Culture Wars/Current Controversies

‘So, So Angry’: Reporters Who Survived the Capitol Riot Are Still Struggling

By Cameron Joseph, Vice

The reporters who survived the insurrection are still covering Congress. But things don’t feel normal.

John Bresnahan spent January 6 watching a pro-Trump insurrection ransack the building he’s worked in for decades.

The congressional reporting veteran was in the House gallery when a colleague texted him that the Capitol’s exterior security fence had been overrun. As soon as he stepped into the hallway, he heard the roar of the crowd as they warred with police officers trying to protect the Capitol’s perimeter.

He then saw MAGA-clad assailants try to smash open the east doors of the Capitol into the Rotunda before officers with M-16 rifles screamed at him to clear the area. Bresnahan moved to a perch on the floor above Statuary Hall, watching for an hour as rioters flooded through an entrance door they had broken open. At one point, he ran downstairs to help an officer back to his feet who’d been knocked down in a scuffle with rioters. He said he only felt personally threatened once during the insurrection—when rioters briefly cut off his exit route.

It was unlike anything Bresnahan had seen in his nearly three decades on the Hill. But what stunned him most came hours later, once the rioters were dispersed.

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