It has often been said that Stephen Horn isn’t a journalist — he is a newsman.
When it comes to coverage of what happened at the US Capitol on J6, one is hard-pressed to find a more objective voice of reason. In the era of fake news propagandists parading as press, Horn is a diamond in the rough.
His recently released documentary, “79 Minutes: Breach of the Capitol”, Horn lays out the objective facts of what went wrong — destroying a multitude of politically motivated conspiracy theories along the way while opening the door and making space for legitimate, unanswered questions.
On Wednesday, however, Horn will stand before a jury for his alleged crimes. He’s said to have chanted “USA”, after all.
If proven, there will be no remaining doubt that the 25-year-old newsman from North Carolina, who didn’t even vote for Trump, went to the US Capitol to join an insurrection, stop certification proceedings, and install the Dear Orange Leader in a coup d’état.
Am I doing this right, Scott MacFarlane (CBS)?
I spoke with Horn on Saturday — the regime narrative seems more than a bit off kilter.
“When I got home from January 6th, making a documentary was not on my radar at all,” Horn explained, “So I came home, you know, published the footage, reached out to some media outlets, reached out to the FBI. I didn’t immediately jump in to start working on this. It wasn’t until September of 2021 when I came across some video of Derrick Vargo being pushed off of the Northwest staircase by the Capitol Police.”
Because of his personal presence at the US Capitol on January 6, Horn’s understanding is much deeper than just after-the-fact video analysis.
“I had arrived at the Capitol, with my camera, just as Vargo was being carried off,” Horn recounts, “So, I overheard someone saying his legs are broken, you know, possibly broke his back as well. He didn’t look into good of a conditions at that point.”
While Horn and others (me included) understood the significance of the event, and how it led to an exponential increase in negative energy directed toward US Capitol Police, nearly an entire year later, the media continued to ignore it.
“In September, 2021, I posted the video and I was like, ‘Hey, you know, does anyone know any more about this?’ It was crazy to me that, that this video hadn’t been covered even in right-wing media significantly,” explains Horn.
A yet unidentified man was carried off on a stretcher at the Capitol riot after a fall of 3x-4x his height off a staircase. I slowed down four different angles of video, and it appears that he was pushed by a US Capitol police officer in a motorcycle helmet. pic.twitter.com/TWXbGymqG7— Stephen Horn (@stephenehorn) September 24, 2021
Over the course of the next two years, Horn went all in to explain the events that led up to the initial breach of the building — and why some protesters believed they were allowed to enter.
“It was my first video that sort of went viral. I think it ended up with a couple hundred thousand views, with some big accounts retweeting it,” Horn explains, “I came across some more videos from that west side of the Capitol, sort of putting the pieces together of what happened before I arrived, and I realized that there was a narrative there that I hadn’t seen anyone put together.”
As Horn dug deeper into the series of cascading events that precipitated the breach, an undeniable pattern emerged.
“I believe, after putting all of this together in sort of a coherent narrative, that these weren’t just random incidents,” explains Horn, “They followed one after each other, geographically by location. And I think it’s important to understand that sequence there.”
But while Horn recognizes the strange sequence of events that led to thousands of protesters entering the U.S. Capitol that day, he remains fully cognizant of the wisdom from Hanlon’s Razor:
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
Bizarre conspiracies certainly haven’t helped greater public understanding. Horn remains puzzled — especially with now rampant allegations that Ashli Babbitt’s death was staged.
“I think it ultimately comes from the fact that there is not trust in the media establishment,” Horn explains while attempting to understand why bogus stories gain traction, “Whether it’s mainstream media or some of the newer right wing media, the people are positing this theory are basically saying everyone who witnessed that is lying about it, that would be necessary for, for this to be true…But this wasn’t like a mainstream media coordinated narrative where they had their mainstream media people filming. So it’s ultimately like these (narratives) are being pushed by people who have zero trust at all in any media institutions that are anchored at all to the truth. I haven’t seen anyone who witnessed it saying, ‘Oh yeah, I thought this seemed fake. Like, I ran into John Sullivan afterwards he looked pretty shaken up, because he had just watched someone be killed.”
After nearly a full three years of dogged determination and dedication to objective truth, Horn prepares for trial while facing tough odds in a hostile District of Columbia — a judiciary proven to be very unfavorable to January 6th defendants. Nevertheless, Horn remains undeterred in his quest for truth.
“What I hope to accomplish is that I can walk away from, from the trial with a clear conscience,” Horn explains, “I realize the odds are against me, but it’s the course I have set, so I’m gonna stick to it.”
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