A story published by Vice News claiming that journalists who covered the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol protest and have since experienced “trauma” was widely mocked on social media by other journalists and observers.
To commemorate the six-month anniversary of the protest, Vice News wrote that journalists who “survived” the violence described how they are “still struggling,” but media critics had a field day with the story.
For instance, investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald took to Twitter to mock CNN’s left-wing media analyst Brian Stelter after the latter tweeted he wished that he had “thought to write this story.”
In addition, Greenwald derided the story’s cover image which prominently featured Jake Angeli, who is known as the “QAnon Shaman” as well as the story’s claim about how reporters “survived the insurrection.”
Not a single person arrested in connection with the protest has been charged with ‘sedition’ or an ‘insurrection’-related crime.
Greenwald also questioned whether those journalists have compared their “trauma” to the experiences of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over the past several years as he hid out in the Ecuadorean embassy in London to avoid extradition for crimes unrelated to publishing government secrets.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 6, 2021
“Wonder what would happen to them if they had to report from war zones or stand down authoritarian governments trying to imprison them? Also wonder if they ever take a few seconds to compare their ‘trauma’ to Julian Assange’s?” Greenwald posted.
Wonder what would happen to them if they had to report from war zones or stand down authoritarian governments trying to imprison them?
Also wonder if they ever take a few seconds to compare their "trauma" to Julian Assange's?
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 6, 2021
The Vice News report quoted Punchbowl News co-founder John Bresnahan, who saw the protest first-hand and said that “returning to the Capitol after the riots was difficult,” adding that he was “so, so angry” the next day.
“Reporters have discussed their personal experiences in the days immediately following the Capitol insurrection. But few have publicly talked about the lasting effects in the months since—the toll that day took on them, the difficulty some have faced in returning to a site where they experienced trauma, and what it’s been like covering a Congress still deeply divided on the events of that day,” Vice News noted.
“Some reporters who were there won’t go back into the building. A number have sought therapy to deal with the trauma. One longtime Capitol Hill reporter opted for early retirement shortly after living through the riot. Many still aren’t sleeping well,” the report continued.
Lisa Desjardins, a PBS Newshour correspondent, told the news site, “I’m still not sleeping like I used to, even to this day … I became kind of an insomniac.”
She went on to say that the “harder part” is witnessing how “emotional” members of Congress have been. She compared that to “when you know your parents are bitterly, abusively fighting, and you go into a room and can sense their hostility, and can sense nobody’s figured out a way out.”
Erik Wasson of Bloomberg News, meanwhile, compared the “traumatizing” protest to when the movie “Jaws” ended: “Everything feels copacetic on the beach. But you wonder if there’s anything out there.”
Wasson said that he experienced “post-traumatic stress disorder” following the event, which led to fights with his wife for no reason. “This went on for nearly a month,” the report stated.
“I do remember just feeling unsafe in my house,” Wasson told Vice News. “It occurred to me, like, I wonder if some protesters could be tracking me or could show up at my house. There was definitely a moment of fear, and just trying to assess whether there was actually any danger to me and my family.”
Freelance journalist Matt Laslo told the news site he no longer talks to GOP lawmakers including Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri because they objected to presidential electors from some states — just as Democrats have done in the past.
“It’s my office, the building I love most in the f**king world. I used to call the Capitol my girlfriend. I’ve devoted 15 years of my goddamn life to that building,” Laslo said. “Now? Instead of being there every day, I’m there once a month. I don’t want to be there.”
The complaints drew widespread mocking and condemnation from other journalists, however.
“Get a freaking grip, you bunch of whiny babies,” Sean Davis, a co-founder of The Federalist, responded.
“‘Reporters who still survived…’ You mean…all of them?” tweeted The Blaze TV’s Sara Gonzales.
“Some of us have seen real struggle. We’ve been to the border, reporters have been chased down by Antifa and fled the country, some reporters have been jailed filming rioting (cc: @ShelbyTalcott) and we don’t complain about our trauma,” wrote Daily Wire reporter Chrissy Clark, giving a shoutout to a Daily Caller colleague. “Kindly, do your flippin’ job or get out.”
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