January 11, 2021

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Good Monday morning on this the 11th day of January 2021,

Many of the best photo images of the siege on the nation’s Capitol last week came from the cameras of Associated Press photographers who stood in harm’s way to tell the story. One of them, New York-based John Minchillo, shown in this video taken by colleague Julio Cortez, was pushed, pulled and punched by a group of men outside of the Capitol. Thankfully, he was not injured.

Capitol police ordered everyone out of the House Chamber as violent protesters tried to break through a door into the chamber, with police aiming their guns at them on the other side of the door, and veteran AP photographer J. Scott Applewhite was ordered to get out.

“The Capitol is where I work every day – I am a familiar face to most of the police,” Applewhite wrote in a first-person account for his Connecting colleagues. “When the cops on the chamber floor shouted up at me to get out, I just told them I was fine and refused to leave. This is the AP – we stay and report.”

Today’s Connecting brings you more stories from one of the most horrific days in U.S. history.

Washington photographer Andrew Harnik, in this USA Today video, described what he saw when the mob stormed the complex. He was inside the House Chamber with Applewhite and was ushered out with lawmakers and others.

The director of AP Photography, J. David Ake, had high praise for the staff’s work.

“It never ceases to amaze me how resilient and resourceful AP photographers are world-wide,” he told Connecting. “Last week it was the Washington bureau's turn with help from Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York to rise to the occasion and react to the unexpected with grit and professionalism. The images they made fronted news sites, broadcasts, and newspapers around the globe. It makes a person proud to say, ‘I work for the AP’.”

I am sure each of us echo that sentiment of pride in the AP and the journalistic efforts that its news staff – words and images – brought to the world.
HAPPY 40th: Applewhite (pictured at right) marked his 40th anniversary with the AP the day before the siege. He said he was a stringer for then-Miami photo chief Phil Sandlin when AP Photos director Hal Buell brought him to Washington the first week of 1981, just before Ronald Reagan was inaugurated. His official start date - Jan. 5, 1981.

“Hal and Phil took a chance on me – I can never repay them –they changed my life! I’ve tried to live up to their expectations,” Applewhite said.

“This past Friday, I received notice from our Washington photo chief (ACoB/Photos) Pablo Martinez Monsivais that he’d scheduled a Zoom conference to discuss the inauguration plans. I was calling in from my little office on Capitol Hill. I thought I was alone but there was a knock on my door. It was Pablo leading the entire Washington photo staff in a surprise celebration of my 40th anniversary. J. David Ake, AP’s photo director, joined the festivities online. It was a really heartwarming surprise – I am so grateful, and humbled, to be a member of this crew.”

Here’s to the week ahead – be safe, stay healthy.


Leave? No way. This is the AP - we stay and report
Police with guns drawn watch as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

J. Scott Applewhite (Email) - When the breach of the Capitol was announced during the Electoral College certification, the Capitol Police began to prepare lawmakers and the rest of us in the chamber for evacuation. It was an uncertain process – evacuate to where? The mob was on the other side of the doors.

Eventually, the officers announced that tear gas had been deployed in the nearby Rotunda and all were instructed to don escape hoods that were stashed under the seats. That was part of the preparedness in the wake of 9/11. I didn’t put one on because #1 I couldn’t see to use the camera and #2 you have to be able to hear during an emergency.

The officers loudly commanded everyone to evacuate, stragglers were not tolerated and were forced to leave. (Fellow AP photographer) Andy Harnik bravely lingered as well and made many important and storytelling images.

He and I were both in the balcony that overlooks the House chamber. Andy had been on a side of the balcony where some members of Congress were watching and there were a lot of police near him. I had been on the opposite side with about 30 reporters and photographers – naturally, there were no officers in our midst.

The officers eventually pushed everyone out, Andy must have been among the last. He said the final frame he shot in the chamber was the one of me sitting alone in the House press gallery.

The Capitol is where I work every day – I am a familiar face to most of the police. When the cops on the chamber floor shouted up at me to get out, I just told them I was fine and refused to leave. This is the AP – we stay and report.

One got more belligerent until another officer intervened, a special agent in the protection division who guards the leadership. He shouted over: “Scotty’s OK!” leave him! Two words is all it took from the special agent. That and the obvious – they had their hands full with a mob on the other side of door.

From that point on, I was the only journalist and the only person remaining in the balcony to witness the chaos in the House chamber.

I was pretty sure I was right where I was supposed to be – I kept my lens focused on that door and waited for the breach. When the mob began to break the glass in the door, I could barely see the face of one of the rioters. The cops and a new congressman with a law enforcement background tried to de-escalate the situation – their guns were drawn and pointed at the hole in the glass.

