By Dan Gainor
Published January 25, 2020
The nation’s red-blue divide means the media have gone from acting blue to feeling it.
House Democrats ended their presentation in President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial Friday, and the president’s defense attorneys began laying out their case in a brief Senate session Saturday. The defense will resume its presentation Monday.
The baseless Democratic arguments for impeachment, stretching over three long days and nights, were greeted by a resounding thud of public disinterest. Ratings were down on TV and both senators and bystanders were in poor attendance.
The collapse of the whole impeachment effort looks more disastrous than the eighth season of “Game of Thrones.”
The anti-Trump media can’t understand why America won’t celebrate the epic oratory of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. Mediaite said Schiff’s call on the Senate to convict Trump and remove him from office was a “powerful speech.” The Daily Beast declared Schiff “Speaks the Truth” and far-left Mother Jones referred to the monologue as “stirring.”
Only Schiff made an embarrassing gaffe as he was closing, further depressing the anti-Trump press. He cited a CBS News report that claimed President Donald Trump had told senators, “vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.”
GOP senators were unified in their anger at what Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet called Schiff’s “unforced error.” The New York Times reported Schiff’s comment resulted in “Enraging the Right.”
CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju tweeted that Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., “said Schiff ‘offended every Republican senator’ and that no Republican had been told that.”
It was a fitting end to Part I of the bogus impeachment trial. Journalists have celebrated the Democratic Party line so far like they were ready to stand up and cheer their star.
The media threw love bombs at Schiff, envisioning him as everyone from famed orator Sen. Daniel Webster to rock superstar Bruce Springsteen. By comparison, former Time editor Rick Stengel said Trump was like the late Soviet tyrannical dictator Josef Stalin.
Self-described “conservative” Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin was hanging on Schiff’s every word. “Thank God I was alive to hear Adam Schiff speak these past few days,” she tweeted.
Much of the media didn’t just celebrate Trump’s attackers. They had to silence his supporters, as well.
Long-time Democrat and ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos gave us the memorable image of the week doing just that. He was captured on camera running his hand back and forth across his throat, telling staff to cut away from Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow answering questions.
It’s worth remembering that Stephanopoulos is more openly partisan than many of his fellow journalists. He is a former White House communications director for President Bill Clinton and for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, and he gave $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
But all that adoration was no match for the gang at CNN. Schiff was their shining star and CNN was sure to tell viewers. The network’s journalists and pundits nearly wore out the alphabet piling on the praise, terming his speech “coherent,” “cohesive,” “dazzling,” “forceful,” “inspiring,” “powerful,” and “remarkable.”
The folks at CNN made it clear they were “very” concerned by impeachment, using the word “very” 11 times in one segment. “Situation Room” anchor Wolf Blitzer excelled, celebrating the “very, very powerful and forceful speech” and noting Schiff made “a very, very strong case.”
“New Day” anchor John Berman was so very incensed that senators weren’t sitting with rapt attention, he whined that they could be “could be thrown behind bars” for leaving the floor of the Senate. Berman fantasized that “30 of them would be in the slammer right now if [Chief Justice] John Roberts actually enforced the rule.”
CNN saw impeachment everywhere – even when Trump was the first president to ever speak at the annual March for Life in Washington. Correspondent Kristen Holmes called the speech part of Trump’s “damage control” efforts. It was “all happening in the middle of this impeachment trial and that, of course, is very obvious why President Trump would want to speak here today,” she said.
The network even stretched the truth to make Schiff more palatable. Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger pretended that Schiff had begun his career as a “moderate Democrat.” His lifetime score by the American Conservative Union is a 5 … on a scale of 1 to 100.
President Clinton’s press secretary-turned-CNN analyst Joe Lockhart tried to win a creative writing award for fiction. Lockhart made up a conversation between Republican senators – but didn’t admit at first that the only place the conversation took place was in his vivid imagination.
In Lockhart’s fictional account (also known as a lie) one senator supposedly said of the Democratic accusations against Trump: “I haven't heard any of this before. I thought it was all about a server. If half the stuff Schiff is saying is true, we're up s----- creek.” (He wasn’t referring to the Canadian sitcom.)
Lockhart was mocked for his fake tweet, but his bosses at CNN didn’t seem to mind.
Now that the impeachment trial has shifted over to the Trump defense, CNN is already on the case. Friday’s “Reliable Sources” email warned “America is about to be hit with a storm of disinformation.”
While intended as an attack on Trump, this reads like a description of pretty much every major anti-Trump media report on impeachment – especially at CNN.