On Monday, the network morning shows devoted a total of 15 seconds of air time to congressional Republicans moving to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for his handling of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Only NBC actually covered the news – in a dismissive tone – while ABC and CBS completely skipped the story.
“Now later today, House Republicans are expected to push a vote on a resolution to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, criticizing how he’s handled the impeachment investigation,” White House correspondent Kristen Welker reported on the Today show. Though she hastened to downplay the development: “It’s important to point out, though, Savannah, it’s a move that’s largely symbolic and is not expected to pass.”
Coincidentally, the phrases “largely symbolic” and “not expected to pass” could also be used to described the partisan impeachment push being led by House Democrats.
If any of the networks had bothered to properly report on GOP complaints about Schiff, viewers would have learned that the push for the censure stemmed from Schiff opening a September impeachment inquiry hearing by fabricating quotes from the President’s July phone call with the president of Ukraine in order to make Trump sound guilty of a quid pro quo. Schiff later claimed it was an attempt at “parody.”
Of course NBC, ABC, and CBS all ignored Schiff’s dishonesty at the time. And when CBS This Morning host Tony Dokoupil was confronted with the Democratic Congressman’s bad behavior by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow, the anchor had a meltdown.