Excited CBS on Comey Hearings: ‘Historic’ ‘History’ Could Shape U.S. ‘History!’

In case you didn’t realize just how excited liberal journalists were about James Comey’s testimony in front of Congress on Thursday, CBS This Morning reporters described it as “historic” or “history” six times. Of course, they even looked back at Watergate for a comparison. 

A thrilled Charlie Rose opened the program by hyperventilating, “Welcome to CBS This Morning. Former FBI director James Comey is ready for what could be historic testimony on Capitol Hill.” Co-host Norah O’Donnell told Chip Reid, “What a historic morning it is.” 

Reid agreed and marveled from Capitol Hill: “I'll tell you a lot of people are taking in the history” Speaking of Senate interns, he gushed, “They’re here to see history being made.” 

Later in the show, with a hopeful tone, co-host Gayle King insisted, “James Comey's testimony this morning could help shape our nation's history.” 

Later, the show’s hosts looked back at historical congressional hearings and compared it to Watergate: 

CHIP REID: What began with a burglary ended with President Nixon's resignation. 

ROBERT DALLEK (Presidential historian) : And so, of course, it leads up to these Comey hearings, which create a sense of anticipation that people may hear something that's going to change the course of history. It's a kind of new national soap opera. 

REID: It is perhaps ironic that today's hearing is expected to preempt some soap operas and as soon as the hearing ends today, you can bet the pundits and historians will begin debating exactly where this ranks in the history of national congressional witnesses.

The MRC’s Tim Graham looked back at the media’s partisan decisions about which hearings are “historic” and which aren’t. 

The biased segments were brought to viewers by Purina dog food, Uncle Ben’s rice and Comcast. 

Partial transcripts are below: 

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CBS This Morning 
6/8/17
7:01

CHARLIE ROSE: Welcome to CBS This Morning. Former FBI director James Comey is ready for what could be historic testimony on Capitol Hill. It all starts at 10:00 A.M. Eastern, and we will bring it to you live here on CBS.


CBS Graphic: History at the Capitol

7:31

GAYLE KING: Welcome back to CBS This Morning. This morning’s testimony by fired FBI director James Comey is dominating front pages across the country this morning. His opening remarks were released yesterday and they describe They described nine private conversations with President Trump. Most headlines focus on how Comey says the President asked him for his loyalty. 

NORAH O’DONNELL: Comey also said the President called on him to let go the investigation into his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Chip Reid is outside the Capitol Hill hearing room where the testimony will take place. Chip, good morning. What a historic morning it is. 

CHIP REID: Well, it is. And I'll tell you a lot of people are taking in the history. You can see the line back here. The people in the front of the line have been here since 5:00 this morning and the line goes around this corner all the way down the hall around the next corner. Really, literally hundreds of people and a lot of people are Senate interns. They're here to see history being made an and their Senate IDs got them in early and so they're kind of hogging the seats up there. We know part of what Mr. Comey will say this morning when the hearing begins. He will say that Mr. Trump asked him, quote, “what we can do to lift over the cloud” over his presidency. Comey says the President also said, quote, “I hope you can let this go,” referring to the Michael Flynn investigation. 

Several times Mr. Trump pressed then-FBI Director Comey to pledge his loyalty. The big question, though, is what Comey will say beyond his already released opening statement. We know he will not make a legal argument but he will tell his side of the story. Senators on both sides of the aisle are expected to push him to reveal more. 

One thing that's important to note is that the investigation into  Russian investigation into meddling, the congressional meddling has been going on for months and there's still no solid evidence of wrongdoing by the Trump campaign. One reason the hearing is so heavily anticipated is because Comey is first major witness to testify publicly about what happened. Charlie? 

8:24

KING: James Comey's testimony this morning could help shape our nation's history.     

8:34
    
[Looking back at other hearings.] 

CHIP REID: What began with a burglary ended with President Nixon’s resignation. 

ROBERT DALLEK (Presidential historian) : And so, of course, it leads up to these Comey hearings, which create a sense of anticipation that people may hear something that’s going to change the course of history. It’s a kind of new national soap opera. 

REID: It is perhaps ironic that today's hearing is expected to preempt some soap operas and as soon as the hearing ends today, you can bet the pundits and historians will begin debating exactly where this ranks in the history of national congressional witnesses. Charlie? 

NB Daily CBS CBS This Morning Video James Comey Chip Reid Charlie Rose
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