The growl of the mob could be heard on the other side but the officers in the chamber were focused and quiet with sidearms aimed -- I was trained on the door as well.

The new Sony a9II digital cameras we are using now can transmit the photos directly to the AP without having to use a laptop – all I have to do is push a button and the images fly over WiFi. I was moving as many images as I could, well aware that if I delayed, my cameras could be destroyed by the mob, or confiscated by the police.

I was using a long zoom lens on the camera – a 200-600mm Sony zoom – at about 400mm. It’s a personal lens.

The room was pretty dark. My exposure was: iso: 10,000, 1/60th of a second at f/ 6.3

The lens is really for use outdoors for shooting sports or wildlife, but I had brought it along for a little extra reach – closeups of faces and details during the Electoral College vote which was illuminated with tv lights – during the attack, the room was much darker.

On Wednesday, I was working directly with veteran Washington photo editor Jon Elswick who was very patient with me and expedited my photos to the wire. Photo editors Wayne Partlow and Jenny Kane were juggling the incoming images also. The editors updated the captions and relayed them to the AP photo network.

I say that Jon was patient with me because I was sending a lot of pictures in a short time – this is not good form usually on the part of the photographer – we normally use some judgement and discretion in how many we send in a short time so that the photo desk isn’t overwhelmed.

But, in this case, I told Jon I was going to move as much as I reasonably could. My previous experience in conflict zones and working around the military and police reminded me that my cameras might be destroyed by the mob or my disks confiscated by police. The ability to transmit from the camera insured that AP would get the photos.

The siege at the House chamber door lasted about 45 minutes in all. The invaders were eventually moved from that corridor by tactical units. I was then able to move around the balcony above the House floor to record the deserted room and the debris. I was locked in the chamber for another two hours before an FBI tactical team finally swept through the area I was in.

The joint session of the House and Senate resumed about 9pm and the Electoral College proceeded. Andy Harnik and I persevered through the night and finished coverage about 3am. I went back to my office in the Senate Dirksen building, ate some soup, and slept from 5am to 7am, then we started the next day’s coverage.

Photographer Recounts Harrowing Moments Inside Locked Capitol Chamber with Lawmakers During Riots
People shelter in the House gallery as pro-Trump insurrectionists try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

By Wendy Grossman Kantor

Associated Press photographer Andrew Harnik regularly covers protests in Washington D.C.. But nothing prepared him for the events of Wednesday, when he found himself locked in the chamber with members of the House of Representatives as Trump-supporting rioters stormed the Capitol.

“It escalated to a level that nobody had ever seen before,” Harnik, 39, tells PEOPLE.

Photographers are only allowed to bring their camera into the chamber once or twice a year, Harnik says, so he wore a suit and tie when he arrived at 8 a.m. Wednesday. At about 1:45 p.m., his editor called him and asked if he could take his camera to the window on the third floor and see what was going on outside.

“There was a big group of people congregating at the steps up the center of the building. And there was a police line kind of holding them back, and really within a minute or so, I could see this line collapse,” Harnik tells PEOPLE. “The people outside stormed up the stairs and took over the East front landing in front of the doors that lead directly into the Capitol rotunda, which is the space that you see heads of state lie in state. ... I could hear broken glass and shouting, and then some sort of large explosion went off outside.”

Harnik ran downstairs, and found the rotunda was empty. “I could see people at the door,” he says. “Officers looked pinned against the door from this group trying to get in the building.”

He snapped photos through the window. One protestor asked Harnik to open the door.

“I ignored that,” he says. “A security guard ran up behind me screaming at me, 'What are you doing here?' Grabbed me by my suit jacket pulled me and said, 'The building is on lockdown, you should not be in this space.'”

Harnik returned to the gallery where he had been working with other journalists – but the door was locked. He knocked, but no one answered.

“Eventually, a security detail found myself and another photographer kind of just sort of standing around in the hallway and told us to run. We ran,” he says “They ushered us back into the house chamber and locked the door. So we were on lockdown, with members of Congress.”

A member of the security team told people to reach for emergency masks under their seats, instructing that the masks didn't need to be put on, but they needed to be ready.

“We could see that during this time there were officers with their foot jammed into the door that leads the center door of the house chamber. ... The security team said, 'Okay, we're evacuating this room.' And all of the members on the floor, in an orderly fashion, were taken out of the room. As they were doing that, these members of the security team, started grabbing furniture from the house floor and basically creating a barricade at the main door.”

It was about 2:45 P.M. when the doors began to break.

