Actor Michael Shannon once dismissed Trump voters in the cruelest way possible. It’s “time for the urn.”
Now, the actor is part of a Showtime project trying to connect the FBI’s 1993 siege near Waco, Texas that left nearly 80 dead to the January 6 riots.
“Waco: The Aftermath” arrives 30 years after the tragic attempt to arrest Branch Davidians for illegally stockpiling weapons, among other serious accusations.
The 51-day standoff ended in fire, bloodshed and death, and while a subsequent investigation cleared the U.S. government in key areas it left a stain that partially inspired the Oklahoma City bombing two years later.
The Texas tragedy fueled the 2018 miniseries “Waco” starring Taylor Kitsch as Branch Davidians leader David Koresh. “Aftermath” continues that story. Shannon, who played FBI negotiator Gary Noesner in the original project and in the sequel.
Other returning cast members include Shea Whigham as FBI agent Mitch Decker and John Leguizamo, who earned an Emmy for his portrayal of ATF agent Jacob Vasquez in “Waco.”
Showtime is revisiting the subject for reasons beyond dramatic tension. The trailer, and the accompanying press material, connects the Waco siege with the Jan. 6 riots that killed one Trump supporter, an unarmed military veteran named Ashli Babbitt shot dead by Capitol police officer Lt. Michael Byrd.
Here’s part of the Showtime press release on the series, which makes its streaming debut April 14 before the official April 16 launch.
The New Limited Series Foreshadows the Rise of the American Militia Movement and the Resulting Jan 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol … The five-episode limited series also provides a broader context for the escalation of the American militia movement, which foreshadows the infamous attacks of the Oklahoma City bombing and the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
The trailer is blunt in suggesting the Waco siege made events like the Jan. 6 riots possible, but new footage from the Capitol chaos could prove inconvenient to Showtime.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gave Fox News’ Tucker Carlson exclusive rights to 41,000 hours of surveillance footage captured from the Jan. 6 riot. Media outlets, panicked by the news, alternately decried the decision and suddenly demanded they get their own copies of the footage.
The media and government narrative on the riot remains in lock step two years following the incident. Trump supporters violently attempted to overthrow the government to install the outgoing president following what they viewed as a rigged election.
Except the Democratic-controlled Congress has held back hours, and hours, of footage from that fateful day until last month.
We also know the rioters weren’t collectively armed and ready for insurrection. Only a very small minority of rioters brought guns with them, and none discharged them during the melee. An earlier FBI report found little evidence of a planned, prolonged “insurrection.”
Other questions remain. Did government forces help provoke the riot? How many rioters were admitted peacefully into the Capitol, as opposed to storming the august building?
If the Jan. 6 media/Democratic narrative crumbles, it wouldn’t be the first time unfolding events upended a Showtime project. The cable channel aired “The Comey Rule” miniseries after the Mueller Report failed to find proof of collusion between President Trump and Russia.
Later, more facts emerged which destroyed the miniseries’ narrative in toto.
Showtime didn’t pull the project, nor did any fact-checking body focus on its lies.
Photo: Ursula Coyote/Courtesy of SHOWTIME