Among the woke, it is an article of faith that January 6 was a deadly insurrection, a stain on the nation that rivals the attacks it suffered in Pearl Harbor during World War II, or in New York on 9/11.
On one of the darkest days of US history — so the story goes — organised mobs of violent Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, causing seven deaths and launching one of the worst assaults on American democracy in living memory.
This is the narrative fed to us by Democrat politicians and the corporate press over the last year — including by Matthew Rosenberg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who works as a national security correspondent at the New York Times.
But whoops, here is the same Matthew Rosenberg admitting on hidden camera this month that he and the Times have actually been fibbing about January 6.
“It was like, me and two other colleagues who were there [at the Capitol] outside and we were just having fun!” Rosenberg jokes with his female companion, a Project Veritas plant. January 6 is “not a big deal as they [media] are making it, because they were making too big a deal. They were making this an organised thing that it wasn’t,” he soon adds.
Complaining about younger Times reporters assigned to the story, Rosenberg says, “I know I’m supposed to be traumatised, but like, all these colleagues who were in the [Capitol] building and are like ‘Oh my God it was so scary!’ — I’m like, ‘f*** off! … dude come on, you were not in any danger’.”
The sting journalism practiced by Project Veritas is ruthless and controversial. The footage has been edited, possibly removing context that might soften certain admissions. Moreover, Rosenberg was speaking in a social setting with a couple of drinks under his belt. And he also notes in that candid conversation that some on the right downplay January 6.
Yet, with all of these caveats in place, Matthew Rosenberg’s confessions remain monumental. As Spiked puts it,
America’s newspaper of record tells one thing to the public, but presents a very different view in private. The implication seems to be that us rubes can’t handle the truth. We must let the professionals massage reality for us, lest we try — God forbid! — to make up our own minds.
Most shockingly, Matthew Rosenberg made these remarks at the same time he was submitting his most recent commentary on January 6 to his editors at the Times.
In that piece, published on the anniversary of the Capitol riot, Rosenberg whined that Trump supporters were in the process of rewriting history: reframing January 6 as “no big deal” or as an event exploited by, among others, “FBI planted agents to stir up the crowd”.
That last complaint is key. In the Project Veritas secret recording, Rosenberg unequivocally admits that there were in fact “a ton of FBI informants among the people who attacked the Capitol”.
Any wonder that trust in America’s national media is at an all-time low? Any wonder the United States is so riven by bickering and division?
To be sure, both left and right have been guilty of massaging the events of January 6 for political gain. But only one side holds the megaphone, wielding unrivalled power in all of the institutions that matter.
Rosenberg mourns that right-wingers have used a “furious array of rumour, innuendo, partial facts and outright lies” to mischaracterise the Capitol attack. Perhaps that’s true.
But now he’s gone and told the world that he — and the Gray Lady — have done exactly the same.
What’s next: the New York Times admitting that Hunter Biden’s laptop was real after all?