“It was clear that there were people on the other side trying to get in. Within the next few minutes, we could hear popping noises, and the glass breaking,” Harnik says.

Officers pulled out their guns and started pointing them at the door. Harnik snapped his photos — including dramatic photos of guards pointing guns as they held the door.

Security guards told everyone to get on their hands and knees between the seats and keep their heads down.

Harnik kept taking pictures. Security guards yelled at him to put his head down, but he kept working.

“They have a job to do to keep everyone safe — and we have a job to do, to capture what's happening,” he says.

When officers unlocked the doors, he saw people face down on the floor, officers holding them at gunpoint. “They were right outside the chamber doors,” he says.

Later that evening, he came across Representative Andy Kim (D-NJ) picking up trash and debris, trying to clean the rotunda, and Harnik captured poignant photos.

“Even for the people who cover politics in Washington day in and day out -- we're used to some pretty dicey protests where people clash with the police and people get pepper sprayed,” he says. “But this was, this was just something that nobody had ever experienced before.”

Click here for a link to this story.

Journalists recount harrowing attacks amid Capitol riot
Violent protesters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)


NEW YORK (AP) — Journalists were manhandled, threatened and had their equipment stolen or damaged by supporters of President Donald Trump during this week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The attacks, including a chilling scene distributed on social media of a photographer for The Associated Press being shoved around, led the National Press Photographers Association to call on authorities to investigate and prosecute people who targeted journalists.

“To do our jobs, photojournalists must be on the front lines to record the news,” the association said in a statement. “The threats, violence and aggression toward visual journalists are unconscionable acts that erode our democracy and our country’s First Amendment rights.”

In one striking image, the words “Murder the Media” were scrawled on an indoor doorway at the Capitol.

The AP photographer, John Minchillo, is shown in a video taken by a colleague, being pushed, pulled and punched by a group of men standing outside of the Capitol. Some of the attackers are heard accusing him of being part of the left-wing group Antifa; Minchillo holds up his hands and show his press pass.

After about a minute, one of the demonstrators guides him away from his attackers. Minchillo stayed on the job.

Minchillo declined comment on Friday. On Twitter, he wrote, “Never become the story, that’s the core principle. If I could ask for something? Don’t linger on the outrage for too long.”

But he asked anyone who sees his message to reflect on the importance of journalism and subscribe to a local newspaper.

“While we are thankful he is OK, this is a reminder of the dangers journalists both in the U.S. and around the world face every day while simply trying to do their jobs,” said Patrick Maks, a spokesperson for the AP.

Read more here. Shared by Adolphe Bernotas.

Your thoughts on AP coverage of Capitol siege
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Larry Margasak (Email) - The photos, videos and stories show that we had many journalism heroes during the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. And yet, I can’t get out of my head the picture (above) of my longtime AP Washington colleague Scott Applewhite, sitting alone in the House gallery, aiming his camera at the back door to get a shot of anyone bursting into the people’s chamber. Any armed rioter coming through that door, the same one that presidents walk through for the State of the Union address, would only need to look straight ahead to see Scott aiming his camera at them. He would have been an easy target.

I’m not surprised that an officer who knew Scott countermanded an order from another cop guarding the chamber below to let him stay. That’s because Scott has a way with people, getting them on his side so that he’ll be in position to take another award-winning photo. Many of the reporters inside the Capitol were ordered by police to evacuate underground, through tunnels that lead to the Capitol Visitor Center and the congressional office buildings. I doubt that any of them could pull off what Scott did.

The insurrection was painful to me, because as a three-decade AP congressional staffer, I stood in so many places that were trashed and sat in the same gallery where Scott was sitting. It pained me to see the horrible video of an officer screaming in pain as he was wedged in a door to the speaker’s lobby, the same door that I walked through thousands of times to ask a House member to come out for an interview. I never experienced anything like my fellow journalists did on Jan. 6, not even on Sept. 11, 2001. Thank goodness there are journalists like Scott to tell this story.


Dan Sewell (Email) - This video of an AP photographer attacked by a mob is horrifying to watch.

The AP photographer attacked by the mob is John Minchillo, who has proved himself over and over to be a highly talented, dedicated and brave photojournalist. The video was shot by The AP's Julio Cortez.

We covered some big stories together in Ohio, including the Cameo nightclub mass shooting (after which I nicknamed him "J-Chill" after the club owner) in Cincinnati, a Dayton mass shooting that killed 9, devastating tornadoes and Klan rally.

But one of my first memories of him is sitting in the stands before a Reds game and watching him roaming the field on a hot afternoon after all the other journalists were gone, just looking for that one more good photo. That's the way he approached every assignment.

