Two men who posed next to the words “murder the media” graffitied onto a door during last week’s Capitol insurrection say they are citizen journalists working for an outlet named Murder the Media, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Nicholas Ochs and a man identifying himself to the paper as “Dick NeCarlo,” had joined crowds during the Capitol riot on January 6, where hundreds of pro-Trump insurrectionists broke into the building to protest the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
The House impeached President Donald Trump on Wednesday for “incitement to insurrection,” for his encouragement of the mob.
Ochs is the leader of the Hawaii chapter of the Proud Boys, a group known for white nationalist, anti-Muslim, and misogynist rhetoric, and which is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Och was later arrested by the FBI in connection with the break-in.
During the Capitol riot, Ochs and NeCarlo livestreamed the events and posted a selfie, grinning and flashing a thumbs up next to the “murder the media” sign.
The selfie can be seen here on the left-hand side of a compilation of photos of the pair posted to social media:
enrique tarrio may have been arrested and booted out of dc, but the proud boys were part of the storming of the US Capitol. Here’s Nick Ochs, a failed Hawaii state legislature candidate and member of the ‘Murder the Media’ collective. Yes, its exactly what it sounds like pic.twitter.com/Gi0bTc4ZWf
— (((ben))) (@btdecker) January 6, 2021
But NeCarlo, who did not give his real name, insisted to the Los Angeles Times that he and Ochs were there to do reporting for a right-wing Californian company with the same name — Murder the Media. According to The Daily Beast, the company produces podcasts and YouTube content.
“What I did was journalism: Follow the events and show people what happened,” NeCarlo told the paper. “I’m not doing anything wrong.”
The LA Times reported that like many other reporters, the pair had interviewed participants and followed them into the Capitol.
But comments captured on their livestream and on subsequent social media appearances suggest little distance between their reporting and political affiliations.
“Congress stopped the vote when we stormed the Capitol. As we’ve been saying all day: We came here to stop the steal,” Ochs said on his livestream, according to the LA Times.
NeCarlo later boasted about the experience on YouTube, saying: “All these protests and s—, I’ve been talking s— on it, but it’s about time I went down there and told them how to do it.”
The men’s positions cloud the distinction between reporting and advocacy. Most mainstream news organizations, including Insider, have strict rules barring reporters from any public affiliation with or support for a political cause.
As Insider’s Dave Levinthal has reported, there are often serious consequences for those who break those rules.
Insider has contacted representatives for Ochs for comment.
It is unclear who wrote the phrase “murder the media” on the Capitol doors, but the graffiti was characteristic of the hostility to the press that day.
Reporters from multiple outlets had equipment smashed, and were forced to shelter in place, at the protests, according to The New York Times.
Trump weaponized this hatred early in his term, and has made booing the media a signature part of his rallies.