DiscoverThe DailyJan. 6, Part 1: ‘The Herd Mentality’
Jan. 6, Part 1: ‘The Herd Mentality’

Jan. 6, Part 1: ‘The Herd Mentality’

Update: 2022-01-0528


Who exactly joined the mob that, almost a year ago, on Jan. 6, breached the walls of the U.S. Capitol in a bid to halt the certification of President Biden’s election victory?

Members of far-right extremist groups were present but so too were also doctors, lawyers, substitute teachers and church deacons, many of whom had previously been nonpolitical. 

The question of why they were at the Capitol that day is hard to answer, but some of the most useful clues come from three F.B.I. interviews that have been released to the public.

Today, in the first of a three-part look at what happened on Jan. 6 and what it tells us about the state of American democracy, using voice actors, we bring one of those interviews to life — that of Robert Reeder, a father and delivery driver from suburban Maryland. 

Guest: Alan Feuer, a reporter covering courts and criminal justice for The New York Times. 

Sign up here to get The Daily in your inbox each morning. And for an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter

Background reading: 

For more information on today’s episode, visit

. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

Comments (3)

Debra Ann Doolittle

now way he didn't know what was going on, no way he just wandered in there if he says the media caused his feelings of untrust. if he was watching CNN, any news outlet, he would have known what was happening at the capitol that day. glad he's no longer working with young people. he wasn't being truthful.

Jan 9th


The response of "I was just following the crowd" is reminiscent of the response of everyday Germans in the 1930's and '40's to their being Nazi party members and to participation in the Holocaust. This is a poor excuse for attacking the capital.

Jan 8th

Haley B

This guy is full of it.

Jan 6th








Sleep Timer


End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

Jan. 6, Part 1: ‘The Herd Mentality’

Jan. 6, Part 1: ‘The Herd Mentality’

The New York Times