He left Cincinnati early this year for his native NYC, just in time to do great work on the early weeks of the pandemic.

He was sent to Washington last week because of his experience in dangerous situations, both with The AP and when he was free-lancing.

He produced some of the great AP photos from the Wednesday riots, despite the assaults on him. There were other altercations besides those captured on video, with people shouting "Kill him!"

AP photographers and videojournalists usually charge first into the dangerous situations to start capturing the telling images right away, and John always does.

He has had worse times, being attacked and beaten in places such as Egypt and Greece.

But to be threatened with death by an angry mob of his fellow Americans must be a searing memory. There were other journalists who were threatened, rioters stole or damaged AP and other journalists' equipment, and rioters painted "Murder the Media" at the U.S. Capitol.

I had messaged with him on Thursday and he never mentioned the video, but it started spreading around social media that evening.

He finally had time Friday evening to call me on his drive back to NYC. He says he is doing fine, appreciates the expressions of concern from his AP "Fam" and now just wants to keep doing the work he loves and staying "all about the hustle."

Long live Freedom of the Press and God Bless J-Chill!


Joseph Carter (Email) - Of the post-insurrection news, the latest development was a report that Capitol policemen Brian Sicknick’s family doesn’t want his death linked with politics. (The family’s release I read went to Fox News which gave me an initial clue about their politics).

Having worked several years as staffer for House members on the Hill—I respect the Capitol police officers and considered many to be friends. But, I add, while they rightfully efforted to be non-partisan, those guys knew they were players in a political arena. In my days of yore, I dimly recall that the jobs were suspected patronage awards. 

As for the late Officer Sicknick, having his head fatally bashed by someone wielding a fire extinguisher during an attempt to overthrow the government simply doesn’t seem to be a non-political homicide. His family should know accept the motive for the Capitol’s invasion was political—pure anarchy--that prompted his murder.

Before politics, I was a “police reporter” for daily newspapers in three cities. Plus, I covered lots of crime as a wire service reporter in four cities including Dallas, where I was on the White House press bus Nov. 22, 1963, covering politics when in 6.2 seconds the news coverage changed to murder. 

What inspired Lee Harvey Oswald to homicide is a fuzzy mystery including political motives. What motivated the wielder of the fire extinguisher that hit Brian Sicknick doubtlessly was politics.

I have sympathy for Sicknick’s family—but I can’t buy their claim that the motive was not politics. And, I add, Donald Trump may be a suspected co-conspirator. 

While a family in mourning deserves respect, the specter of premeditated homicide deserves total candor, investigations, indictments and convictions for the killer and his cohorts. And being premeditated makes it far from an incidental accident. The family’s personal—and suspected political-- view should not be considered by authorities or by news reporters covering the homicide. Truth, even in an era of relentless lies by the president, should be the sole motive of law and journalism.

Behind the viral photo of Rep. Andy Kim cleaning up at midnight after riots
Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., cleans up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours on Jan. 7, 2021, after a mob stormed the Capitol.Andrew Harnik / AP

By Claire Wang
NBC News

Unlike many of his congressional colleagues, Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., was in his office in a separate federal building when President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon. So he didn’t actually see the damage live until nearly midnight, after the House had voted down the last challenge to the presidential election result.

When he finally did walk around the rotunda — his favorite and arguably the most storied room of the building — the disarray left him speechless. Water bottles, broken furniture, tattered Trump flags and pieces of body armor and clothing were strewn on the marble floor as if it were an abandoned parking lot.

“I was just overwhelmed with emotion,” Kim, 38, told NBC Asian America. “It’s a room that I love so much — it’s the heart of the Capitol, literally the heart of this country. It pained me so much to see it in this kind of condition.”

So for the next hour and a half, he crouched down and filled a half dozen trash bags with debris. When he finished cleaning up the rotunda, he began working on the adjacent rooms, including the National Statuary Hall and the Capitol crypt downstairs.

Then he returned to the House floor to debate Pennsylvania's vote count, a session that lasted until 3 a.m. By Thursday evening, he’d been awake for more than 36 hours.

On a day in which video of mayhem and bloodshed inundated social media, a widely shared photograph of Kim, alone on his knees, picking up the final pieces of garbage in a nearly empty rotunda, was a radical break from — and rejection of — the violent impulses that drove the country to the brink of collapse. Many people labeled him a “true patriot.” While Kim said he didn’t dwell much on the symbolic heft of his actions, the term was on his mind.

Read more here.

