When Republican lawmakers “stormed in” to a closed-door session being held by Democrats hearing testimony in the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry, the media reaction could have gone one of two ways. Either our beloved Fourth Estate could have called it an attempt to gain transparency in arguably the most important proceedings in America today, or they could have called it an affront to process. They opted for the latter.
One would think that the media machine would be all for more transparency in the biggest story it is going to cover this year. Had the session been allowed to continue with Republicans in the room, there would have been two sides of the story to report, effectively doubling the information the public could access. Yet the swift condemnation from the legacy press has all but ensured such an effort will not happen again. The question becomes: why would a free and fair press not want to know what’s really happening?
Trying to fathom a motivation for the immediate denouncement can lead to only one conclusion. The press does not want their audience to have another side to the story. They are happy to let Democrats shape not only the narrative but also to occupy the majority of coverage. Perhaps having learned lessons from the Russiagate conspiracy, giving a more balanced platform has exposed them as fake-news merchants. Not a road they are wanting to tread again.
It was the alternative media that brought to light the inconsistencies in the Russia investigation, doing research pointing out that key witnesses in the case had ties to either Christopher Steele or Orbis Business Intelligence, Ltd (the manufacturer of the dodgy dossier). But these citizen journalists were only able to do so because information had made it to the surface. This is not a mistake those who seek to bring down the president will make again.
But what of the Republicans? Is this really the kind of behavior we should expect from allegedly serious individuals? Probably not. These Representatives are supposed to be able to make an argument, put a case forward, and represent the issues that they were elected upon.
It was an adolescent stunt. It certainly drew attention to the serious issue of a lack of transparency in secret room depositions, but these are lawmakers. Perhaps it would have been a better move to make their case in a court of law and demand that in such proceedings the public interest is best served by openness.
A simple stunt may work once, but a law has longevity.
The public interest is best served by the people knowing exactly what lawmakers are doing. Democrats may cite reasons of security for holding a closed-door session, yet this appears a lie when desperate publicity hounds seek out the first reporter with a notebook and a camera to state boldly that each session is another nail in the coffin of the Trump presidency.
Democrats do not want transparency; they want to be the sole arbiters of the information the public receives. Information is power, and if they can get free publicity along the way, all the better for them.