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Sun Nov 10, 2019, 03:24 AM

Watergate to Ukraine: how TV will dictate Trump's impeachment fate

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/10/watergate-ukraine-trump-impeachment-hearings

Watergate to Ukraine: how TV will dictate Trump's impeachment fate

David Smith in Washington

Sun 10 Nov 2019 07.00 GMT Last modified on Sun 10 Nov 2019 07.02 GMT

“We are beginning these hearings today in an atmosphere of the utmost gravity … a mood of incredulity has prevailed among our populace, and it is the constitutional duty of this committee to act expeditiously to allay the fears being expressed by the citizenry, and to establish the factual bases upon which these fears have been founded.”

Those were the words of Sam Ervin of North Carolina at the Senate select committee on presidential campaign activities on 17 May 1973: the first day of its hearings into the Watergate scandal. They were a national TV blockbuster, beamed into millions of homes in the days before media fragmentation, internet echo chambers and alternative facts.

This week, House Democrats will hope to recreate that sense of occasion when they begin public impeachment hearings regarding Donald Trump and his attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. Televised hearings will “be an opportunity for the American people to evaluate the witnesses for themselves”, Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee, has said.

But it will also be a battle with Republicans in the court of public opinion. At stake is the framing of a narrative crucial to the impact of the hearings for an impeachment vote, the 2020 presidential election and the history books.
(snip)

The Watergate hearings, prompted by a break-in at Democratic party headquarters and a cover-up, gripped the nation as the evidence against Richard Nixon built hour after hour, day after day, over seven months. The impact was “tremendous”, said John Farrell, a biographer of the president who resigned before he could be impeached.
(snip)

The top US diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, and another senior diplomat, George Kent, will appear on Wednesday. Former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will testify on Friday. All three have answered questions behind closed doors but will now be asked publicly what they knew about Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s dealings with Ukraine.

Cable viewers will have options including neutral C-Span, conservative Fox News and liberal MSNBC, all expected to provide wildly different interpretations of the proceedings. These will also be the first impeachment hearings in the era of Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

Farrell said: “The trashing of the witnesses has already begun on Twitter with the hand of the president’s family. It’s one reason to doubt that this week’s hearings are going to be held at the same high level that they were in 1974.”
(snip)

“Everybody rose to the occasion,” he recalled. “The one phrase that was used in September 1974 was: ‘The system worked.’
(snip)

“Everybody sort of exhaled and said, ‘Wow, it worked, Gerry Ford [Nixon’s successor] is a good guy and we dodged a bullet.’”

Could the same happen in 2019, with the hearings driving a shift in public opinion that persuades Republican senators to turn against Trump? Don’t hold your breath.
(snip)




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Reply Watergate to Ukraine: how TV will dictate Trump's impeachment fate (Original post)
nitpicker Sunday OP
OnDoutside Sunday #1
Scarsdale Sunday #2
OnDoutside Sunday #4
vlyons Sunday #3
empedocles Sunday #5
bucolic_frolic Sunday #6

Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 03:46 AM

1. My wish list is for

1 the evidence to be overwhelming

2 the evidence to be presented in a clear precise way, so even dumb asses understand that something is not quite right here

3 Republican Senators ALL vote not to impeach, showing how they don't have America's interests at heart.

The primary target of this process to not only get Trump's numbers down, but the GOP numbers down too. Then let them defend that all through 2020.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 04:01 AM

2. Devin Nunes and Gym Jordan

might see their careers end, too, with any luck on our side. Instead of seriously considering the evidence, treating witnesses as serious career professionals they will yell and demand answers. Making themselves look extremely partisan will come back to haunt those two. They should consider the future of this country, not try to make brownie points with a president who thinks of only himself.

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Response to Scarsdale (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 04:46 AM

4. Well sunlight is the best disinfectant, though it may take a look

of sunlight to cleanse politics of those two.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 04:01 AM

3. except Pence ain't such a "good guy"

Pence is stupid, bigoted, cowardly and corrupt.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 06:29 AM

5. WARNING - '. . . Ford [Nixon's successor] is a good guy and we dodged a

bullet'.

As if Nixon was the one bad apple.

Ford, helped preserve the corrupt republicon regimes. Some, like Cheney still around. Others, bred the crops that produced barr types.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 06:36 AM

6. We could lose

if we structure our campaign for 2016's electoral map and fail to scream loud enough about election security.

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