David A. Andelman (Email) - For 50 years, I've traveled the globe, from war zones to diplomatic crises across 86 countries. Now I've synthesized all these miles and my early studies of history in a landmark book that just published last week. 
What I examine across five continents are the behind-the-scenes stories of the world's most intense “red lines," from diplomatic and military challenges at particular turning points in history to the ones that set the tone of geopolitics today. More red lines exist in the world today than at any other single moment in history. They are perhaps the most toxic legacy of Donald Trump to Joe Biden. Whether it was the red line in Munich that led to the start of the Second World War, to the red lines in the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, Syria and the Middle East.

Using original documentary research, previously classified material, interviews with key players, and reportage, my goal is to help everyone understand the growth, the successes and frequent failures that have shaped our world today.

I've tried to offer historical context, but a political anatomy as well of these red lines. How might their failures be prevented going forward? When and how can such lines in the sand help preserve peace rather than tempt conflict?

A Red Line in the Sand is a vital examination of our present and the future—where does diplomacy end and war begin? It is an object lesson of tantamount importance to every leader, diplomat, citizen, and voter. As America establishes more red lines than it has pledged to defend, everyone—every American but everyone affected by a red line should understand the volatile atmosphere and the existential stakes of the red web that encompasses the globe.

As Tom Brokaw put it: "Andelman is one of our most experienced journalists. Timely and insightful. A very welcome book."

And the review in last Sunday's Washington Post: “A book with broad ambitions, [and] a thorough primer on conflict or potential conflict zones around the globe, from North Korea to Iran to the eastern provinces of Congo. Along the way, Andelman weaves into the narrative episodes from his remarkable journalistic career. [A] commendable work." 

The book is featured on Amazon – click here. There is also a 12-episode weekly podcast produced by Evergreen and that I narrate, the first episode debuting on Monday that tracks each of these trends and regions as it hopscotches around the world!

Finally, this past Friday night we held the year's first major book launch party for A Red Line in the Sand - hosted by the Overseas Press Club of America, with Deborah Amos of NPR and Princeton as my interlocutor. Click here to view. 

RIP, Tommy Lasorda
Steve Gonzales (Email) - In 1987 I covered the Kansas City Royals as they played a spring training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Kissimmee, Florida. I made this image of the great Tommy Lasorda as he took throws on first base before the game. After the game Lasorda took the entire Kansas City press group to dinner. He made a point of stopping by each of our tables and talked to us about our lives. He picked up the tab and wished us all the best for the upcoming season. He was one of the classiest men I have every met. RIP Tommy and thanks again for the wonderful memories. Oh yeah, for you young photographers, this is a color print from a film camera that I developed, printed on an enlarger, in my hotel bathroom. I typed the caption on a typewriter, placed targets on the print and transmitted on a drum transmitter that took 20 minutes per color separation.


Bruce Lowitt (Email) - Since my retirement from regularly covering baseball, my BBWAA card designates me as a Lifetime Honorary member. The card has no number.

But when I started out in the early 1970s my number was well into the hundreds. And each year, as earlier BBWAA members would retire or, well, die, my number would drop, eventually into the 90s, then 80s and so on.

In the spring of 2009 the chairman of the Tampa Bay BBWAA chapter, not realizing I would be ineligible for active membership when the season began, renewed my card. It bore No. 27.

"Hold on," I told him. Being Brooklyn-born and a Dodgers fan from birth (but only until they moved to Los Angeles), I checked the roster of the 1955 team, the only one to win a World Series in Brooklyn. No. 27 belonged to a mediocre pitcher with a 0-0 won-lost record and a 13.50 earned-run average: Tommy Lasorda.

"Never mind," I told the chapter chairman. "I'm going to retire with last season's card." So my final card bears the number of another Brooklyn-born Jew, a Hall of Famer and one of my heroes, Sandy Koufax's No. 32.

Reporting is serious business – but sometimes devilment takes over

Charles McFadden (Email) - Reporters are a sobersided lot, most of the time – seeking truth and writing about it. Serious business. But once in a while, devilment takes over. I am writing a story for Capitol Weekly, a Sacramento political website, about a possible battle between beer distributors for small, craft brewers and distributors for big breweries. I mentioned to some colleagues and one family member that I was wrestling with the temptation to lead with “… A battle is brewing …”

Onetime AP Los Angeles staffer Mike Rubin promptly responded with “Don’t let go flat. Watch out the editors don’t can it.”

Ron Miller, a longtime friend who was the nationally syndicated TV critic for Knight-Ridder, recalled what he did once as a newsman in the Bay Area: “I'm still being kidded by still living bureau staffers who remember the lead I wrote about a helicopter that crashed in the baylands off Mountain View: "Like a mosquito swatted by the hand of fate, etc.

“Sometimes we're just too clever for our own good.”

