NPR Reporters Worry Biden's Losing to Republican 'Disinformation' on January 6

January 8th, 2024 6:43 AM

On The NPR Politics Podcast on Friday, a trio of NPR reporters expressed alarm that Joe Biden’s so-called “better angel speech” at Valley Forge wasn’t winning the day, that opinion polls show backsliding on January 6 and Republican “disinformation” is taking over. Congressional correspondent Claudia Grisales brought up a Washington Post poll that found the percentage of Americans who say Trump played a role in the riot has dropped seven points to 53 percent.

GRISALES: So this is clearly on the mind of the president and the Biden-Harris campaign because they're trying to fight that narrative back. The House select January 6 committee is no longer out there telling their part of the story in terms of what they found in their bipartisan investigation, and Republicans have been able to fill in that gap with more disinformation.

Stop right there. The first disinformation here is that the Pelosi-Picked Panel was a "bipartisan investigation." Pro-Biden journalists are concerned the Pelosi narrative is fading away. They always avoid any questioning of Democrat failure on January 6, any questioning of Pelosi or D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser performed. 

ASHLEY LOPEZ: As I was watching Biden's speech, I was -- like, my inbox was getting a lot of Trump -- you know, the Democrats are a threat to democracy. You know, he's also making the case that his campaign is about protecting democracy from the threat they see from Biden and Democrats, mostly on issues of, like, free speech and stuff like that.

SUSAN DAVIS: That is true. From a conservative standpoint, you could argue that they don't like the direction that liberals and Democrats are taking the country in. But I also think, when we talk about this, we have to make clear that a lot of Republicans' views are predicated on false information. Sure, you might think democracy is at stake if you think that Joe Biden stole an election, right?

There was no acknowledgement of the campaign to remove Trump from the ballot, unlike the "free speech and stuff like that." Davis turned to the main Washington Post poll result, that 34 percent of Republicans said FBI operatives organized the riot at the Capitol.

DAVIS: The politics of it are much harder for Republicans. Democrats' position on January 6 is very clear. President Biden, as he articulated it today -- it's the unified party position about how to frame January 6 and what happened and what's at stake. For Republicans, it's more complicated because, as Claudia noted, today, Republicans either don't want to talk about it at all. Or they kind of want to muddy the waters. Well, release the tapes. We'll find out the real truth. The idea that there's still a real truth to be found out there. But there's no oxygen to run in a Republican primary as a Republican saying Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States.

These NPR reporters don't seem to care that the FBI director wouldn't answer questions from Congress on how many undercover FBI agents were on site on January 6. They also didn't discuss a different result of that poll, that 77 percent of Democrats said those who entered the Capitol were "mostly violent," compared with 18 percent of Republicans. Democrats think their 2020 riots were "mostly peaceful," but that most people protesting on January 6 were violent, not just "parading" on the site.

PS: Davis caused wincing among Christians later in the show, as they discussed how it doesn't look great for Democrats keeping the Senate majority. "I will say that I do think Democrats have a Hail Mary, and I think that a lot of them believe it's the issue of abortion."