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OPINION

Proof the Liz Cheney Ouster Is Not a Big Deal Is Found Looking at Who’s Making It a Big Deal

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

We will be made to care, if some outlets get their way.

Following the vote to remove Liz Cheny from her leadership role in Congress, try picturing all of the anger and hysteria that was found on the conservative news networks. The level seen of the mixture of rage, catharsis, and unbridled adulation would impress most who witnessed it.

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That is, if it had actually taken place.

There were plenty of comments made about the vote, which were meant to place the Cheney vote in proper historical perspective.

- “Today is important and will actually be marked in the history books as a measurable turning point for this troubled party.”

- "There hasn’t been a day in recent memory when the entire charade of what’s happening within the leadership of the Republican Party was laid so bare,"

- “House Rs didn’t just depose Liz Cheney they handed her a megaphone to remind voters of how beholden the party still is to Trump.”

- “Years from now we may look back on this day and realize that it was actually an important turning point for democracy. ”

So, who is it placing this momentous occasion in such an elevated political strata for all the world to see for generations to come?

- Ari Melber, MSNBC

- Anderson Cooper, CNN

- Jonathan Martin, New York Times

- Glenn Kirschner, NBC News

Over at CNN they displayed their obsession; just scroll through all the Cheney-related coverage at their website over the past 24 hours. Many others throughout the media landscape commented in similar fashion, almost all intoning the grave nature of this vote for the GOP and the ramifications that will be felt for years going forward. Just imagine if anyone on the Republican side felt this way. Well...you will have to. 

It just has not been a massive story on the minds of conservatives. As just one example, Tucker Carlson on the night of her removal made no mention at all of Liz Cheney. It was a known result essentially, and for most on the right this was little more than palace intrigue, the few exceptions being the Adam Kinzinger types who are vying for Democrat and media approval. Kinzinger this morning made his perfunctory appearance on Morning Joe, discussing everything wrong with the GOP and getting his usual strokes over his contrarian bravery.

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The simple truth is the conservative news networks were not in a frothing overdrive calling for Cheney to be removed. Despite the sell job in most of the press, there was not a shrieking movement from Fox News, and others, to have her taken down. We were served an amazing display of this reality from a surprising source. CNN’s Brian Stelter himself managed -- unwittingly, it seems -- to prove this was the case. Over the weekend he delivered the evidence that Fox was not obsessed over removing Cheney from power.

The layers of amusement here are impressive. He illustrates the lack of outrage at Fox. He declares, hopefully, this intra-party leadership adjustment is supposed to be a sign of the GOP in disarray. And he boldly delivers the fact that two liberal networks have been deeply obsessed over the Cheney vote. Those figures he gives means CNN has averaged mentioning the Liz Cheney story twice an hour, around the clock, for the duration of an entire week. And he is bragging about this hysterical coverage.

There is a good reason they are doing this. The biggest issue with Liz Cheney is her obsession with Donald Trump; it is not simply that she opposes the former president, but she has proven incapable of moving on beyond the man. Her Trump opposition has garnered her more attention than she has previously enjoyed, and this plays right into the arms of the press, as they love nothing more than to continue rehashing the battle over the 2020 election. 

The latest narrative push from the leftist press is their shorthand of The Big Lie. This is their method of not only impugning Trump (and justifying their bringing up his name to buttress lagging ratings) but also smearing those in the GOP who they can balkanize with this label. Look at what happened when a GOP member actually speaks to back the election result. After a meeting with President Biden, Kevin McCarthy gave a brief press hit and he said definitively that few contest the election, and at MSNBC Stephanie Ruhle reacted in dismay: "That’s simply not true!" she raged, evidence they want to have the outrage and will resist seeing those talking in the fashion they claim to demand.

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The press does not want to move on, and this is why Liz is such a focus. Cheney’s inability to get past Donald Trump was displayed perfectly in her brief presser after the vote to strip her of her position. "I am deeply committed...that we must go forward, based on truth -- we cannot both embrace The Big Lie and embrace the Constitution. And going forward the nation needs it, it needs a strong Republican party. I am committed and dedicated to ensuring that’s how this party goes forward." Then, as proof that she is completely incapable of letting go of Donald Trump, the very next words to come out of her mouth were, "I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office."

In her opening statement she mentioned the need to move on, actually saying the word “forward” three times, sounding ready to get on with being a leader. She lasted all of seven seconds. Lapsing yet again into her typical Never-Trump patter she shows exactly why she needed to be removed. It is not that she is refusing to worship at the feet of Trump and failing a purity test. It is her insistence to live in the past, to constantly inhabit that space of perpetual distemper, and in so doing giving the press all the fodder and soundbites they crave.

Cheney can continue to curry favor from the likes of CNN. She will discover her approval numbers will be plummeting at a rate on par with the eroding ratings of that network.

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