☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Friday, June 10, 2022 ☙ NO SHOW 🦠
Everything you need to know about the democrats’ flaccid, lackluster January 6th Show, which wilted and fell over on the launch pad.
Well. I did it, I watched The Show. You’re welcome. I’m not doing it again. I love you guys, but there are limits. Plus we need to make sure I retain my sanity, so I can keep blogging instead of picking wings off love bugs day after day in an insane asylum. Anyway, onwards!
🗞*C&C NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 I approached the House Committee’s January 6th Show from a litigator’s perspective since the Committee obviously wants to frame this thing like a trial. It gave Americans our first taste of what a “show trial” must have looked like in the USSR. It’s gross.
My source was wrong; the show didn’t start with a dance revue or any other kind of a bang. It started slowly and ponderously, with all the committee members solemnly plodding into the chamber and taking their seats like a column of termites. I think it was supposed to have dramatic effect, underscoring the solemnity of the proceeding but — and I admit I’m biased — the committee is a devil’s dozen of unattractive and annoying people and instead of dramatic it was a just painful, boring ordeal.
I’ve watched some dramatic moments in other committees, like whenever Senator Paul grills Tony Fauci, or during the Brett Kavenaugh Supreme Court nominee hearing. But nothing like that happened last night. When I predicted yesterday that Bennie Thompson was going to read a children’s book to us, I wasn’t too far off. He DID read a book, all night long. The Show was TOTALLY scripted. Every. Single. Word.
From the moment pompous committee chairman Bennie Thompson lowered his massive frame into the creaking chair and said “good evening,” it was obvious he was ponderously reading from a teleprompter. In fact, everyone on last night’s Show was reading, from a teleprompter or from notes. Nothing was left to chance.
It’s a basic trial skill that you NEVER read to the jury. You’ll put them to sleep. TALK to them. Even if it’s not perfect, it’s still WAY more persuasive than reading aloud, even for lawyers who have a lot of practice at reading things out loud and can do it well.
The committee members who spoke last night don’t read well. They might be compelling speakers on the stump, but none of them were gripping readers. Hey dummies, TV is a VISUAL MEDIUM. Watching a fat old guy sit and read a teleprompter for fifteen minutes in a bleak monotone is NOT compelling television.
If anything interesting happened last night, it was watching fake republican Liz Cheney cram the last dangling shreds of her political career into the DC garbage disposal by essentially putting the committee’s case on for them, presumably to give the committee a sham argument it was somehow a bipartisan effort or something.
Cheney was reading the whole time, too. Poorly.
I won’t bother with all the nonsense the committee claims “really” happened. I’ll just give you the two main ones. They claim President Trump had a “7-point plan” to overthrow the government. And they claim the Proud Boys — whoever they are — had a plan to violently capture and occupy the Capitol plus all the nearby office buildings. If true, both plans were obviously perfectly incompetent, because the “plans” didn’t get anywhere. But the committee’s claims mildly piqued my curiosity, to find out what kind of evidence the committee has that could prove those wild allegations.
Spoiler alert: none. No evidence.
In addition to the painfully endless story-time reading, the committee played three categories of video clips as “evidence.” First, they played the obligatory shots of indignant voters pushing into the Capitol and struggling with police at times. Compared to what we all saw during the entire summer of 2020’s riots, January 6th looks like kids playing schoolyard tag. Plus, everybody’s already seen all those clips, and they don’t prove Trump had a 7-point insurrection plan or the Proud Boys’ invasion scheme or anything else, really.
The second group of clips showed public figures like Trump saying things before the riot that I guess we’re supposed to use to “connect the dots” or something. Like Alex Jones on his show encouraging folks to come to the rally. Or Trump saying “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
I kept waiting for a video of President Trump talking about his alleged 7-point insurrection plan, but it never aired. Maybe they’re saving that one for a REALLY special occasion.
The third group of clips were short snippets from formal witness interviews. Like odious Bill Barr explaining he thought Trump’s idea the election was stolen was “B.S.” (except he used the full-sized adult version of the phrase). There were also lots of short clips from less well-known people that you had no idea what they just said until Liz Cheney told us what they “really meant.”
