For more than three months, corporate media outlets pushed the narrative that U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick had been murdered by pro-Trump rioters during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, having been bashed on the head with a fire extinguisher and succumbing to his grievous injuries the following day.
It was revealed on Monday, however, that Officer Sicknick died of a stroke — news that the media has been seemingly reluctant to share. In fact, CNN’s primetime anchors went an entire week without informing viewers of the crucial update to the story that they previously repeatedly pushed, Fox News reported.
CNN looks the other way
Fox noted that CNN’s primetime hosts — Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon — all failed to report the new information regarding the cause of death for Officer Sicknick after it was revealed on Monday. It was briefly addressed Tuesday during some of CNN’s daytime programs, only to quickly be forgotten following the bombshell verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
A review of transcripts of all of the various CNN programs revealed that Sicknick’s true cause of death received no other mentions throughout the remainder of the week.
Fox News noted that CNN’s purportedly “objective news anchors” in the pre-primetime early evening time slots, Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper, also declined to share the news with viewers, despite having previously and repeatedly pushed the claim that Sicknick had been killed by a blow to the head from a fire extinguisher wielded by riotous supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Even in the few moments that the story had been addressed on Tuesday by CNN, the network still sought to imply guilt on the part of Trump’s supporters in an attempt to absolve itself from sharing dubious and unverified claims that have since been proven utterly false.
The autopsy doesn’t lie
On Monday, in an interview with The Washington Post, D.C. Chief Medical Examiner Francisco Diaz debunked the two prevailing narratives regarding Officer Sicknick’s death — first, the claim he died from apparent blunt force trauma via fire extinguisher, then a claim that Sicknick had died from an allergic reaction to being hit with bear spray, a narrative that had emerged in February when the fire extinguisher story began to have doubt cast upon it.
Diaz asserted that there was “no evidence” that Sicknick had “suffered an allergic reaction to chemical irritants,” nor was there any “evidence of internal or external injuries.”
Instead, Sicknick had “suffered two strokes at the base of the brain stem caused by a clot in an artery,” Diaz said. That would most likely be the result of pre-existing medical conditions, but Diaz, citing privacy laws, refused to comment any further on the matter.
Media should correct its “false account”
National Review‘s Michael Brenden Dougherty highlighted the saga as a glaring example of how “the media make their own reality” and perpetuate unproven — or even false — narratives based on hearsay, only to quickly move on to another equally dubious narrative once the initial claims begin to crumble, rarely, if ever, looking back on prior mistakes.
Likewise, the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York lamented how the “false account of Sicknick’s death became an integral part of the national conversation about the Capitol riot. Now, the damage from that false account cannot be un-done.”
York went on: “But the news organizations and commentators who fed the frenzy should report the medical examiner’s findings and their implications prominently and accurately — and tell viewers and readers that they had it wrong.”