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To the editors,
Regarding the radicalized zealots that stormed the Capitol on January 6th, it would be nice if we could refer to them as simply “not right,” but what is so frightening is how quickly many of them went from looking at puppy photos on the Internet to participating in radical chat rooms and then, for some, destructive and violent action. Fear is a powerful emotion.
It seems like the Internet has a remarkable sorcery to return us to our formative years, unable to separate fact from fiction, the program from the commercials.
I recently had a conversation with Brian Karem, a political analyst for CNN who covered two wars on the ground and has been writing about Washington for 40 years. Of the January insurrection he said, “I never felt as unsafe as I did that day.”
Crowds shouted to him, “You’re the media and you’re going to die.” And they meant it.
-- Richard Levick