Life in the Box: Reviewing the January 6th Hearings
Aug 03, 2022 : I was going to write a summary and critique of the televised January 6th Committee hearings. Then, I started seeing some very good synopses from news organizations like National Public Radio and others. See my links, below.
Here’s my paraphrase of CNN’s main take-aways (of the first 6 hearings):
- There was no widespread election fraud. Many people told Trump this, including 60 judges.
- Trump led a pressure campaign over several months.
- Trump disregarded warnings that some actions he encouraged were illegal.
- Trump reached out to the Department of Justice for illicit help.
- Trump knew the Jan. 6th protesters were armed.
- Trump made no effort to stop or condemn the violence.
The final two hearings underlined Trump’s willingness to have his Vice President hung. Other findings included the damage done to poll workers’ lives by Trump’s false election fraud statements, and the need for legislative action to prevent future coup attempts.
Ari Melber, a host at MSNBC, and a lawyer, did a great timeline that details the legal actions that gave way to potentially illegal actions attempted by the Trump team.
All of these actions were attempted, and luckily, most were not successful. The last hope of the Trump team was mob action to physically stop the official acknowledgement of Biden’s win. They slowed it, but didn’t stop it.
So, with that said, my take on the January 6th hearings is that the committee ably set out an extensive array of evidence of the former President’s activities, verified by Republican insiders, and proved the likelihood of his being involved in an attempted coup. Activity that he’s still touting, and that his followers still dismiss as if he did nothing wrong.
As a TV viewer and former producer, I have no qualms about saying this is one of the most important uses of that medium. In fact, it seems that the biggest split in our country at this time is between the MAGAs and the rest of us. (We need a club name, don’t you think? The REALs maybe?) So, television needs to make a huge commitment to the cause of reality. I’d like to see a much more extensive effort from all the local stations. Isn’t this a little more important than house fires and high school sports?
The committee used videos and graphics and live and recorded testimonies to great effect. For those with “ears to hear, and eyes to see,” it was convincing. It disproved all the lies told to the MAGA gang. Some of the largest mainstream viewing audiences in recent years have tuned in to the first and last hearings (almost 18 million viewers for each.) The other shows garnered about 13 million views, each.
So, that’s good. Some polls of public opinion taken before and after the hearings show that maybe ten percent of Trump supporters might vote for some other Republican. (Politico link, below.)
We know that during the Trump years, media was simultaneously villainized and used to sway voters. Trump had his own hotline to Fox News, the “good media.” He told crowds of followers to punch out the “bad media,” what they now call “mainstream media,” which includes those who ever said anything remotely bad about him.
I’ve been thinking about how so many people in America could be convinced that the truth is false, and conversely that incredibly crazy things are true. I’m thinking that writing about that is going to take some research, and I’ve started looking into it. To be continued.
Nancy Heather Brown is a retired, Emmy Award-winning television producer whose career has included interviewing, writing, narrating and editing for a span of four decades. Today, she enjoys learning new things and reflecting upon the creative process and life issues, both inside and outside the box. Her opinions are her own, and are not necessarily those of this web site.
NPR 47 Minute Audio summary of January 6th Committee Hearings.
CNN Summary of first 6 hearings
Politico: More than 60 judges ruled election fraud cases “without merit.”
Bloomberg hearing viewership report
Politico analysis of how the hearings have affected Trump voters
Ari Melber’s shorter overview of the hour-long special (August 1, 2022), where former Watergate Prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks says “There is no legitimate defense” (of Trump)
Ari Melber’s hour-long special (July 29, 2022) Part One (other segments available there.)
ABC News clips of Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony that Trump thought Pence might “deserve” hanging
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