In the 24 hours after Attorney General Bill Barr’s press conference shortly before the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian involvement in the 2016 election, liberal media outlets mentioned “impeachment” more than three hundred times.
From 11 a.m. Thursday through 11 a.m. Friday, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC hosts, analysts, and contributors mentioned “impeachment” 309 times, according to a Newsbusters analysis reported by Bill D’Agostino.
CNN was the worst offender, with 148 mentions of “impeachment” in 24 hours, followed closely by MSNBC, which had 138 mentions of the term. These numbers did not include mentions of the word coming from politicians or other explicitly partisan actors — only references of “impeachment” from hosts, analysts, and contributors.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell proved particularly interested in impeachment. The term appeared 34 times on each show: The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and The Situation Room.
Many pundits characterized the Mueller report as “a road map for impeachment.” While the Mueller report cleared Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign of any alleged “collusion” with Russia, it included a long and inconclusive segment on possible obstruction of justice.
CNN’s Dana Bash referred to that section of the report in explicit impeachment terms. “What he did here, as Pamela just laid out, is a road map, a ten-episode road map for really serious consideration for impeachment.”
Democrats have been divided on the issue. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has called for impeachment, but her campaign is falling apart. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has opposed calls to impeach President Trump.
Even if the Democratic House of Representatives were to impeach Trump, the U.S. Senate would not remove him. Democrats would be wise to avoid the issue and focus on winning the 2020 election.
Yet the media seems intent on forcing the issue.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.