CBS’s O’Donnell Marvels at Schiff’s ‘Full Screen’ Impeachment Show

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During CBS’s special coverage of the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday, Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell was thrilled by Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff’s opening presentation that featured on-screen graphics and video clips. She gushed over the political show to her panel of pundits.

Sounding more like a boxing promoter than a journalist, O’Donnell proclaimed: “And we got round one in this preview of the House Democratic managers versus the White House.” She declared in awe: “We had Adam Schiff up there for more than 40-something minutes, according to my notes, 17 full screens laying out details, there was video of the President saying he would be happy to have everybody testify.”

 

 

Moments later, she turned to correspondent Chip Reid and again showed she was wowed: “Chairman Schiff’s presentation, I mean the full screen that said, you know, that zero documents have been presented by the White House.”

O’Donnell’s enthusiasm for the Democratic argument was obvious:

They had full screens with pictures of every White House official that has – that the President directed not to testify. I mean, he was putting –  trying to put his argument essentially on full screen in graphics for not only the senators, hundred senators, but for the American people.

Reid replied: “You know, in this modern age you’ve got to do that....you need those graphics, you need something to grab people’s attention, and you need to make your case right up front, you can’t get mired in process at a time like this, you’ve got to make your strongest argument right at the top.”

The media will not be shy about actively rooting for Democrats throughout the impeachment trial.

Here is a transcript of the January 21 segment:

2:53 PM ET

(...)

NORAH O’DONNELL: I think why today was particularly interesting is the Democrats have charged a cover-up by the Republican leader. He’s now relaxed the timetable a bit. And we got round one in this preview of the House Democratic managers versus the White House. We had Adam Schiff up there for more than 40-something minutes, according to my notes, 17 full screens laying out details, there was video of the President saying he would be happy to have everybody testify. And then, the White House making their case.

(...)

2:55 PM ET

O’DONNELL: Want to bring in Chip Reid, who is on Capitol Hill, who not only covered the Clinton impeachment but also happens to be a lawyer himself. And Chip, let me ask you, I mean, the – Chairman Schiff’s presentation, I mean the full screen that said, you know, that zero documents have been presented by the White House. They had full screens with pictures of every White House official that has – that the President directed not to testify. I mean, he was putting –  trying to put his argument essentially on full screen in graphics for not only the senators, hundred senators, but for the American people.

REID: Yeah, well, the Republicans have made clear that they are all ready to meet them step for step with graphics and full screens, too. You know, in this modern age you’ve got to do that. You know, the truth is most of the people in the room there, the 100 senators, already know, if not all of this, certainly most of this, their audience is the American people.

And I forget who it was on your panel who just stead that one reason that Schiff went right to the substance of these arguments is that today is the first day really, this is when you have a big audience. At some point, probably impl – impeachment fatigue is going – setting in with me already – impeachment fatigue is going to set in and you’re going to have people’s eyes glazing over after they’ve heard these arguments again and again. So you need those graphics, you need something to grab people’s attention, and you need to make your case right up front, you can’t get mired in process at a time like this, you’ve got to make your strongest argument right at the top.

(...)

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