It’s not confined to reporters, however. My son Patrick, an attorney in Washington, responded thusly to my “battle brewing” notion:

“At any rate, you should definitely lead with that in your story, don't fight it. Have the craft beer folks been keeping their frustrations bottled up until now? Are the big-name distributors providing canned responses? What brought things to a head? Is there untapped potential for future disputes? Who hopped into battle first? Sounds like an intoxicating story.”  

Having survived the above, I’m sure Connecting devotees will carry on. Seriously.
Connecting wishes Happy Birthday
Brian Horton – [email protected]

Walter Mears – [email protected] 

Welcome to Connecting
John Wright - [email protected] 
Stories of interest

Journalists were attacked, threatened and detained during the Capitol siege (Washington Post)

By Brittany Shammas

As an angry crowd of Trump supporters surged toward police barriers at the Capitol on Wednesday, Associated Press photographer John Minchillo was there documenting the chaotic scene.

Suddenly, their ire turned to him. Several men grabbed Minchillo by his backpack, pulling him down a flight of stairs. Others grasped the lanyard that identified him as media, dragging him through the throngs that wove flags reading “Don’t Tread on Me” and “TRUMP 2020.” “We’ll f---ing kill you!” someone yelled. Then a man shoved him over a ledge.

The crowd, including some calling the photographer “antifa,” stopped only when a man wearing a red Trump hat pushed them back, retrieving his camera and telling them Minchillo was press.

Filmed and posted on social media by AP photographer Julio Cortez, the attack was among several instances of violence against journalists covering the deadly takeover of the Capitol.

Throughout the Wednesday assault, there were signs of rage directed at journalists.

Read more here. Shared by Dennis Conrad, Sibby Christensen, Michael Rubin, Mark Mittelstadt.


Texas newspaper blasted for photo caption falsely saying rioting Trump supporters were antifa in disguise (Dallas News)
A caption in Friday's Tyler Morning Telegraph falsely called the Trump supporters in this photograph "members of antifa."(Jose Luis Magana / AP)

By Tom Steele

An East Texas newspaper drew condemnation on social media Friday because a photo caption in its print edition misidentified rioting supporters of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol as members of antifa.

The photo, taken by Associated Press photographer Jose Luis Magana, was transmitted on news wires with a caption reading: “Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the West wall of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.”

It was used on Page A8 of Friday’s Tyler Morning Telegraph alongside an Associated Press article about social-media companies locking Trump out of his accounts because of his inflammatory rhetoric. The caption read: “Members of antifa dressed as supporters of President Donald Trump climb the West wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in Washington.”

Read more here. Shared by Peggy Walsh.

OUR VIEW: We made a mistake. We are sorry.

Tyler Morning Telegraph Editorial

If you have not heard it yet, we made a mistake. It was a big one. It was not the first time we have made a mistake and unfortunately it will probably not be the last time either.

We printed five extra words in a caption of a photo in Friday’s Tyler Morning Telegraph. The photo was of supporters of President Donald Trump climbing the west wall of the U.S. Capitol. We inserted the words “Members of antifa dressed as” at the beginning of the caption, which completely changed the caption’s meaning.

Read more here. Shared by Linda Sargent.


Toledo Blade writers say managers ‘manipulated’ stories on pro-Trump mob’s attack (Washington Post)

By Tim Elfrink

As Toledo Blade staffers, like journalists everywhere, scrambled Wednesday to document the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob incited by the president, they say a curious edict came down from management: to avoid calling the rioters “Trump supporters” in Web headlines and to change stories and photo captions to say that others might be involved in the violence.

To the paper’s staff, the intent was clear, said Nolan Rosenkrans, a Blade reporter and head of the Toledo News Guild.

“The goal was simply to cast doubt on what everyone saw live on TV, which was Trump supporters attempting to conduct a coup,” Rosenkrans told The Washington Post.

The journalists’ concerns intensified on Thursday when Susan Block, wife of the chairman of Block Communications, a family-owned company that owns the Blade, posted an all-caps Facebook rant in support of the mob and calling Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris a “w----.”

Read more here. Shared by Dave Butler, Scott Dine, Steve Graham.


11 Journalists on Covering the Capitol Siege: ‘This Could Get Ugly’ (New York Times)

By Katie Robertson and Tiffany Hsu

Reporters knew before they arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday that there would be large protests in support of President Trump. But most expected the day’s main event to be the drama and ceremony of the nation’s leaders debating the ratification of the Electoral College vote for Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the next president.

The journalists ended up chronicling a siege that underscored the fragility of American democracy. Many did their jobs a few feet from drawn weapons. Others faced the wrath of pro-Trump agitators with a grudge against the news media.

