The Lead: Jan 6th Committee on Prime Time Television
Ratings are not in yet for the prime-time broadcast of the January 6 hearings but if Twitter is any indication, people are talking.
Pence, Ivanka, Bill Barr, Proud Boys and Liz Cheney are all trending. Cheney led the event by laying out her argument about President Trump and playing video testimony from people around President Trump at the time, including Ivanka Trump.
The video of Ivanka showed her saying that she accepted the results of the election even as then President Trump encouraged protestors to fight against the results. It’s not particularly damning but Ivanka is usually an attention-getter.
Cheney read an account of someone telling then-President Trump that Vice President Pence would be hanged by the rioting mob and Trump responded saying that he “deserves it.”
Congressional members were tearful as video was played of aggressive Capitol rioters out for blood. Video was blared on theater screens.
Is this productive? It is certainly upsetting. People died and the heavily-edited video is harrowing. Is it a publicity stunt? Does Congress need sympathy for being under attack at a time when American children are not safe in schools and Supreme Court Justices are being targeted for assassination?
Congress decided to air these in prime-time and the media agreed, all except Fox news. I appreciate the take of Chris Wallace who pointed out on CNN that this production is “a bad look both for the committee and the mainstream media to seem that they are hand in glove with each other.”