Capitol Coup d’Trump: Deconstructing Media Narratives around January 6th Events

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

Project Censored hosted a live Zoom-based round-table discussion Wednesday, January 13, 2021. The online event included a panel of scholars and media experts discussing how media are shaping audiences’ interpretation of recent events, such as the violence at the U.S. Capitol connected to the 2020 elections, social media censorship, and related ongoing constitutional crises.

The event was moderated by the Director of Project Censored, Professor Mickey Huff. Those in attendance submitted their questions and comments to the panelists in the Zoom meeting chat which were incorporated into the broader conversation. The event incorporated some of the thoughts put forth in an article published at CounterPunch by Nolan Higdon and Mickey Huff Ripe for Fascism: A Post-Coup d’Trump Autopsy of American Democracy, along with the many keen insights of the diverse and expert panelists listed below.

Discussion Panelists:

Mnar Muhawesh Adley is founder, CEO and editor in chief of MintPress News, and is also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups. She’s also the executive director and host of Behind The Headlines and the MintCast Podcast. She started her career as an independent multimedia journalist covering Midwest and national politics while focusing on civil liberties and social justice issues posting her reporting and exclusive interviews on her blog MintPress, which she later turned MintPress into the global news source it is today. In 2009, Adley also became the first American woman to wear the hijab to anchor/report the news in American media.

Robin Andersen, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita of Media Studies at Fordham University, and an award-winning author, writer and media commentator. She edits the Routledge Focus Book Series on Media and Humanitarian Action. Her A Century of Media, A Century of War won the Alpha Sigma Nu Book Prize, and her latest book is Media, Central American Refugees and the U.S. Border Crisis: She also writes media criticism for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, and various other publications, and can be seen on educational videos. She is a Project Censored Judge, and her article about Russia-gate was recognized as a Top Ten Project Censored Story for 2018. Find her on Twitter at @MediaPhiled

Allison Butler, Ph.D., is the Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Advising and Director of the Media Literacy Certificate Program at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Butler’s research interests are focused on critical media literacy, especially teacher education in media literacy and integrating media literacy into the primary and secondary school classroom.  Butler co-runs the Mass Media Literacy, a grassroots organization that trains teachers in media literacy and builds curriculum for critical media literacy across K-12 public schools. Butler’s upper-level Comm classes all come with a civic engagement component where students have the opportunity to work in the community and across the state with and on behalf of young people and their media learning. Butler works with home-school, alternative school, and public school students on media literacy education. Butler has published multiple books and articles on the need for, and implementation of, media literacy in the classroom, most recently, Educating Media Literacy: The Need for Critical Media literacy in Teacher Education (Brill, 2020) and a forthcoming text on global media literacy education scholar David Buckingham.

Dr. Nicholas L. Baham, III is a Professor of Ethnic Studies at California State University East Bay and teaches courses in Black Studies and Genders and Sexualities in Communities of Color.   His academic research focuses on African American religious experience, alternative Black Sexualities, Jazz Studies, James Baldwin, and Afrofuturism. His book, The Coltrane Church: Apostles of Sound, Agents of Social Justice was published in 2015 by McFarland Press. His published journal articles include “I Know You Know: Esperanza Spalding’s Hybrid, Intertextual, Multilingual, Relevant Jazz Aesthetic,” “Radio Free Coltrane: Free Jazz Radio as Revolutionary Practice” in Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture, and the soon to be published “Standing on the Verge of Getting It On: The Trans-Theoretical Sexual Dialogues of Afrofuturism and Afro-Pessimism.” He has presented his work nationally and internationally at the American University in Paris, Universite Paul-Valery in Montpellier, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Tuskegee, and Suffolk University. Dr. Baham is a co-host for the Along the Line podcast, former co-host of the Project Censored radio broadcast, and sits on the board of the Media Freedom Foundation. He has also appeared on BET, local KPOO and KPFA radio, Canada’s SexTV and in ColorLines and Esquire magazine. He has a blog of African American politics and culture called The Upper Room at

Dr. Nolan Higdon is an author and university lecturer of history and media studies. Higdon’s areas of concentration include youth culture, news media history, and critical media literacy. He sits on the boards of the Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME) and Northwest Alliance For Alternative Media And Education. His most recent publications include United States of Distraction (co-author with Mickey Huff, City Lights, 2019) and The Anatomy of Fake News: A Critical News Literacy Education