CNN’s Brian Stelter touted the popularity of the January 6 Committee TV show, which ended its “summertime series,” as he called it, with boffo ratings. Considering the hearings were shown on most broadcast networks, that’s hardly a grand feat.
However, one of the more ridiculous observations about this series of one-sided hearings was made by a media “expert” who was a guest on Stelter’s “Reliable Sources” program.
David Zurawik, a former Baltimore Sun media critic turned professor, said the one-sided made-for-TV show “starring” lawmakers awkwardly reading pre-written speeches on teleprompters was a “civics lesson” for young Americans.
Media: @davidzurawik to @BrianStelter @ReliableSources: Despite the @NYPost's and @WSJ's anti-#Trump editorials, "@rupertmurdoch still has @TuckerCarlsen out there, talking about what a disgrace" the @January6thCmte hearings are." Zurawik calls them "a great civics lesson." pic.twitter.com/jIIcyEeFGS
— Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson) July 24, 2022
To quote Joe Biden, “Come on, maaaan.”
The January 6 Committee hearings were hardly a civics lesson unless your notion of civics is from Orwell or Kafka.
The J6 Committee hearings were a presentation of hand-picked Donald Trump-hating witnesses presenting cherry-picked evidence and one-sided testimony. The real purpose of the hearings was to destroy efforts by Trump to stage a 2024 political comeback. The hearings were also timed to stanch the expected November mid-term election bleeding for Democrats. The committee leaders promise more hearings in the fall. Coincidence? Nope.
The hearings featured no exculpatory information, no cross-examination, and no say in the way evidence was presented and introduced. There was no pushback because the novel, small committee was selected personally by Nancy Pelosi, who refused to build out the membership of the committee to its agreed-upon 13 members and who rejected her Republican counterpart’s committee choices because of their effectiveness. Pelosi even chose the two nominally GOP Trump-hating members, Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, to give the effort to destroy Trump a tissue-thin veneer of bipartisanship.
Even the farcical Politifact said Pelosi broke her agreements with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about what was supposed to have been a 9/11-style investigative commission.
Under the [agreed upon] resolution, “the Speaker shall appoint 13 Members to the Select Committee, 5 of whom shall be appointed after consultation with the minority leader.”
This is where matters got even more convoluted. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., presented Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., with a slate of five nominees to the panel. Pelosi responded that she had no quarrel with three of them: Republican Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, and Troy Nehls of Texas. But she drew the line at two of McCarthy’s picks: Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, who was tapped for the panel’s ranking member slot, and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. Pelosi maintained that Banks and Jordan were too closely tied to Trump to help carry out a credible investigation.
After Pelosi rejected Banks and Jordan, McCarthy retracted all five of his nominations, including the three that Pelosi had said she’d accept. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken the unprecedented step of denying the minority party’s picks for the Select Committee on January 6,” McCarthy said at the time. “This represents an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution.”
The Taliban and Al Qaeda got fairer treatment from the 9/11 commission than Trump got from the J6 show. At least that commission asked, “Why do they hate us?”
This J6 Committee didn’t want to know why people were inside the Capitol at all, and they really didn’t want you to know.
Who benefited from the melee? We aren’t allowed to know that, either. Indeed, the breach of the Capitol at that moment destroyed real-time efforts underway by Republican senators from seeking an audit of one of the hinkiest elections this side 1960 Chicago.
Pelosi’s moves such as denying Trump’s request for National Guardsmen to be placed around the Capitol building in advance were never allowed to be investigated. That was always off-limits according to her puppet Rep. Bennie Thompson. How many agents provocateur were there that day? Who sent them? One BLM/Antifa guy stood right next to Ashli Babbitt and filmed her killing. So many people there that day saw black bloc-dressed people causing trouble. Actor and producer Nick Searcy’s film “Capitol Punishment” shows actual video of agents provocateur who looked suspiciously like Antifa who were filmed changing out of their black bloc and into MAGA gear. It’s all on camera. Seen that during the J6 Committee TV show?
Where’s the committee’s presentation of that evidence? Nowhere, that’s where. The FBI’s role in planting its assets and agents in the crowd was not allowed to be looked at. Ashli Babbitt’s killing was glossed over. Throwing flash bangs at a peaceful crowd standing outside may have caused two more deaths that day. Another woman suffocated from CS gas and was subsequently trampled. Why is this not taken into the committee’s consideration? Why did the police let some of the protesters inside the Capitol Building? We may never know since Pelosi’s hand-picked committee is not allowed to look at these mitigating factors.
The committee set out to smear Trump more than he already was from events that day. If that’s the rubric by which this committee is measured, then mission accomplished. Rupert Murdoch’s right-leaning U.S. newspapers, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post both editorialized in the past few days that Trump’s failure to take command and order people away from the Capitol damned him to the political dustbin. It proves once again the different set of measurements for Republicans versus Democrats. Joe Biden can leave Afghanistan in shambles, pay for both sides of the Russia-Ukraine war, make bank off his son’s influence peddling, ignore supply chain interruptions, and let middle-class Americans go into debt so they can afford gas to go to work, but that’s not considered a dereliction of duty.
Focus groups of Republicans were put off by Trump’s actions that day but would vote for him if he were on the ballot again.
This is an embarrassing kangaroo court on the same shame scale as the DOJ sending FBI agents to investigate parents going to school board meetings.
But civics lesson?
What a joke.