On her program Thursday, Rachel Maddow shredded the media narrative following Robert Mueller’s testimony, saying that the initial headlines about the hearing got it all wrong.
Despite the pundits claiming that Mueller’s hearing will doom any impeachment efforts, the MSNBC host pointed out that just the opposite seems to be true a day later.
“As of this afternoon, oh, look, there is five new members of the House who have just come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry, including Katherine Clark who is in the Democratic House leadership,” Maddow pointed out.
She added, “The facts on the ground do seem to be shifting much faster than that kind of tut-tutting analysis has been able to keep up with even just over the course of today.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) July 26, 2019
As of this morning, you might have seen the national headlines, these super sober, super sure headlines about how if we know anything about the impact of the Robert Mueller testimony yesterday, it’s that it definitely didn’t move the needle one bit on the question of impeachment. If it did anything, it convinced Democrats once and for all that they definitely aren’t going to pursue impeachment. It killed that off forever. Those are the headlines all over the papers today, as of this morning. As of this afternoon, oh, look, there is five new members of the House who have just come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry, including Katherine Clark who is in the Democratic House leadership. … In fact, further detailed reporting about that same meeting later today suggests that what the Democrats were really doing at that meeting was for the first time talking about the nuts and bolts, step-by-step chronological logistics of how exactly they would do it if they were going to do it. Including basic questions like how exactly their impeachment articles would be conveyed to the U.S. Senate if the House did, in fact, pass articles of impeachment and it was time to move on to the next step. That’s the kind of stuff they were talking about, which is not at all the same old page they were stuck on before. So all of this instant sage punditry and instant news analysis in the world that’s trying to be very reassuring now … I understand the impulse to be soothing. I understand the impulse to broadcast that sort of thing. I think it sort of feels good, particularly in the beltway press, but the facts on the ground do seem to be shifting much faster than that kind of tut-tutting analysis has been able to keep up with even just over the course of today.
The substance of Mueller’s hearing was damning for Trump
It’s easy to get caught up in the 24-hour news cycle in which every development either seems like a major game-changer or a complete dud – with no room for thoughtful or substantive media analysis in between.
That’s because in the current climate, optics outweigh substance. It’s why Trump, Republicans and the right-wing media have spent the last 24 hours focusing heavily on Mueller’s tone and performance – not the actual contents of his testimony.
But the more we unpack the substance of Mueller’s testimony, the more damning it is for the president.
As former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: “Russia attacked our democracy. Trump campaign sought its help, had many contacts with Russians, lied about it and obstructed the investigation into it. Several senior Trump associates were convicted of crimes. Trump would have been indicted if he wasn’t President. Not complicated.”
Trump and his GOP protectors want the media narrative to focus heavily on Mueller’s stage performance on Wednesday because they know the substance of his testimony was nothing short of damning.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.