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TV Covers Historic Chaos on Capitol Hill

Capito Riots
A TV camera cord was fashioned into a noose by rioters outside the U.S. Capitol (Image credit: Paul McLeod/Twitter)

WASHINGTON—The nation was shocked on Wednesday, Jan. 6, as a group of rioters incited by President Donald Trump’s false accusations of the 2020 election being “rigged” and “stolen” and vitriol against the news media stormed the U.S. Capitol as a joint session of Congress was in the process of certifying the electoral college vote for President-Elect Joe Biden.

Local broadcasters and cable networks provided full coverage of the unprecedented scene. Those on site were also targeted by parts of the mob.

William Turton of Bloomberg posted a video on Twitter that shows the rioters approaching and then attacking members of the media.

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Paul McLeod from Buzzfeed News also tweeted on many of the interactions with the media, including the above charge, which he provided quotes from rioters boasting about it. He also posted a photo that showed a noose being made out of a camera cord. After the 6 p.m. curfew that was instituted for Washington D.C. by Mayor Muriel Bowser, McLeod tweeted parts of the mob that were still around the Capitol “chased out a TV crew while threatening and cursing at them.”

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A pair of Washington Post video journalists covering the events were also temporarily arrested for being out after the 6 p.m. curfew.

“We are saddened and disheartened by the actions unfolding in our nation’s capital,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith in a statement on the riots. “To the journalists risking their lives to bring this unprecedented scene to Americans across the nation, stay safe and vigilant.”

Four people died during the riots, as well as 14 Metropolitan Police Department Officers were injured, but no reports have indicated that those numbers include anyone from the media.

Away from the scene, many advertisers pulled commercials that were scheduled to air around news coverage, according to Business Insider. Many news broadcasts ran uninterrupted during the events.

Outside of traditional news broadcasts, late night talk shows spent extended time commenting on the tragic events, including an initially unplanned live broadcast of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”

Just hours after the Capitol had been breached and Congress and staffs sheltered in place, they returned to the Congress floor and in the early hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, certified the electoral college for President-Elect Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated as the 46th president on Jan. 20.