In politics, nothing is a coincidence. That the House January 6 Committee is holding prime-time televised hearings on the 50th anniversary of the Watergate scandal that sunk President Richard Nixon should be of little surprise. The timing creates an aura of drama and significance that would otherwise be sorely missing from what many in the GOP and the general public describe as a partisan witch hunt. But just what will the Democrat-led committee be presenting, and more importantly, what narrative will be crafted by the Biden-friendly Fourth Estate?
A National Sales Pitch
Perhaps more notable than the hearings themselves is the media frenzy accompanying them. Taking up column inches and time, a wide selection of writers and talking heads have taken to the airwaves and social media platforms with admonitions that folks must tune in to the proceedings. But to whom is the tangential sales pitch aimed, and why?
There are some who believe (or at least say they believe) that the events of January 6 were as significant and devastating as Pearl Harbor or 9/11. These folks already think former President Donald Trump is a criminal who should be prosecuted for his role in the riot. This prime-time hearing is not for them because any evidence produced or assertion made will pale in comparison to the scenes they have already woven in their minds.
Then there are those who follow politics only to the extent that it interferes with their day-to-day life. They will neither care nor pay attention to the speeches and denouncements made on Thursday night, no matter how many CNN breaking alerts appear on the screen.
So that leaves one group. Those who do not believe January 6 was the worst event in American history; more specifically, those who are either still willing to vote for a Republican ticket or are considering not voting Democrat this time around because of apathy with the party under Joe Biden.
Forget the economy, forget gas prices, foreign policy humiliation, a crisis at the border, and any other number of mismanagement disasters by this administration … these hearings are the genuine 2022 electoral platform. But really, these people are the least likely of all to watch the circus because they have not, nor have they ever, bought into the so-called “unprecedented insurrection” that the Democrats claim was the essence of Jan. 6.
Fourth Estate Fox Frenzy
The stage management of this event and its intended audience becomes apparent when major news networks attempt to shame their competitors into carrying the live stream. Most of the big legacy media sites will be showing the proceedings, but rather than advertise their own offerings, it seems much effort is being put into trying to get Fox News to also carry the same material.
When a broadcaster has “the Big Show,” a significant portion of its value comes from exclusivity. Why then would CNN’s Brian Stelter be trying to bully Fox into showing the same content? In a recent Twitter tirade, Stelter wrote:
“Fox News makes it official: It will NOT show Thursday’s 1/6 hearing like all the other major networks. Tucker Carlson’s show will air as usual. Carlson promotes conspiracy theories about the riot, calls the committee ‘illegitimate,’ and ridicules the committee members.”
But of course, Stelter being Stelter, his message wasn’t quite the whole truth. He continued, “Fox’s top news anchors will be moved over to the Fox Business Network, and they will cover the hearing there. At 8pm ET on an ordinary night, Fox News has more than 3 million viewers, while Fox Business has under 100,000. That pretty much says it all about Fox’s priorities.”
So Fox will be broadcasting, just not in the manner nor to the size audience that CNN would prefer. Shame about that. But if Fox is smart, it has read its target audience and knows they are not interested in the prime time made-for-cable news histrionics.
The Reliable Sources host was not alone in his condemnation of a private company broadcasting whatever content it thinks its customers want to see.
Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger – a Republican – joined the Stelter bandwagon in excoriating Fox. He tweeted, “If you work for @FoxNews and want to maintain your credibility as a journalist, now is a good time to speak out, or quit. Enough is enough.” Apparently, it is now appropriate for members of Congress to tell journalists what they should cover. Where, oh where, was this level of dedication when the Hunter Biden laptop story was being ignored by the same media outlets that now demand Fox kowtows to their collective will?
And, of course, where would morality and decency be without Hillary Clinton throwing in her two cents? The failed presidential candidate tweeted, “Fox News won’t air the January 6 hearings because they prefer their sedition made fresh on-site.”
A Singular Goal
It would seem that those involved in what will undoubtedly be a media circus have one goal in mind: to craft and push a narrative that will make a significant impact at the ballot box. If every single mainstream poll to date is a measure to go by, these are truly desperate times for Democrats, and with such times come desperate measures. Should the Watergate-inspired theatre fail to move the needle, what else do they have left?