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Marjorie Taylor Greene and the persistent perception that reality is partisan

Paul Hodgkins was one of many first individuals to plead responsible to expenses stemming from the riot on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Hodgkins arrived on the Senate ground, the place he Photographed Together with “QAnon Shaman” and others. He was arrested in February 2021 and entered a plea in Might.

Two months later, the choose sentenced him to eight months in jail. Chatting with a documentary after that listening to, Hodgkins accepted accountability for his actions and the result, however whereas in jail, he tried to… Cancel His plea settlement. It did not work. He was launched in April 2022.

Shortly after, he was visited once more by the documentary filmmaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) daughter, Alexandra. Their post-prison dialog was included within the movie Alexandra Pelosi “The rebel next door” Which was launched by HBO Documentary Movies on Sunday.

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In a part of what’s included, Pelosi talks with Hodgkins whereas he works in his yard. Cable news-style chatter could be heard within the background.

“Wait, so you continue to take heed to Fox Information?” Pelosi asks.

“That is really OAN,” Hodgkins replies, referring to the far-right channel One America Information. He defined that he doesn’t have a TV channel, so he doesn’t watch Fox Information.

“So you continue to watch conservative TV?” Pelosi asks suspiciously. “You spent eight months in jail for all the pieces you imagine based mostly on what you noticed on these exhibits and you continue to watch them?”

“I used to be supposed to show liberal with this, or one thing?” Hodgkins responds. “No. No, my views on what is nice and what’s not good for our nation haven’t modified.

This excerpt from Pelosi’s movie was recorded from a TV and shared on social media by a Donald Trump supporter. Hodgkins’ dismissal of Pelosi’s suggestion that he ought to rethink his media regime earned him three supportive “hearth” emojis. The publish was then picked up by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who agreed with the supportive response — after which took issues additional.

“They needed January 6 to be the explanation People flip their backs on Trump and attempt to use it to destroy him,” Inexperienced mentioned. books On X, previously Twitter. “But it surely didn’t work, it received’t work, and it by no means will work. As a result of it solely exposes the Democrats for what they’re, which can in the end destroy them.”

It is an excellent trade for a easy cause. Pelosi’s query was unintelligent, to make certain, because it centered on which partisan shops Hodgkins trusts reasonably than on the validity of that belief. Hodgkins’ response framed the strain in the identical approach, as if Pelosi was asking about his loyalty to a political worldview reasonably than to actuality.

The query wasn’t actually about whether or not he needed conservative information reasonably than liberal information, Hodgkins mentioned, and even conservative information reasonably than goal information. The query was really about Hodgkins’ reliance on sources of knowledge that misled him, however neither Hodgkins nor Greene’s opinions claimed the 2020 election was stolen as deceptive. As an alternative, they view the central stress raised by Pelosi as falling between two political worldviews — regardless of the target incontrovertible fact that the worldview they settle for is mistaken.

It’s not fully clear what impressed Hodgkins to journey to Washington for the occasions of January 6. Possibly it was Trump’s requires individuals to take action, or perhaps it was gossip he noticed elsewhere. (Different defendants within the January 6 riot instances have cited Trump or conservative media as inspiring their journeys.) Nevertheless, it’s troublesome to think about that he arrived there that day and entered the Capitol believing that Joe Biden was the rightful winner of the election. Election 2020. Sooner or later, he’s positive to simply accept false claims about fraud.

There is no such thing as a indication that Hodgkins has been dissuaded from this place. He is not at all times within the public eye, nor ought to he be, so there’s not a substantial amount of data to guage when contemplating whether or not he is had a change of coronary heart. However his dialog with Pelosi means that by that time he had not accomplished that. He would not intend to steer clear of One America or different shops that present false details about elections or different issues, partly as a result of he would not admit the data is fake, and partly as a result of he sees the options as not being goal however sitting on the opposite aspect of the partisan spectrum.

Greene’s rise in Republican politics was no totally different. Shortly after profitable her get together’s major in 2020, she drew nationwide consideration for her embrace of QAnon conspiracy theories. She was a outstanding supporter of Trump and directed her insurance policies round him. So she highlights Hodgkins’ response ostensibly as a solution to speak about how “they” — the elites, the media, the Democrats, all of them — try to trick People into being anti-Trump. However this does not work, Inexperienced says, as a result of individuals like Hodgkins nonetheless view goal reporting as politically biased.

Inexperienced’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

It has been the case for a while that folks’s alternative of media displays politics and political views. The survey was performed by PRRI in late 2021 is found 16% of People “utterly” agreed that the earlier yr’s election was stolen from Trump. Amongst those that mentioned they trusted Fox Information extra, almost half mentioned it was stolen. Amongst those that belief far-right shops comparable to OAN, greater than 7 in 10 do.

Once more, this perception is objectively mistaken. The election was not stolen from Trump, and there was no justifiable cause for anybody to imagine that the counting of electoral votes on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, wanted to cease. This isn’t a partisan place, though it exists Party split In accepting it as true.

What the response to Pelosi’s footage reveals is the way it works. How did Hodgkins fail to comprehend his central mistake, one which occurred earlier than he arrived in Washington? Inexperienced then makes use of his instance to bolster the concept that the disagreement is between partisan worldviews reasonably than a rejection of actuality.

After his launch final yr, Hodgkins appeared in court docket as a part of his launch settlement.

“I hope I by no means need to undergo something like this once more,” he advised the choose. “I used to be proud to say I by no means encountered something outlawed. …I wish to proceed that shifting ahead.”

Hodgkins is free to decide on any media he needs, in fact, but it surely’s price realizing the connection between that alternative and having to undergo what he went by. Indulging in surreal displays about “what is nice for our nation” might pose a long-term danger to avoiding illegitimacy sooner or later.

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