The committee also interviewed two live witnesses. But not in the usual way. There was no back and forth. Thompson just awkwardly read them a long, hard-to-follow softball question and then both witnesses read lengthy laborious answers brimming with rising rhetoric, but unpersausively delivered in dreary, mind-numbing, fake gravitas.
At some point it began to occur to me that the committee had made a rookie trial mistake. It happens when inexperienced lawyers plan their first jury trial. The lawyers know their case inside and out; they’ve been working on it for a long time, sometimes for years. So they mistakenly assume the jury already knows the case as well as they do. Instead of starting from the correct presumption that the jury doesn’t know anything, the rookie lawyers jump right into the middle of the story, and the jury never has more than a partial notion of what the heck is going on.
That’s what last night felt like. I’m pretty informed, but I think you had to be a serious January 6th news junkie to follow that presentation. After, I saw some mystifying tweets by lefty media types claiming the Show was compelling and persuasive; so it obviously resonated with them. But I honestly struggled to understand what exactly they were getting at, and I kept wondering when they were finally going to show the Proud Boys scheming to capture the Capitol building.
If this was a trial, it failed from the self-inflicted injury of overpromising. A trial begins with opening statements, where each side tells the jury what they’re GOING to prove. One of my litigation mentors taught me: NEVER promise the jury something you can’t deliver. And he taught me to crucify my opponents in closing argument by pointing out to the jury what they said they’d prove, but never did.
Among other things, Cheney said she was going to prove Trump had a 7-point insurrection plan and the Proud Boys tried to occupy the entire Capitol block. She never even got close, it was just a bunch of blah blah word salad.
The real problem for the committee, I think, is that their Show shines a withering spotlight on the differential justice system and mismatched outrage machine in this country, where violent lefty rioters get their bail paid by billionaires and their cases pleaded down to nothing, and the media calls it a “mostly peaceful protest,” but conservative protesters who strolled peacefully into the Capitol building through an open door get locked up for 18 months without a trial and the media labels it an “insurrection.”
I’m not watching the rest of the season; you can’t make me. But I’ll go ahead and predict this: the Show won’t change any minds at all. It will just further aggravate and activate conservatives.
🔥 Haha, we should’ve seen this coming. Breitbart has already run an article about one of the clipped interviewees, former Trump spokesman Jason Miller, who tweeted after the Show that his clip was “deceptively edited” to make it look like he was criticizing Trump’s decision to legally challenge election results when in context he was just describing someone else’s opinion. Cheney edited the clip to make it look like that was his OWN opinion.
It’s a mistake. If you try selective editing in Court, and play a short clip from a depo out of context to make a point, then the other side will play the full segment, and then the jury won’t believe anything else you say from that point forward. Cheney probably thought it was safe because nobody got a chance to respond. She forgot the interviewees are still running around in the world and are on Twitter.
🔥 Deadline, a left-of-center media-focused magazine reported on the Show, and the headline says it all: “January 6 Primetime Hearing Proves An Anemic Made-For-TV Special, 2022 Style.” Its conclusion: “The fact is Thursday’s hearings led by chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) and vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) were not effective.”
Cheney stinks. I know we’ve got a few deserving candidates in the queue, but maybe we should multiply Cheney’s primary opponent, Republican Harriet Hageman, who according to an NBC story yesterday is polling +28 over Cheney. It would send a clear message. Let me know in the comments.
🔥 Fox News, at least, eschewed the democrats’ over-produced dud hearing, refusing to carry the Show, which caused Chuck Shumer to lose his banana on the Senate floor yesterday, calling Fox “cowards” and crying that Fox was trying to “keep its viewers in the dark.” He should have put the period after the word, “viewers.”
So there you go, C&Cers. You are fully briefed on the Show and don’t have to think about it anymore. Now if I could just bleach my brain, or take one of those forgetting pills from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Have a fabulous Friday! C&C will resume its normal programming tomorrow morning with a terrific news roundup for you.
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