We interviewed 11 journalists from a variety of outlets — including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the British channel ITV and the Beltway news site Axios — who covered the events. The interviews have been edited and condensed.

Read more here. Shared by Sibby Christensen.


A photographer and a fist pump. The story behind the image that will haunt Josh Hawley (Kansas City Star)
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri raised a fist of support to a crowd gathered at the U.S. Capitol to protest certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. FRANCIS CHUNG E&E NEWS AND POLITICO VIA AP IMAGES


The crowd was building on the east side of the U.S. Capitol shortly after 12:30 Wednesday afternoon, but Francis Chung didn’t see much that was visually interesting.

Nor did Chung, a photojournalist for E&E News, a D.C.-based group of publications that cover energy and environmental issues, have any inkling that he was about to capture one of the iconic images to emerge from the day the Capitol was breached by rioters.

At that point, the group of about 300 was fairly calm and occasionally chanting. But their energy flared when a motorcade pulled up. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley appeared from behind the cars, headed for a scheduled joint session in the House of Representatives.

The freshman Republican gave a thumbs up, a fist pump and waves as the crowd cheered. Chung rushed to shoot, knowing that Hawley was a key player in Republican plans to challenge the Electoral College results. He went inside a congressional office building to transmit his images to E&E News.

Read more here.


He Was Assigned to Photograph a Joint Session of Congress. The MAGA Mob Had Other Plans (Rolling Stone)
Trump supporter Richard Barnett sits inside the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during the protest inside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 6th, 2021. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images


For the past 13 years, Saul Loeb, a Washington, D.C.-based staff photographer for the newswire service Agence France-Presse (AFP), has documented events at the White House and on Capitol Hill, in addition to traveling the world covering breaking news. This week, his schedule looked relatively standard — at least for him.

On Tuesday, January 5th, he was assigned to cover a Trump rally in Freedom Plaza, followed by the certification of the Electoral College votes by the joint session of Congress on Wednesday. The photos he took during that have become some of the most recognizable to come out of the attempted insurrection of the U.S. Capitol.

What was the atmosphere like at the rally on Tuesday?

It was as normal a Trump rally as you can have. There was talk among the attendees that “Wednesday is our day.” But there didn’t appear to be any planning or discussion, beyond the speakers talking about how January 6th was the day to “take back the country,” “stop the steal” — all the usual Trump slogans.

Read more here. Shared by Chris Connell.


A War Photographer Embeds With the Capitol Hill Mob (New Republic)

By Bob Moser

For more than three decades, photojournalist Ron Haviv has covered wars and unrest across five continents. One of his first international assignments was covering the 1989 coup attempt in Panama.* So when he watched President Trump order his fever-pitch mob of supporters to “walk down to the Capitol” on Wednesday to somehow correct the “egregious assault on our democracy” involved in counting and certifying votes, Haviv could gauge better than most what might happen next.

“I kind of did imagine that if everything went wrong, I could see them getting into the Capitol,” he told me by phone Wednesday evening. “But I didn’t see it being as easy as it turned out to be. Why would you think that? It just seems ridiculous. This is the United States government.”

But it took only an hour or so for rioters answering the call of their mad overlord to push past Capitol Police and start ramming their way into the building. Haviv spotted a group of a dozen or so climbing the scaffolding of the inaugural stand being built for January 20, and heading toward a window. “I went with the moment,” he said, and climbed in with them. “The scaffolding was all the protection there was. They were getting pepper-sprayed and some flash bombs, but that didn’t really stop them.”

Read more here. Shared by Paul Albright.


Voice of America employees protest order to broadcast Pompeo speech, calling it ‘propaganda’ (Washington Post)

By Paul Farhi

Staffers at Voice of America, the government-funded international news organization, have filed a whistleblower complaint raising concerns about an upcoming address by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying it would be risky for them to gather at the agency’s headquarters amid the coronavirus pandemic and that orders to broadcast his speech amount to promoting “propaganda.”

In a letter to Michael Pack, the Trump appointee who heads VOA’s parent agency, the employees wrote that the planned speech “endangers public health and safety, violates law, rule and regulation and grossly wastes government resources.”

The complaint is the latest skirmish in an ongoing battle among current and former employees of VOA and Pack, a conservative former documentary filmmaker who runs the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees VOA and four other international news networks.

Read more here. Shared by Dennis Conrad.
The Final Word
Today in History - Jan. 11, 2021
By The Associated Press
Today is Monday, Jan. 11, the 11th day of 2021. There are 354 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 11, 2020, health authorities in the central Chinese city of Wuhan reported the first death from what had been identified as a new type of coronavirus; the patient was a 61-year-old man who’d been a frequent customer at a food market linked to the majority of cases there.

