First person pleads guilty to assaulting officer during Capitol riot

By Erin Doherty at Axios:

A New Jersey man on Friday became the first person to plead guilty to assaulting a law enforcement officer during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Scott Fairlamb’s attorneys say prosecutors will ask for a sentence of 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 years for the Jan. 6 riots, in which he participated in assaulting a police officer. “A video showed Fairlamb holding a collapsible baton and shouting, ‘What [do] patriots do? We f—— disarm them and then we storm the f—— Capitol!'”

3.5-4.5 years seems like a light sentence, but all he did was participate in an assault on the US Capitol with a goal of murdering the Vice President and Speaker of the House and overturning election results. Good thing for him he didn’t do anything super-serious, like paying with a possibly counterfeit $20 bill or selling loose cigarettes.

Michael Wolff: Trump will run again in 2024

Why I’m Sure Trump Will Run for President in 2024 [NYTimes]:

To write three books in four years about Donald Trump has been an immersion into his obsessions and fixations. This is why I know the obvious: Donald Trump will run for president again.

This spring, in another of his compulsive bids for attention — indifferent to whether it is good or bad — he hosted me at Mar-a-Lago, even after I had written two unflattering books about him (one whose publication he tried to stop), for an interview and dinner.

I hope Trump does run again. The MAGA movement needs to be beaten again and again until it stays down.

The Facebook emperor’s new clothes

Cory Doctorow: Facebook’s alternative facts — After a company called CrowdTangle helped journalists discover that Facebook is a far-right echo-chamber whose US users tend to be angry old conservatives — a group that advertisers do not love — Facebook bought CrowdTangle and neutered it.

This is part of a larger gaslighting strategy, in which the rich and powerful substitute wishful thinking for reality, and it’s far from unique to Facebook. Previous examples include climate denialism. Donald Trump has built his life on wishful thinking and gaslighting, most recently in the Big Lie, early denial of the pandemic, and his overall “alternatives facts” strategy.

And wishful thinking by the rich and powerful isn’t new. Consider “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

White House journalists adjust to life after the Trump “gravy train”

Tomorrow Will Be Worse: The Agony and Ecstasy of the Trump Reporters, After the Fall of Trump :

In the weeks before the 2020 election, when it was becoming pretty clear even to the most superstitious and traumatized Democrat that Joe Biden was headed for victory, the journalists of #thistown began to worry. People you’ve likely read or heard of or watched were concerned about what a Trump loss would mean for their career. That was the talk of the town. Sure, Donald Trump had been a disaster for the country, but what would they do after he left the White House?

Even while Trump claimed journalists were enemies of the people, he was a gravy train for news outlets, which have seen ratings and clicks decline 30-45% since Trump left office.

Trump wasn’t just “a gravy train,” says one industry insider. “It’s also juxtaposed to the most boring administration in modern history. You go from a circus with flaming chainsaws to … what? An old man watching his dog?”

The Biden administration is “opaque.” It sticks on-message and PR people argue with reporters over slight differences in wording. That’s business as usual in Washington (my $0.02: also in tech journalism), but it’s jarring for young journalists who came of age covering Trump. Like Olivia Nuzzi, who was 21 when she landed her first 1:1 interview with Trump, is now 28 — she says she has spent most of her adult life covering him.

Says one journalist, “There’s a sense that Biden’s position is fragile and that he has to be protected, that any unkind gaze might knock him over—which plays into every right-wing stereotype,”

Says another: “I don’t know that there’s been a president who’s been so protected and wrapped in so many layers of wool to keep him away from anything remotely approaching an adversarial interview…. Why expose him to any risk? He’s old, he’s lost a few steps. It’s worked for them so far.”

Trump to sue Facebook, Twitter CEOs over being banned from their platforms

NBCNews:

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he is filing a class-action lawsuit against tech giants Facebook and Twitter — along with their CEOs, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey — because of bans imposed on him and others.

“We’re demanding an end to the shadow banning, a stop to the silencing, a stop to the blacklisting, vanishing and canceling,” Trump said at a news conference in Bedminster, New Jersey, adding that “we are asking the court to impose punitive damages.”

He spoke from behind a lectern bedecked with an insignia designed to look like the presidential seal and in front of a backdrop reminiscent of a White House portico.

Trump argued that the suspension of his social media accounts amounts to an infringement on the First Amendment’s guarantee that speech won’t be curtailed by the government.

Fundamental to that case is his relatively novel contention that the major tech firms function as arms of the federal government rather than as private companies.

“novel” = “completely bonkers.”

Republicans support freedom of speech so long as you exercise that freedom in ways they approve.