The impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump are hardly the epitome of high drama – but count on the mainstream media to hype up the snoozefest, with every witness dropping “bombshells” and every statement “explosive.”
How many times can you repeat a word before it loses all meaning? Throughout four days of witness testimony before the House Intelligence Committee this week, anchors at CNN and MSNBC did their best to strip all impact from the words “stunning,” “explosive” and “bombshell” to describe the events on Capitol Hill.
SUPERCUT: Media trying their best to hype “Bombshell!” “Explosive!” impeachment hearings pic.twitter.com/q3TzIFCOmu
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 22, 2019
In reality, the hearings featured a revolving cast of bureaucrats who told often contradictory stories of President Trump’s alleged wrongdoing. It all focused on allegations he’d pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into reopening a corruption probe against Joe Biden’s family in exchange for Trump releasing military aid to the country. None of the witnesses could provide any concrete evidence of this “quid-pro-quo,” however, and none were party to the infamous July 25 phone call that supposedly supports the narrative, despite a White House memo of the conversation proving otherwise.
Instead, viewers were left with the witnesses’ “impression” that Trump “likely” did something wrong, to quote David Holmes, a low-level staffer at the US embassy in Kiev.
But, wait.. in the world of CNN and MSNBC, things were very different.
“The case for impeachment has never been stronger, the evidence never so riveting, after yesterday’s explosive testimony,” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews declared on Thursday.
“Explosive” was indeed the word of the week, until the liberal hosts discovered another: “bombshell.”
landed on yellow this week! pic.twitter.com/GO7wbVqmH2
— K.V. (@KV8675309) November 22, 2019
“I know we keep saying ‘bombshell,’” a CNN panelist stated on Thursday, before her fellow panelists detonated dozens more bombshells. So heavy was the barrage, viewers would be forgiven for thinking Capitol Hill had come under a Passchendaele-style artillery assault, rather than a fusillade of tepid allegations.
The effect of this testimony, the anchors and guests declared, was “stunning.”
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But hyperbole is the networks’ stock in trade. For the last two years, both CNN and MSNBC have been portraying every salacious allegation against Trump as a “bombshell,” and proclaimed every whiff of scandal as “the beginning of the end” for the president, as “the walls close in” around him.
Determined to walk the same path with impeachment that they did with the deflated ‘Russiagate,’ one can only hope that they dig out the thesaurus and expand their vocabulary, as the inquiry drags on.
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