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Riffed From The Headlines: The J-6 C Hearing Stumbles and the Press Strains To Keep Things Relevant

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Townhall Media

"Riffed from the Headlines" is Townhall's daily VIP feature with coverage on the deeply flawed aspects of journalism in the nation. We'll look to bring accountability to the mishaps, malaprops, misdeeds, manipulations, malpractice, and manufactured narratives in mainstream media.

With Day-3 underway, this will be a hearing-intensive column today. Not because we find the hearing in any way relevant, but because the press has become intemperate over the neutered results.


Artisanally-Crafted Narratives – VARIOUS OUTLETS

  • If this is the lynchpin evidence then this whole affair is in shambles.

One of the allegedly huge pieces of news to come out of the J-6C hearing was that Representative Loudermilk gave a guided tour of the Capitol the day before the riot!!! This is being pointed at as hardcore evidence, especially since the Republicans claimed no one toured the closed Capitol! This is the smoking gun!!!


As we covered last month, this was all explainable and not of any merit. Loudermilk had at the time called for the security footage to be released, and now we know why. The committee is pushing out this video as proof, but the evidence in the footage is exonerating.

  • The people involved are in the House Executive Offices, not in the Capitol.

  • The areas they are in were never occupied by rioters.

  • The individuals shown are not investigated or suspects in the riot.

  • The Capitol Police confirm there is no suspicious activity and the Capitol was not entered that day

Journalists are in a full court press over this video. Let them run with it, because it will havee all thee impact of a pink dust bomb at a gender reveal celebration. 

Legalized Press-titution – PUNCHBOWL NEWS

  • Pointing out the proof that actually disproves the theory.

Jake Sherman saw the above video, and he is convinced that he has these visitors dead to rights – regardless of the lack of evidence cited above.

Two things. If they were at the tunnels “leading to the Capitol” that should indicate they were not in the Capitol, ergo they were not on a surveillance mission, as they were not in the affected locations.

Also, his well-acquainted expertise is contradicted by Ryan Reilly of NBC News, who notes there is something of note at that stairwell – unless Jake simply thinks golden eagles are nothing remarkable.


  • It is almost starting to resemble a mirror hearing taking place at the network.

When it comes to media support, you will be hard-pressed to find a network working harder than CNN. Remember, when Jeffrey Zucker stepped down they reported how members of the J-6 Committee were crestfallen because they viewed the head of the network as an ally in their effort.

Well, four months later it is looking like they have done little to pull back from the support. With today’s hearing, CNN began coverage an hour earlier than the 1pm start time. They are highlighting the committee focusing on the Trump pressure applied to Mike Pence. Erin Burnett interviewed committee member Zoe Lofgren, who declares melodramatically that Mike Pence nearly died on January 6. Wolf Blitzer spoke with former Pence Chief Of Staff Marc Short. Of course, there needed to be coverage of the tribalism from the supporters and opponents of these hearings.


Recall last week when Brian Stelter was completely enraged that FoxNews was not running the hearing Thursday Evening? Rather interesting to see that Brian holds no such contempt for PBS, as quite a number of its stations are choosing to not show today’s hearing, but instead show its regular daytime programming, such as Curious George.

Reporting On The Mirror – CNN

Brian Stelter has had a tough year of it so far. He had to grapple with spin over the firing of Chris Cuomo for weeks, then the exit of his CEO/protector, Jeff Zucker. Then there was the rather rapid core meltdown of CNN+, where he had a daily show and was left to say it was too early to call the quick demise a failure. 

Now Stelter is said to be one of the network personalities under the glare of new management, as Chris Licht has decreed the network has to pull back from partisan coverage. Many say Stelter and Jim Acosta are at the top of the need-to-adjust list.

Not helping his cause is the recent rating of Reliable Sources. His Sunday show just experienced the lowest numbers since 2019. Brian pulled an audience below 600,000, and showing across from him in the same timeslot is Howie Kurtz on Fox News, with his similarly-themed show, Media Buzz. Kurtz drew 2.5 times the audience of Stelter.

Presentation Paradox – CNN

  • When you cannot get the small stuff correct, right Brian?

One of Stelter’s methods of hitting Fox News was to give the network grief over screen prompts that were shown to be incorrect. Chyrons, typos, incorrect names, and the like were shown as proof that the people at Fox were not as professional as the likes of CNN.

So yes, while it is petty of me to note an instance of this very activity at CNN, petty is what Brian traffics in and thus, it needs to be pointed out that on the morning show Captain Condescension John Avlon appears under the impression that Bill Clinton ran against Donald Trump for the presidency.

Reality Check, indeed.


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