It’s Jan. 6, Especially For Me

(A journalist)

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 25, 2021 -- Photo taken on Jan. 25, 2021 shows the U.S. Capitol building in W...
Xinhua News Agency/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

Unfortunately for anyone who celebrates Three Kings Day, a combination of aggressive Trump fans, politicians, and the humorless denizens of the media industry have hijacked the date “January 6th,” which happens to be today. It has been a year since the D.C. insurrection, when a group of overzealous Stop the Stealers stole away into the Capitol building, sending Congress into lockdown, several people to the hospital, and several more to federal prison. We can all agree that was not a good day. Or if not all, then at least those reading this website.

Most people probably remember where they were when it happened; partly because a lot of them were at home or work. I happened to be on a long drive and only caught the news because my phone died and I had to use the radio. The collective impression was, “sorry what the fuck?” And then, “that guy’s wearing horns.” A year has passed now, however, and the of-the-moment shock has stretched into a months-long cycle of legal proceedings, subpoenas, overwrought witness confessionals, anachronistic cop worship, prison sentence schadenfreude, and press junkets where Lady Gaga tapped into her alternate existence as an investigative journalist.

That’s mostly fine. But it has leant the anniversary a dull feeling of déjà vu. How does one memorialize an event that has been rehashed every day since it occurred, a news story that — despite Congress’s failed efforts to pass major infrastructure legislation, a raging climate crisis, the decimation of voting rights, a catastrophic housing shortage, a national strike wave touching industries from cereal to tractors, and a second year of global pandemic — managed to dominate headlines for the past 12 months, becoming the biggest, even the only story of 2021 (if you don’t want to take our word on that, take it from CNN Business), and one told almost exclusively in a tone of sanctimonious outrage?

We’ll leave prescriptions to the pundits, but there’s one thing we can ditch: any more journalist stories about being at the insurrection. But no, someone is saying. We must hear from them. This is the first draft of history. First of all, it’s the second draft. We heard these last year. More importantly, there have already been several:

Our hearts are with the Punchbowl News community. But we have now reached max capacity. We thank journalists for doing their jobs, but they are not the subjects of this story. Save it for the grandkids, and cut off a slice of king cake. Unlike Jan. 6 coverage, we only have it till Fat Tuesday.