Nets Eager for ‘Drama’ of ‘Compelling’ Public Impeachment Hearings

Listen to the Article!

Journalists on Thursday’s network morning shows could barely contain their excitement over House Democrats announcing public impeachment hearings starting next week. Hosts and correspondents salivated over the political “drama” that would ensue when liberal lawmakers presented testimony against President Trump “in the most compelling way.”

“Democrats stepping up the pressure on President Trump, announcing the first public hearings next week and releasing the testimony of a key witness detailing a quid pro quo with Ukraine,” co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed on ABC’s Good Morning America. “Democrats now plan to take their case directly to the American people,” correspondent Cecilia Vega declared moments later.

 

 

In a separate full report that followed, fellow correspondent Terry Moran breathlessly told viewers:

There’s no greater drama here on Capitol Hill than public hearings on the impeachment of a president. They’re part spectacle, part search for evidence, and part partisan warfare. And the stakes could not be higher for President Trump and for our country.

Amid soundbites of multiple media outlets reporting on the upcoming hearings, Moran announced: “Democrats are lining up their witnesses for next week’s impeachment hearings....And they’re keeping an eye on the millions of Americans who will tune in to watch.”

At the top of CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King hyped: “Going public. The White House changes its defense strategy as House Democrats get ready for public testimony next week. What you need to know about the historic hearings.”

Turning to Capitol Hill correspondent Nancy Cordes minutes later, fellow co-host Anthony Mason wondered: “Nancy, what’s the point of these witnesses testifying in public if their closed-door testimony has already been made available?” Cordes cited Democratic talking points in response:

Well, Anthony, one Democrat put it to me like this – ultimately the jury here is the American public. They’re the ones who need to be convinced. The polls show that currently the public is split 50/50 on impeachment and removal. So Democrats have gathered all the evidence, now they need to lay it out for the jury in the most compelling way. And they’re starting with the people they believe are their most compelling witnesses – nonpartisan, decades of experience, all of them very well spoken.

In other words, it’s political theater. Democrats and the media will try to use the hearings to tilt public opinion in favor of impeachment.

On Wednesday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Norah O’Donnell touted the hearings like she was promoting a boxing match or WrestleMania.

Leading off NBC’s Today show, co-host Hoda Kotb heralded: “Out in the open. House Democrats announce plans for the very first public hearings in the impeachment investigation....We’re live with what to expect in the high stakes showdown on Capitol Hill.”

“At a Louisiana rally overnight, President Trump pushed back against Democrats as the investigation moves full steam ahead back in Washington,” fellow co-host Craig Melvin noted as he introduced a report on the topic. “And this morning, we now know public hearings will take place starting next week, six days from now,” he added.

Correspondent Peter Alexander gushed:

House Democrats prepare to take their case against the President to the American people, announcing their first open hearings on impeachment beginning next week. The new phase of their inquiry marking the first time the country will hear directly from the officials at the center of the investigation.

The giddiness with which the press sensationalize such a serious and divisive process is troubling to say the least.

Help fight against the liberal media’s impeachment crusade

Here is a transcript of the November 7 coverage on ABC’s Good Morning America:

7:00 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Impeachment showdown. As he braces for public hearings to begin, President Trump blasting impeachment inquiry overnight.

(...)

7:04 AM ET

STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re gonna go to Washington now and the latest on the impeachment showdown. Democrats stepping up the pressure on President Trump, announcing the first public hearings next week and releasing the testimony of a key witness detailing a quid pro quo with Ukraine.

(...)

7:06 AM ET

CECILIA VEGA: It comes as Democrats now plan to take their case directly to the American people, calling on key witnesses to publicly testify next week. The top American diplomat to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, up first, his closed-door testimony now made public as well. Taylor telling lawmakers the President outsourced Ukraine policy to his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Taylor saying it was his, quote, “clear understanding” that Ukraine would not receive military aid until they agreed to investigate the President’s political rivals. Taylor laying out a quid pro quo but Republicans still struggling to mount a defense for the President.

(...)

7:07 AM ET

ROBIN ROBERTS: As Cecilia noted, those public televised hearings in the impeachment showdown begin next week. Senior national correspondent Terry Moran is there on Capitol Hill with a look at what we can expect. Good morning, Terry.

TERRY MORAN: Good morning, Robin. There’s no greater drama here on Capitol Hill than public hearings on the impeachment of a president. They’re part spectacle, part search for evidence, and part partisan warfare. And the stakes could not be higher for President Trump and for our country.

Democrats are lining up their witnesses for next week’s impeachment hearings.

DAVID MUIR [WORLD NEWS TONIGHT]: Well, now the American people will hear from them.

WOLF BLITZER [CNN]: Public hearings.

BRET BAIER [FOX NEWS]: Public impeachment hearings.

MORAN: And they’re keeping an eye on the millions of Americans who will tune in to watch.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF [D-HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN]: Those open hearings will be an opportunity for the American people to evaluate the witnesses for themselves, but also to learn firsthand about the facts of the President’s misconduct.

