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Riot Defense: Too Much Fox

Anthony Antonio started believing the election misinformation, lawyer tells judge
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2021 4:35 PM CDT
Riot Defense: Too Much Fox
Insurrectionists loyal to former President Trump try to open a door at the US Capitol on Jan. 6.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

(Newser) – Anthony Antonio, who was out of work, spent the six months before the attack on the US Capitol watching Fox News, his lawyer said, absorbing every lie told about the presidential election being stolen from former President Trump. When the pandemic took his job in Chicago, the Washington Post reports, he moved in roommates and started watching because they did. "Fox television played constantly. He became hooked," Joseph Hurley told a DC judge Thursday, adding that in time, Antonio "started believing what was being fed to him." The constant misinformation is part of what drove Antonio to the Capitol on Jan. 6, Hurley said, wearing a bulletproof vest with a patch of the Three Percenters, an anti-government extremist group.

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Videos seem to show Antonio as an enthusiastic participant in the riot, per the Guardian. "You want war?" he shouted at police officers. "We got war. 1776 all over again." Other clips show him with a riot shield that apparently was taken from an officer, squirting water on an officer being dragged into a crowd, stealing another officer's gas mask, and climbing into the building through a broken-out window. Antonio faces five charges in connection with the attack, including violent entry. Fox, which didn't immediately comment on his defense, faces billion-dollar lawsuits from Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, which argue that the network knowingly relayed the false claim that their voting machines were rigged for the November election. (Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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