Before tonight’s broadcast began I was thinking this is where confirmational biases kick in. Minds are already made up. The Republicans will say it’s a distraction, it doesn’t focus on the current problems, it’s a witch hunt, it’s just another hatchet job, it’s a lie. Fox News isn’t even covering it. Democrats will say it’s about time for the truth to come out, maybe now Trump will finally be exposed for the criminal he is, etc. Bottom line, I don’t think any opinions will be changed.
And while I was determined to watch, I was thinking the whole thing would be a big scripted production designed to grab headlines, fill air time, and indict Republicans in general and Trump in particular as the fall election approaches.
January 6th was a horrible day in the history of the United States and it demanded the same thorough investigation given 9/11 and Watergate. That’s what the committee and these “hearings” are supposed to accomplish. And yet, as I’d anticipated, it looked like a slick production and presentation of pre-planned and carefully scripted information. (A professional television news executive is producing the hearings.) So far it seems to be not a hearing in the sense of conducting an ongoing investigation but a presentation to the American public of what has already been learned.
Okay, we need that. We need and deserve to know everything. But half of America will think it just confirms what they already know and half will think it’s just a continuation of the attacks on Trump and his followers.
Some of the footage of the January 6th rioting was new, and like the day it happened, it was painful to watch. But most of the information presented had already come to light in bits and pieces in the months since that day. I wonder, as I have for many months, how all this information failed to result in the impeachment and conviction of Trump while he was in office. Regardless of party affiliation, how members of Congress could have disregarded their sworn oaths to defend the Constitution, ignored the information presented to them, and allowed Trump to stay in power continues to anger me.
And there you have it. My personal bias. Trump is guilty as hell of every charge against him before and since January 6th. He should have been convicted, kicked out of the White House, and imprisoned. Instead we’re getting a carefully choreographed show carefully timed to occupy the campaign season preceding the fall elections. I hope I’ll be surprised with some earth-shaking new revelations, but I’m expecting what amounts to a multi-hour political ad for the Democrats.
Yes, I’ll admit it. I’ve become a wee bit cynical.
Banner image: Andrew Harnik / AP
16 thoughts on “The January 6th hearings begin”
I think we need to bear witness but you are right, the people who need to watch won’t.
I’ll keep watching. At least that’s the current plan. Wouldn’t want to miss anything new and interesting. Besides, I prefer seeing things for myself rather than relying on third-party interpretations that I might or might not agree with.
I’m watching and I wish all would watch, but as you said, those who most need the information will most likely not watch it
I’m guessing most people who watch will likely be expecting to see confirmation of what they think they already know.
While I share your bias and your cynicism, I nitpick your headline to suggest the committee’s presentation is not a hearing but a telling.
And a telling in the era of TikTok and Murdoch, is by necessity, not as dry and sly as what did the President know and when did the President know it.
The committee is fighting an information war on a low information battlefield, so new strategy and tactics are called for.
And of course any calling out of Trump culpability and the cult like lockstep of the former President’s Grand Old Party co-conspirators will, by comparison, place Democrats in a light favorable… that consequence doesn’t suggest this telling is being told just to tilt the mid-terms Blue.
Politics has a hard calendar. As Donald Trump knew…and so acted upon Jan 6th.
I could be way off base. I often am. But unless they bore me to death, I’ll keep watching to see what they have to say.
We are living a world of “doublethink”, just as Orwell envisioned.
How did we get so badly broken?
I hate it when you, Jim, Beth, et.al. say what I’m thinking before I get to. Dammit.
Sorry ’bout that, but welcome to the club. We always look forward to your comments.
I came away from viewing that first hearing thinking I hadn’t heard anything I didn’t already know much as your reaction. I also concur that first session did not seem to be what I thought a hearing to be. I also share your anger toward the handling of issues related to our ex-President. I’ll reserve comment about what I think might account for why judicial action has not been taken since he left office. I plan to watch the rest of the hearings so will see how they proceed.
I’m watching the second hearing as I write, and plan to watch all the telecasts. As I’ve noted before, I prefer to watch for myself rather than rely on someone else’s interpretation of what happened.
“I’m watching the second hearing as I write” — Me too. My latest impression is that we’re witnessing a perfectly ordinary government function that should be reserved for serious issues, but instead is devoted to debunking an absurdly idiotic claim that was (and is still being) made by a certifiable moron. Apologies to morons everywhere.
Last night I caught the better part of the program about the Watergate hearings, most of which I didn’t watch at the time. It made me more determined to watch the current hearings, although those who most need to watch and learn probably won’t. After all, how important could this be if Fox isn’t covering it?
Did you see the hearing yesterday? (Monday, June 13) It was great! Barr totally threw trump under the bus. And the big reveal about the Big Rip-Off? Have to say, I didn’t see that coming. I figured even as crooked and corrupt as they are, they’d at least create a fund under the name trump is promoting. That is wire fraud and all who helped to promote donating to “Stop the Steal” or whatever the name was, is guilty of wire fraud. Most importantly, trump. $250 million scammed from donors for a fund that did not exist.
The man should have been imprisoned years ago. I don’t know how such a crook has remained free for so long, or, frankly, how anyone has continued to believe him after all he’s done. It was obvious ten years ago how he operates … and then there was the birther thing. And now, inciting an insurrection and attempted coup. Tax evasion got Al Capone; maybe they’ll get Trump for that.
Anyone who has ever worked for him in any capacity had best turn on him now, or they’ll go down with him (and they might anyway).