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