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Some who stormed the Capitol insist, 'What I did was journalism'

Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

"We actually stopped the steal," Ochs said. "It may resume, but the steal is for now stopped. You're welcome, America!"

When Ochs, who staged an unsuccessful state legislative campaign last year, flew home to Honolulu, he was arrested at the airport. The FBI is seeking to transfer him to Washington.

In charging Ochs, a federal agent cited the photo Ochs posted on Twitter of himself and NeCarlo in the Capitol as well as comments Ochs made to CNN confirming that he had gone inside as a "professional journalist," according to court records.

On Monday, Ochs appeared by phone from jail at federal court in Honolulu. A prosecutor asked the judge to bar Ochs from the Capitol grounds and from attending future protests. The judge declined, and allowed Ochs to be released on a $5,000 bond. His attorney did not respond to calls for comment, but Ochs posted a message to followers Monday on Telegram: "Out on bond. Thanks for the support, y'all are great!"

Twitter removed Ochs' account last week, and his Parler account disappeared when the social media company was forced to shut down by its host, Amazon. Murder the Media videos were also removed by DLive.

NeCarlo, self-employed in crypto-investments, has worked for Murder the Media for four years, often wearing a beard, hat and sunglasses.

"We want to be as unique as possible with our coverage. That involves taking risks, getting close to the action, talking to everyone, not just figureheads," he said.

At the Capitol, "the goal was to show you firsthand what was happening," he added.

 

NeCarlo described himself as "right-leaning" — not Republican, Libertarian or a QAnon conspiracy theorist. At times he's been a Trump critic. He's accustomed to being censored by social media ("I'm on my fourth Twitter account," he says), but resents that law enforcement doesn't recognize what he and Ochs did at the Capitol as journalism.

He saw Black Lives Matter activist John Sullivan of Insurgence USA praised by Anderson Cooper on CNN for reporting from the Capitol on his phone. "How is he labeled a journalist and Nick Ochs a terrorist?" NeCarlo said.

NeCarlo noted that other mainstream or "legacy" media were inside the Capitol too, "but because they have the right opinions or don't have opinions, they weren't targeted" by law enforcement afterward.

NeCarlo also resents that social media companies have cracked down on right-wing independent reporters since the Capitol attack, but have not applied the same standards to advocacy journalists covering antifa and Black Lives Matter.

"All these other riots that were going on last year were covered just fine but then they nuked us," he said. "It's like all the tech companies, because of all the pressure they've had from the [left-wing] activists, they sort of determine what you can cover and the opinion you can have."

Unable to livestream during the Trump rally due to network issues, NeCarlo said he's now waiting until he's sure Ochs is OK before releasing video he filmed at the Capitol. He plans to continue covering rallies in coming days.

"What happened scared a lot of people and it probably will deter a lot of people," NeCarlo said. "But it's not going to deter me. I'm going to keep flying out places and keep covering what's going on. It's not going to stop my freedom of speech and my ability to document what's going on."

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