The one-year anniversary of the Capitol insurrection is upon us, and while many of the hosts, pundits, and commentators who will be discussing it this week were watching from afar, The Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper was right in the middle of the action.
To mark the occasion, Klepper joined MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Beyond the Scenes, a weekly podcast hosted by The Daily Show’s Roy Wood Jr. that takes listeners inside some of the Comedy Central program's most impactful segments.
“We remember the Alamo,” Klepper says in the exclusive video version of the episode, which will be available across all podcast platforms Tuesday morning. “That’s a terrible story, we should forget that story.” And yet, somehow, he adds, America already seems to be forgetting Jan. 6.
Klepper explained that when he went to a Trump rally just a few months ago in Iowa, he was struck by the fact that there was no “coherent narrative” among the former president’s supporters as to why the insurrection was wrong. Some people blamed antifa or the “Deep State,” while others claim nothing even happened. “I, for one, was surprised how quickly that information and those disjuncted narratives came about,” Klepper said.
Later in the conversation, Hayes argued that what we already know about Trump’s role in inciting the attack should “disqualify him from ever holding any position of public trust ever” and that “there is a plausible criminal case to be made against him under federal law.”
The violence that came to a head at the Capitol last year has also spread to the Trump rallies from which Klepper has been reporting ever since. He shared one story about a man who recognized him at a school board meeting in North Carolina last fall and “charged” toward him. He was intercepted by his security, who The Daily Show was forced to hire to protect Klepper from serious harm.
“They don’t like to be made fun of,” Klepper said about the MAGA crowd. “Even if you’re not immediately recognized, we have to be savvy because there is a mob mentality when we have a camera up.”
Looking ahead, Klepper offered a less-than-hopeful outlook about the future of the republic. Asked by Wood why Americans still seem to be more interested in Pete Davidson dating Kim Kardashian than “how democracy is crumbling,” Klepper said it’s because “we were never interested in democracy as an idea.”
“We were interested in democracy as a bullet to put in a gun that we could shoot to win the contest of ‘my team beat your team,’” he continued. That’s how he knows Americans aren’t actually “into politics,” but rather just want to play “games.”
When Hayes added that American elections could cease to function altogether if one side “will never acknowledge” that they have lost, Wood soundly replied, “So it sounds like we’re fucked.”
For more, listen to The Daily Show’s Jordan Klepper on The Last Laugh podcast.