Conservatives and critics of hyperbolic comparisons blasted a political journalist Monday night after the Huffington Post correspondent claimed the January 6 riots were 1,000 percent worse than the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
White House reporter S.V. Dáte responded Monday to tweets from conservative author Byron York, who ridiculed any comparisons between the deadly U.S. Capitol riots and the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago. Dáte was one of many who suggested the January 6 insurrection was much worse than 9/11 because it was an attack on democracy led by a U.S. president, at the time Donald Trump. The journalist was responding to conservatives including York who were mocking the January 6 riot as absurdly insignificant by comparison.
The controversial tweet and outrage from right-wing political pundits comes amid Congress‘ largely partisan debate over whether the January 6 riot should be investigated by a “9/11-style commission,” as many lawmakers have described the probe. Pro-Trump Republicans in both the Senate and House have sought to downplay the insurrection, which left five people dead earlier this year.
York’s initial tweet blasted those who want “‘January 6 burned into the American mind as firmly as 9/11 because it was that scale of a shock to the system.’ No, it wasn’t. There is simply no comparison in scale or motivation between the two.”
In response, Dáte replied Monday, “Trump Apology Corps in full apology mode. The 9/11 terrorists and Osama bin Laden never threatened the heart of the American experiment. The 1/6 terrorists and Donald Trump absolutely did exactly that. Trump continues that effort today.”
One top response asked supporters of Dáte’s tweet, “United 93 was intended to crash into the Capitol. You think January 6th was worse than that?”
“1000 percent worse,” Dáte replied, setting off thousands of irate responses and outraged headlines from publications including Breitbart and TownHall Tuesday.
Numerous top replies to the United 93 question appeared to concur with Dáte’s controversial comparison.
“Absolutely. Jan 6 was an insurrection to overthrow the government, instigated BY THE PRESIDENT and his party. Way worse. The planes on 9/11 were not a direct threat to our democracy itself,” one backer of the Huffington Post journalist’s remark replied Monday night.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and numerous Democrats have frequently referred to a proposed January 6 investigative panel as a “9/11-style commission.” Republicans in both chambers have adamantly pushed back against the independent, bipartisan probe into the Capitol attack as well as additional emergency security funding.
The Washington Examiner‘s York and thousands of his followers created list-by-list tweet comparisons of fatalities, financial costs and building destruction caused in each respective incident. Several incredulously pointed out that nearly 3,000 people died on September 11 compared to single-digit deaths occurring from the January 6 riot. York pointed out that “natural causes” and “acute amphetamine intoxication” were behind at least two fatalities tied to the riot.
Newsweek reached out to HuffPo for any additional remarks Tuesday afternoon.