On Tuesday, as the political PR battle ahead of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump began, ABC’s Good Morning America amplified complaints from Democrats that the process was “a cover-up and national disgrace” because of the rules outlined by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Despite the fact that Democrats had been working to remove President Trump from office since the moment he got elected, and that four of his current 2020 rivals were voting to remove him from office in the Senate, ABC’s World News Tonight had an issue with Senate Republicans signing the oath of impartiality for the trial on Thursday.
After Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s master plan to delay the Senate impeachment trial ended in failure after a month, House Democrats finally got up and walked the articles of impeachment against President Trump over to the Senate for trial. It was that transfer of documents that had the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) all giddy with anticipation during their Wednesday evening newscasts.
On Friday, all three network morning shows were quick to seize on Democratic talking points slamming the U.S. killing of Iranian terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani as “reckless” and even “illegal.” It all came amid media hand-wringing over the air strike in which journalists labeled the brutal murderer “iconic” and “inspirational.”
On Thursday, the NBC and ABC morning shows rang in the new year by hyping only Republican senators being politically “vulnerable” on impeachment and “potential breaks in the GOP ranks.” There was no discussion of Democratic lawmakers paying a political price for supporting the radical action against President Trump and the coverage even seemed to place them in the driver’s seat of the proceedings despite being in the minority.
On Tuesday, NBC’s Today show and ABC’s Good Morning America both worked to portray House Democrats backing impeachment as courageous politicians “putting principle before politics” rather than as partisans trying to appease the far left of their party.
On Monday, the network morning shows seized on laughable Democratic spin accusing Senate Republicans of “failing to be impartial jurors” in the upcoming impeachment trial of President Trump. This from the same media that hasn’t expressed any concern over Democratic senators running for president while presiding over the impeachment of the Republican incumbent they’re vying to replace.
The networks on Monday morning offered a collective shrug over the news that a Democratic Congressman is switching parties over impeachment. NBC’s Today skipped the story entirely. ABC’s Good Morning America allowed 12 seconds on Congressman Jeff Van Drew and CBS This Morning managed 37 seconds.
There were two distinct angles of impeachment being covered by ABC’s World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News on Thursday. While the later was boasting about how “Democrats have beaten back repeated Republican attempts” to oppose the Articles of Impeachment against President Trump, the former was worried about the “moderate Democrats” in swing districts who might vote against their party.
Minutes before Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee impeachment inquiry hearing began, ABC journalists were already spinning what Republicans would say as nonsense. ABC’s Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce and Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega dismissed Republicans as stooges for President Trump who would stop at nothing to disrupt the hearing with their “theatrics."
The liberal broadcast networks seemed in good spirits Thursday evening following the final day of televised impeachment hearings. Their jubilation came as part of a moment during the testimony of former White House Ukraine adviser Dr. Fiona Hill supposedly “blasting Republicans for spreading a conspiracy theory about Ukraine interfering in the 2016 election,” as NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt suggested.
Despite how they were dismissive of his truthfulness prior to Wednesday and the fact that he could not directly implicate President Trump in a quid pro quo scheme with Ukraine, ABC, CBS, and NBC heralded the public testimony of E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland as a “bombshell” from “the most pivotal witness yet.”