MORAN: Under the rules passed by the House last week, those first rounds of public hearings starting next Wednesday will be held by the House Intelligence Committee to lay out the evidence. Democratic Chairman Adam Schiff, a former prosecutor, is planning to keep it tight. Just a handful of witnesses in several hearings over the next few weeks, and under the rules, Democrats can block any Republican subpoenas.

Republicans, including Senator Lindsey Graham, are railing at the process.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM [R-SC]: The whole process is a joke. I’m not buying into Schiff running a legitimate operation over there.

MORAN: During the Bill Clinton impeachment...

KEN STARR: I was called upon to give you my judgment.

MORAN: ...the only major witness was Independent Counsel Ken Starr, the prosecutor. This time, people inside the Trump administration will be called to testify and White House lawyers will be able to make their case and cross-examine witnesses. Schiff’s committee will then write a report summarizing the evidence and turn it over to the Judiciary Committee under Democratic Chairman Jerry Nadler. And then the Judiciary Committee will draft articles of impeachment, those are the actual charges against Trump. Abuse of power, Democrats say, will be at the top of the list, and they’ll vote. A solemn moment in the Richard Nixon impeachment, some members struggled to control their emotions.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [1974]: Mr. Rodino.

REP. PETER RODINO [D-NJ]: Aye.

MORAN: I remember watching that moment as a kid.

(...)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And of course we’re going to have live coverage of the impeachment hearings. They start at 10:00 a.m. Eastern next Wednesday.

Here is a transcript of the coverage on CBS This Morning:

7:00 AM ET

GAYLE KING: Going public. The White House changes its defense strategy as House Democrats get ready for public testimony next week. What you need to know about the historic hearings.

7:05 AM ET

ANTHONY MASON: And Ambassador Bill Taylor will be the first witness to testify when the House Intelligence Committee starts holding public hearings on impeachment next week. Nancy Cordes is on Capitol Hill. Nancy, what’s the point of these witnesses testifying in public if their closed-door testimony has already been made available?

NANCY CORDES: Well, Anthony, one Democrat put it to me like this – ultimately the jury here is the American public. They’re the ones who need to be convinced. The polls show that currently the public is split 50/50 on impeachment and removal. So Democrats have gathered all the evidence, now they need to lay it out for the jury in the most compelling way. And they’re starting with the people they believe are their most compelling witnesses – nonpartisan, decades of experience, all of them very well spoken. Witnesses to or victims of this back-channel diplomacy that they say ran counter to America’s interest and was only in the President’s interest.

MASON: Nancy, what comes after these public hearings? And do we know how long they’re gonna last?

CORDES: Well, they’ll last at least a couple of weeks. Then the House Intelligence Committee would transfer all of the evidence it’s gathered to the House Judiciary Committee, which would draw up and debate actual articles of impeachment, maybe hold its own hearings. And then if a vote is successful in Judiciary, it all goes to the full House of Representatives for a straight majority vote on those articles of impeachment. If it passes there, it would then go to the Senate for a trial, and then a two-thirds vote on removing the President from office.

MASON: Nancy Cordes, thank you, Nancy.

Here is a transcript of the coverage on NBC’s Today show:

7:00 AM ET

HODA KOTB: Out in the open. House Democrats announce plans for the very first public hearings in the impeachment investigation. The President and Republicans pushing back.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM [R-SC]: I want to read these transcripts. The whole process is a joke.

KOTB: We’re live with what to expect in the high stakes showdown on Capitol Hill.

(...)

CRAIG MELVIN:  At a Louisiana rally overnight, President Trump pushed back against Democrats as the investigation moves full steam ahead back in Washington. And this morning, we now know public hearings will take place starting next week, six days from now. NBC’s Peter Alexander is at the White House with more on that. Peter, good morning.

PETER ALEXANDER: Hey, Craig, good morning to you. House Democrats planning to make their case in televised hearings in front of the American people beginning next Wednesday.

(...)

ALEXANDER: It comes as House Democrats prepare to take their case against the President to the American people, announcing their first open hearings on impeachment beginning next week. The new phase of their inquiry marking the first time the country will hear directly from the officials at the center of the investigation.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF [D-CA, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN]: I think you will see, throughout the course of the testimony – not only their testimony, but many others –  the most important facts are largely not contested.

ALEXANDER: The lineup starts with the top diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, who Democrats believe to be one of their strongest witnesses. On Wednesday, Democrats released the transcript of his closed-door deposition.

(...)

ALEXANDER: Trump ally, Senator Lindsey Graham, saying he refuses to read recently released transcripts of those closed-door depositions from several key witnesses.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM [R-SC]: The whole process is a joke. Y’all hate this guy, you want to get him impeached. I’m not buying into Schiff running a legitimate operation over there.

(...)

NB Daily Congress Trump Impeachment Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Terry Moran Nancy Cordes Peter Alexander Donald Trump

Sponsored Links