That is the reality of the information environment going into Thursday’s prime-time hearing. As a bipartisan committee of lawmakers attempts to present the public with the full story of 1/6, a media universe full of Trump allies attempts the opposite.
It’s not just that Republican-leaning media downplays the work of the 1/6 Committee or is skeptical about the process, although both are true. It is that the GOP’s biggest stars are calling the investigation “illegitimate” and screaming that they don’t care and making fun of people who care, instead promoting conspiracy theories about the insurgency. They declined the hearings before the hearings begin.
For example: will Fox News even show Thursday’s prime-time hearing in its entirety? Fox continues to decline comment, but it’s hard to imagine Carlson giving up his airtime for a hearing he describes as “illegitimate.”
I searched cable news for references to the “6th January” and found more than 800 mentions on MSNBC so far this year, versus only about 144 on Newsmax. And many of those comments on Newsmax were either anti-riot or sympathetic to the accused rioters.
So the result is another American information split – or maybe another tripartite split, with politically engaged viewers on either side and uninterested people in between.
Another challenge: Short attention spans
Woodward & Bernstein view
>> “What happened on January 6th? POTUS, his attorneys, his “aides” were trying to “prevent” the election, Bernstein said. They attempted to “stage a coup d’etat so that Joe Biden cannot become the duly elected and installed President”. He said: “I think there’s a misunderstanding about the enormity and the actual timeline of what happened…”
Costa’s question to Cheney
He asked, “Are you confident that what you found as a committee is going to kind of grab the American people by the lapel and say, ‘Wake up: you gotta watch out’?”
“That’s me,” she said… “The threat, and it’s an ongoing threat — you know, we’re not in a situation where former President Trump has expressed any sense of remorse for what happened.” has brought. In fact, we are in a situation where, frankly, he is using even more extreme language than the language that caused the attack. So people have to be careful, people have to watch, and they have to understand how easily our democratic system can collapse if we don’t defend it.”
Fair – but “People must watch” doesn’t anticipate that many Americans will not only not watch, but also proudly flaunt their disinterest as part of their political identity.