With thousands of pro-Trump protesters overwhelming police at the U.S. Capitol and breaching the highly secure building, several Fox News hosts and reporters initially went out of their way to describe the MAGA mob storming the chambers of Congress as “peaceful.”
Following President Donald Trump’s rage-filled “Stop the Steal” speech in which he urged followers to march to the Capitol and “fight” for him and his push to overturn his election loss, the massive crowd stormed the Capitol building, injuring police officers, and causing numerous offices to be evacuated over potential threats.
Congress also had to halt debate over the Electoral College vote as protesters made their way into the chambers and Vice President Mike Pence was eventually evacuated to safety.
With the Capitol Police placing the building in lockdown as the protests erupted, Fox News anchor Bret Baier first argued on air that “it doesn’t appear to be violent.”
“It’s not like it's a siege it doesn’t seem, it seems like they are protesting,” he further shrugged.
Fellow “hard news” anchor Martha MacCallum echoed Baier’s comments as they aired scenes of chaos and reported that a police officer had just been carried away, adding that “it remains peaceful.”
Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins, who was on the streets outside the Capitol, also repeated the claim that everything was fine.
“It has been peaceful, everything we have seen so far has been nothing but peaceful, but they are definitely fired up,” he declared. “The chants I heard the most today was, ‘Fight for Trump.’ That is what many feel they are doing here, protesting, we will see where the day goes.”
Baier, however, broke in at that point to note that while they “are saying it is peaceful, we’re having a couple reports of people being injured in this breach of the security.” He also reported that protesters had made their way inside the building and that the police presence had been increased.
Fox News correspondent Chad Pergram broke through with some reality a bit later, telling viewers that “the mob has overtaken the process of trying to certify the Electoral College—security here at the United States Capitol has failed.”
“Chuck Grassley, third in line to the president, said demonstrators were inside the building, security here has utterly failed,” he added. “That’s a problem.”
MacCallum, however, still found a way to put a positive spin on the anti-democratic riot that was unfolding before their eyes.
“There is teargas being used in the rotunda, members are being told to get the gas masks under their seats, the other question, where is the vice president?” MacCallum said. “We were told he was rushed out of the chamber.”
“This answers the question, I was under the assumption they would be safe in the chamber, that was before we realized people had breached the building and were walking through the rotunda,” she concluded.
“This is a huge victory for these protesters. They have disrupted the system in an enormous way!”
Later in the broadcast, however, MacCallum would go on to say that the actions of the seditious rioters were “unsettling” and “disturbing,” also stating that “control has to be maintained.”
And after it was fully apparent just how chaotic, violent, and anarchic the pro-Trump coup attempt had become, however, the tone shifted on the network. Besides the anchors pointing out how “disturbing” the scene was, commentators called for Trump to step in and call an end to the craziness.
“You know, look, the president incited this,” Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy said after the National Guard was activated. “It’s his obligation to try to mitigate it to the extent that at this point it can be mitigated, which means it’s not enough to say stay peaceful. He needs to tell people to go home and stand down.”