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‘Murder the Media:” How The News Media Became a Target on Capitol Hill

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MSNBC anchor Yasmin Vossoughian said in the air outside the Capitol that she and her team wore clothing that did not bear MSNBC or NBC insignia. “We knew there could be setbacks and hostility towards us,” she said, “because, as you know, the president is always talking about the fake news media and telling people not to trust the media.”

Economy & Economy

Updated

Jan. 6, 2021, 1:10 p.m. ET

Flanked by two security guards later that day, she said she had “really interesting engagements” with some protesters, even though others pestered her with foul language.

President Trump and his allies have fanned the flames of anti-media sentiment and consistently referred to news networks as “the enemy of the people”. During an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin described the day’s events as “chaos”, adding that “much of it is the media’s fault”.

Joel Simon, executive director of the journalists’ protection committee, said in a statement Wednesday that journalists in Washington had been intimidated while facing the possibility of escalating attacks. “Journalists and news teams reporting on these events, which are of the greatest public concern, must be able to do so freely and safely, with the support and protection of law enforcement agencies,” he said.

Zoeann Murphy, a video journalist for the Washington Post, announced on Twitter that she and a colleague had been arrested by police after the 6 p.m. curfew for filming protests outside the Capitol but were quickly released.

Journalists covering the vote count in the Capitol sought refuge from the violent protesters who had crept in. Haley Talbot, an NBC producer, fled to a congressional office with five other reporters. She called the MSNBC broadcast earlier describing a “dire situation” in which she and others had to grab gas masks while avoiding those knocking on the glass door of the chamber of the house.

The threats and attacks were not limited to Washington. The Canadian outlet CTV News reported that a photographer from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was slapped in the face by Trump supporters at a small rally in Vancouver, British Columbia. Sara Gentzler, a reporter for The Olympian in Washington state, wrote on Twitter that she and another journalist had been approached by an armed man at a protest in Olympia, Washington, who told them the news media was not welcome . He added that he had previously sprayed other reporters with pepper spray and said he would kill them and other journalists “next year”.

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