rally on Saturday would be fraught with violence and lawlessness, Brian Stelter and friends on Friday morning’s CNN Newsroom were weirdly upset that Trump was urging his supporters not to attend the event.
Near the top of the 10 a.m. ET hour, co-host Jim Sciutto reminded viewers that there were “serious concerns” about the upcoming protest. He then introduced media analyst Brian Stelter, who took the conversation in a peculiar direction.
Stelter repeatedly pointed out that Trump and other prominent figures in the MAGA universe were telling their supporters not to go to the Saturday protest:
“In fact, what we’re seeing in some cases are these figures, these trusted figures on the far-right saying, ‘don’t go, it’s a trap.’” He later summarized: “So the suggestion is, it’s a set-up, it’s some sort of government plot.”
But his tone here was tinged with frustration. Putting aside the talk of “government plots,” it’s worth mentioning that neither he nor either host could see anything positive about Trump supporters deciding not to flock to this protest. A protest which, again, CNN and the media in general have been touting as a disaster waiting to happen.
“It is quite a picture that you paint, and a disturbing one at that,” chirped stand in co-host Erica Hill.
Disturbing? Presumably Hill was bothered by the MAGA crowd’s reasons for opposing the rally, but whatever their rationale, shouldn’t a significantly reduced crowd on Saturday be seen as a good thing?
One would expect that these journalists, who spent the past week expressing dramatic concern about the impending “danger” this weekend, would be relieved to hear pro-Trump mouthpieces calling for it to be boycotted. Fewer attendees means a reduced chance of the violence, law-breaking, and general mayhem we’ve been warned about, right?
So what’s the problem?
It might have something to do with the fact that the media adore everything about January 6. They bring it up whenever possible and they squeeze footage from the Capitol into their news shows at every conceivable opportunity. They do this because they're not stupid; they know it’s an optics win for Democrats and therefore a winning political strategy. Assuming they actually believe their own predictions, Stelter and his cohorts have probably been anticipating a fresh batch of video clips to shove in viewers’ faces before retreating to their fainting couches.
If Stelter truly has been dreading the Saturday protest, then why didn’t he sound the slightest bit relieved that Trump was urging his supporters not to show up? Maybe because CNN and their ilk haven’t been dreading September 18 at all; they’ve been awaiting it eagerly.