On this date:

In 1815, Sir John A. Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada, was born in Glasgow, Scotland.

In 1861, Alabama became the fourth state to withdraw from the Union.

In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Grand Canyon National Monument (it became a national park in 1919).

In 1913, the first enclosed sedan-type automobile, a Hudson, went on display at the 13th National Automobile Show in New York.

In 1927, the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was proposed during a dinner of Hollywood luminaries at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

In 1935, aviator Amelia Earhart began an 18-hour trip from Honolulu to Oakland, California, that made her the first person to fly solo across any part of the Pacific Ocean.

In 1943, the United States and Britain signed treaties relinquishing extraterritorial rights in China.

In 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued “Smoking and Health,” a report that concluded that “cigarette smoking contributes substantially to mortality from certain specific diseases and to the overall death rate.”

In 1978, two Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 27 capsule linked up with the Salyut 6 orbiting space station, where the Soyuz 26 capsule was already docked.

In 1989, nine days before leaving the White House, President Ronald Reagan bade the nation farewell in a prime-time address, saying of his eight years in office: “We meant to change a nation and instead we changed a world.”

In 2001, the Army acknowledged that U.S. soldiers killed an “unknown number” of South Korean refugees early in the Korean War at No Gun Ri, but said there was no evidence they were ordered to do so.

In 2010, Miep Gies (meep khees), the Dutch office secretary who defied Nazi occupiers to hide Anne Frank and her family for two years and saved the teenager’s diary, died at age 100.

Ten years ago: During a public Mass at St. Odilia Catholic Church in Tucson, Arizona, several hundred mourners remembered the victims of the shooting rampage that killed six people and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. David Nelson, 74, who co-starred on his parents’ popular TV show “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” died in Los Angeles.

Five years ago: Gunmen stormed into a Baghdad mall, killing 18 people; the Islamic State group claimed responsibility. Northern Ireland lawmakers appointed Arlene Foster as the first female leader of their unity government. No. 2 Alabama outlasted No. 1 Clemson in a 45-40 victory in the College Football Playoff championship game. Baseball Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, 96, died in Houston. William A. “Bill” Del Monte, the last survivor of the devastating San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, died at a retirement home in nearby Marin County at 109 years old.

One year ago: Iran admitted that its military had “unintentionally” shot down a Ukrainian jetliner three days earlier, killing all 176 people aboard; the statement blamed “human error” for the shootdown, which took place just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at U.S. forces.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien (zhahn kray-tee-EHN’) is 87. Actor Mitchell Ryan is 87. Actor Felix Silla is 84. Movie director Joel Zwick is 79. Country singer Naomi Judd is 75. World Golf Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw is 69. Singer Robert Earl Keen is 65. Actor Phyllis Logan is 65. Musician Vicki Peterson (The Bangles) is 63. Actor Kim Coles is 59. Actor Jason Connery is 58. Former child actor Dawn Lyn (TV: “My Three Sons”) is 58. Rock musician Tom Dumont (No Doubt) is 53. Movie director Malcolm D. Lee is 51. Singer Mary J. Blige is 50. Musician Tom Rowlands (The Chemical Brothers) is 50. Actor Marc Blucas is 49. Actor Amanda Peet is 49. Actor Rockmond Dunbar is 48. Actor Aja Naomi King is 36. Actor Kristolyn Lloyd is 36. Reality TV star Jason Wahler is 34. Pop singer Cody Simpson is 24.

Got a story or photos to share?
Got a story to share? A favorite memory of your AP days? Don't keep them to yourself. Share with your colleagues by sending to Ye Olde Connecting Editor. And don't forget to include photos!

Here are some suggestions:

- Second chapters - You finished a great career. Now tell us about your second (and third and fourth?) chapters of life.
- Spousal support - How your spouse helped in supporting your work during your AP career. 

- My most unusual story - tell us about an unusual, off the wall story that you covered.

- "A silly mistake that you make"- a chance to 'fess up with a memorable mistake in your journalistic career.

- Multigenerational AP families - profiles of families whose service spanned two or more generations.

- Volunteering - benefit your colleagues by sharing volunteer stories - with ideas on such work they can do themselves.

- First job - How did you get your first job in journalism?

- Connecting "selfies" - a word and photo self-profile of you and your career, and what you are doing today. Both for new members and those who have been with us a while.

Most unusual place a story assignment took you.

Paul Stevens
Editor, Connecting newsletter