Jennifer Rubin / WaPo:
What we learned from the Jan. 6 committee’s powerful case against Trump
The seriousness of the insurrection
Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) In his opening remarks took time to make a compelling contrast of Trump to Abraham Lincoln, who in the middle of the Civil War was willing to turn over the reins of power if he lost reelection. . As Thompson explained, the oath that officeholders must take – to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”- was a response to the Civil War.
Meanwhile, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) Quoted from the opinion of a federal judge warning that if the coup plotters were not investigated and held responsible, an attack on US democracy would happen again. The message was profound and clear: We came frightfully close to losing our democracy – and will again unless we hold Trump accountable.
‘Comes Across as a Cult Guy’: The Pennsylvania Candidate Freaking Out Both the Left and the Right
Doug Mastriano’s come-from-nowhere popularity is fusing religion and politics in a new way. He’s either Democrats’ dream opponent, or the establishment’s worst nightmare.
Mastriano represents a growing style of politics we do not have a common name for yet: Journalists in Pennsylvania and elsewhere have called it “Christian nationalism,” a worldview shaped by the fusion of Christian messaging and American identity, though Mastriano himself has dismissed that label. He considers himself, instead, a torchbearer of “restoring your freedom.”
Broadcasting + Cable:
Most, Not All, Fox Stations To Air Capitol Insurrection Congressional Hearing
Sinclair’s Fox affiliates sticking with scheduled primetime programming June 9
The “vast majority” of Nexstar Media Group affiliates are expected to air “network coverage of Congressional hearings on evenings when they are televised,” according to a spokesperson. Nexstar owns, operates or provides services to 200 stations nationwide.
All of Fox’s owned stations will air the hearing coverage live except WNYW New York, which will stream it.
That’s different than Fox News aka cable, but the affiliate audience is larger than the cable audience.
The News & Observer:
Former chief justice who helped Trump on election challenges named NC law school dean
“Chief Justice Mark Martin has led a distinguished judicial career in North Carolina, and he’s demonstrated tremendous results as a law school dean,” university President Nido Qubein said in a news release. “We welcome him to HPU and look forward to his extraordinary partnership as he champions HPU’s newest professional program.” Martin made a name for himself in North Carolina as the youngest person to ever be elected to the state’s Court of Appeals and the youngest to serve on the state’s Supreme Court. In 2014, Gov. Pat McCrory appointed him to serve as chief justice to fill a vacancy left by the retirement of Sarah Parker. Martin garnered national attention in 2021 when the New York Times reported former President Donald Trump consulted with Martin about overturning the election of President Joe Biden.
The Hollywood Reporter:
Critic’s Notebook: The Jan. 6 Committee Hearings Are Must-See TV
Compelling evidence, dramatic testimony and harrowing footage permeated the opening night of what has the potential to be the essential TV event of the summer.
Television viewers looking for tension, drama and urgent historical, political and moral relevance now have something to move to the top of their must-watch list. The first “episode” of the Jan. 6 Committee hearings delivered a chilling account of one of the darkest days in American history, complete with harrowing film footage and powerful testimonials. It remains to be seen whether what to follow in the coming weeks will do anything to move the needle among a citizenry that seems to have settled into their respective stances. But judging from the opening installment, there will be plenty of powerful material for those with open minds to digest.
Jamelle Bouie / NY Times:
Jan. 6 Was a ‘War Scene,’ and Trump Was the Director
If all of this is already in the public record – if all of it is already part of our public knowledge – why bother with hearings?
The right answer, I think, is spectacle.
Most political theater is tedious and partisan. Cheap meat for a hungry base. But there are times when these theatrics can serve a real purpose for the public at large.
In an article in the Fordham Law Review, Josh Chafetz – a law professor at Georgetown – makes a novel distinction between traditional congressional oversight and what he terms congressional “overspeech.”
Oversight is (or at least is supposed to be) about good-faith fact-finding for the sake of public accountability – a central part of Congress’s role as it has developed over time. In this view, Chafetz writes, oversight hearings should be “primarily receptive in nature,” aimed at “drawing out new facts or at least new implications of old facts.”
Eamon Javers / Twitter:
There were several tactical and presentation decisions that made last night’s Jan. 6th Committee hearings so effective:
1. They dispensed with the dumb “every member gets 5 minutes” rule. Congressional committees cling to the format, and it makes many hearings incoherent.
2. It was bipartisan. Yes, Rep. Liz Cheney is on the outs with her fellow Republicans for her role here. But she is a leader and from one of the most prominent Republican families. The hearing showed Democrats and Republicans working together for a common cause.
3. They let the staff take a lead in questioning. You even got to see the staff engage witnesses. Most committee members want to hog the spotlight for themselves, ignoring the fact that not all congresspersons are actually good at this. And some are really bad at it.
4. Seamless integration of audio and video. Hearings barely ever do this.
5. They broke news. We heard, for the first time, eyewitness accounts of what Trump was doing and saying during the insurrection and saw raw, searing, previously unreleased video of the attack.
6. They teased ahead to more news. The committee said members of Congress sought legal pardons from President Trump for their roles in the insurrection. Who were they? Committee indicated we will learn their names in hearings to come.