Last Thursday afternoon House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a formal vote to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine. Nobody cares. Nothing changes. You feel about Donald Trump now just as you did before the vote. But the show business of trying to convince you it's something new and exciting is next-level theatrics.
What do I mean by show business? Fox News’ senior Never Trump correspondent Chris Wallace giddily confessed to having “goosebumps” over the “dramatic moment in history.” It was on-air titillation not seen since Chris Matthew’s thrill up his leg when candidate Obama spoke a decade earlier. It’s like Netflix for partisan nerds.
I wish I was kidding. Years ago I wrote about “court jester journalism.” It’s the use of pop-culture figures, primarily comedians, to push Democrat policies and initiatives. President Obama used it frequently while selling things like Obamacare to a skeptical public.
In that tradition, Pelosi upped her game with the help of her willing comedy accomplice Stephen Colbert. This day would be a seamless use of the House of Representatives as the platform. Colbert would serve as the first attempt at marketing the product as to influence public opinion. The final phase is to create pubic opinion polls validating the marketing efforts. All done in under a week.
Consider the impeachment inquiry vote was scheduled for the late morning of Thursday, October 31st. The schedule was known roughly a week in advance. The vote was held as scheduled and gaveled by the Speaker in the noon hour, approximately.
By 11:30 p.m. ET that night, “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” aired nationwide featuring Speaker Pelosi in the guest chair before the live studio audience in New York. You might not think that time frame exceptional unless you stop to consider the production schedule of “Late Show.“
It tapes at 5 p.m. Pelosi was still in D.C. wrapping up the vote near 1 p.m. Not much of a window. What’s my point?
A drive without traffic is every bit of four and a half hours from D.C. to Manhattan. A train is at least a three-hour trip. Obviously, if Mrs. Pelosi made a 5 p.m. taping of "Late Show," even 6 p.m. to be generous, she had to fly. Not commercially, privately.
Setting aside who picked up that tab, one of two things is true. Either she was booked on this show well in advance of the scheduled impeachment vote or CBS paid for her flight to New York on a whim. Of course, it was the former because they knew exactly how they wanted to sell this from gavel to applause lights.
That’s the REAL point. The disgusting, unseemly point of all of this is it’s a show. A produced, pre-planned, written and orchestrated presentation. It’s not serious, or heavy, or genuine. It’s campaigning. Talk about campaign finance law violations! The amount of in-kind donations networks give this charade makes the Koch family look like kids throwing loose change in a fountain.
Colbert dutifully allowed Speaker Pelosi all the airtime she needed to spin her tale of President Trump’s supposed constitutional violations (she never defined, nor was she asked). But before she did that, Court Jester Colbert asked Pelosi, “What are we not seeing? What are we not hearing about because all of the oxygen in the room is being sucked up by impeachment?”
Why not just French kiss her and get it over with, Colbert?
Pelosi showed off her bracelet made with a bullet to “remind her always” of her “obsession” with passing gun legislation among the myriad of other very important issues which aren’t impeachment she paid lip service as to not look like the partisan hack she is.
See, America? She’s tough on Trump, but she cares about other things, too!
Later that night, Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee appeared with CNN’s Don Lemon who badgered her about the failings of their Mueller hearing earlier this year. “Did you not learn anything from that? Because you have to convince the American public and many were not convinced…”
Some news guy, huh? Coaching up the member of Congress as to how she needs to improve her game snowing the public if they won’t buy what Democrats are selling.
Finally the weekly, if not daily presidential tracking polls displaying various levels of doom for President Trump next year. That is if he makes it that far! (dum-dum-dum)
USA Today ran a headline this week: “Trump is trailing top Democrats by double digits.” Less sophisticated news consumers may be inclined to think that sounds pretty bad. Until you find out the poll is of “a random sample of 1,003 adults.”
In other words, anyone over eighteen and breathing could have been polled. Your shut-in neighbor, your dopey nephew, your drunken friend who was drunk when they polled her. They may never vote at all - if they’re even registered to vote - but they have an opinion!
Even USA Today admits their news story isn’t really a news story. “Experts said a national poll more than a year away from the general election is not the best predictor of Trump’s reelection chances.” So why run with it?
For the Schiff Show, of course.