Fox News didn't want anything to do with the select committee's first hearing on Thursday evening. Fox ran the Tucker Carlson alternative reality show while something between 20 and 30 million Americans watched an unfolding of Trump's violent attempted coup. But... Murdoch's newspapers, on the other hand, were very much watching... and concluding-- like like normal people-- that Trump is a criminal.
For Murdoch's low-brow readers, the extremely right wing NY Post editorial board noted that although "The Jan. 6 commission is a Democratic campaign ad, a thinly veiled partisan exercise-- aired in primetime, with the cooperation of a liberal press-- to bolster a failed Joe Biden presidency," the insurrection was not "the greatest movement in the history of our Country to Make America Great Again," as Trump calls it, but "a national shame."
Trump has become a prisoner of his own ego. He can’t admit his tweeting and narcissism turned off millions. He won’t stop insisting that 2020 was “stolen” even though he’s offered no proof that it’s true.
Respected officials like former Attorney General Bill Barr call his rants “nonsense.” This isn’t just about Liz Cheney. Mitch McConnell, Betsy DeVos, Mark Meadows-- they all knew Trump was delusional. His own daughter and son-in-law testified it was bull.
Trump’s response? He insults Barr, and dismisses Ivanka as “checked out.” He clings to more fantastical theories, such as Dinesh D’Souza’s debunked 2,000 Mules, even as recounts in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin confirm Trump lost.
Meanwhile, reports that Trump was pleased that the Jan. 6 crowd chanted for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged-- a truly reprehensible sentiment-- makes him unworthy for the office. Trump can’t look past 2020. Let him remain there.
...Consider: Even if Trump, at 78, managed to win the presidency in 2024, who would work for him, now that he’s betrayed every competent person on his former staff?
Um... we're talking about Republican politicians here. Who would work for him? Anyone, short of Liz Cheney, that he asks. Mitt Romney would willingly eat another bowl of snails for the opportunity. The Post editors concluded that "The best argument Trump’s people can cling to is that the Capitol building wasn’t properly secured... But what’s the logic? You knew Trump was going to incite a mob, so you should have brought in more troops? Trump himself doesn’t deny that he wished the rioters had succeeded in overturning the election. Donald Trump lost in 2020."
Filled with errors-- right from the first sentence when they called the "select committee" a "commission," as though McCarthy and McConnell hadn't blocked the creation of a bipartisan, bicameral independent commission-- the Post editors could only be tolerated by the paper's moron readers. High-brow Murdoch fans turn to the Wall Street Journal instead. But the editorial board there also condemned Trump and grudgingly found him guilty of treason, not just against America, but against his own supporters.
"Fresh video of the riot is a reminder that Jan. 6 was a brutal melee of fists and chemical sprays," they wrote grumpily. "'I was slipping in people’s blood,' said Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards. The footage is visceral, even if similar scenes were already on YouTube. The committee did offer some new and ugly details. 'Aware of the rioters’ chants to hang Mike Pence,' Rep. Liz Cheney said, the President responded with this sentiment: Quote, maybe our supporters have the right idea. Mike Pence, quote, deserves it... Cheney also said that Trump gave no orders to the National Guard on Jan. 6 to aid the besieged police, even as Pence was calling in the cavalry from his post at the Capitol. 'There were two or three calls with Vice President Pence,' said Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, in audio testimony. 'He issued very explicit, very direct, unambiguous orders.' In effect, 'get the Guard down here, put down this situation.' Milley also spoke with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. 'He said, we have to kill the narrative that the Vice President is making all the decisions,' Milley recalled. So was Pence in fact giving orders to the military, while the President watched the riot on TV and abdicated his responsibility as Commander-in-Chief? This was reported by the press soon after the riot, citing anonymous officials. But it’s something else to hear it from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs."
The same goes for the testimony about Trump’s flimsy theories of undetectable mass voter fraud. “I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff, which I told the President was bullshit,” Attorney General Bill Barr testified.
Alex Cannon, a lawyer for the Trump campaign, recounted a conversation with Meadows: “I remember sharing with him that we weren’t finding anything that would be sufficient to change the results in any of the key states.” The point is that Trump was told by his own advisers that he lost the election but still deceived his supporters.
...The President spread falsehoods about the election. He invited supporters to Washington on Jan. 6, tweeting on Dec. 19 that it “will be wild!” He riled up the crowd and urged it to march on the Capitol. After violence began, he dawdled instead of sending help. Trump bears responsibility for the mayhem.
...The committee calls Jan. 6 an “attempted coup.” That makes it seem as if there was a chance of success. There wasn’t. It was an impossible plan hatched by screwballs, and it would have gone down as such if the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers hadn’t breached the Capitol. In the event, Congress still returned to fulfill its duty and count the electoral votes.
Many Congressional Republicans dishonored themselves by voting to object to electors, even after the riot. But most of the GOP refused to go along. The person who owns Jan. 6 is Donald Trump. Remarkably, he seems to welcome this. “January 6th was not simply a protest,” he wrote Thursday on Truth Social, “it represented the greatest movement in the history of our Country to Make America Great Again.”
Pity the people who went to Washington believing this nonsense, not least the more than 800 who have been charged with criminal offenses. Thursday’s hearing ended with video of rioters explaining their thinking, as their criminal charges flashed on the screen. “I did believe that the election was being stolen,” one man said, “and Trump asked us to come.”
Trump betrayed his supporters by conning them on Jan. 6, and he is still doing it.
Yes he is-- and largely with the help of the Murdoch media properties, very much including the sanctimonious editorial board of the Wall Street Journal and the moron editors of the NY Post. Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Judge Jeanine can't do it all on their own.