At around 2 a.m. ET, after voting down all 11 Democratic amendments that would have permitted new documents and witness testimony into the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally adjourned the chamber for the evening. It had been an excruciating, marathon day, one that appeared to fit into McConnell’s overall tactic to exhaust the American public’s interest in the historic trial.
That same strategy appears to be playing out on Fox News, which went to great lengths to convince viewers that the trial wasn’t worth their attention. “Unbelievably boring” is how Fox & Friends‘ Steve Doocy described the first day. “We watched so that you don’t have to watch the entire thing,” Pete Hegseth told viewers.
“This was just a debate over the rules,” Hegseth continued. “I was sitting back watching last night thinking, ‘This is a circus.’ And then my wife Jen corrected me and said, ‘No, at least circuses are entertaining.’ This is just a show, you know how it’s going to end: 53–47 on every vote. Now you have three days to endure.”
Fox & Friends downplays the impeachment trial: "It was unbelievably boring. I don't know how people can follow it. … I don't think the majority of people watched. I think they just turn to us to be able to summarize it for them because it was so long." pic.twitter.com/nF4PVy0XgQ
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) January 22, 2020
On his program Tuesday night, Fox News personality Sean Hannity relied on a slightly different strategy, opting to mute remarks from the Senate floor and replace them with a long list of Trump’s so-called accomplishments. “He pulled us out of the horrendous climate accord,” Hannity said. “He pulled us out of the horrific Iranian nuclear deal.” The list went on.
Fox is just scrolling Trump "accomplishments" while the 3rd impeachment trial in US history is relegated to audio-free split screen action pic.twitter.com/GyaopO1HIN
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) January 22, 2020
“As warranted, we will dip in and out, but we’re not going to torture you,” Hannity said. He then paused to highlight Trump’s lawyers, whose performances Hannity praised as “excellent.”
Hannity has good reason to praise Trump’s lawyers. They kicked off the first day of the Senate’s impeachment trial on Tuesday by barely engaging with the evidence House Democrats have offered in support of Trump’s removal from office, instead rattling off right-wing conspiracy theories and outright lies peddled on Fox News.
Hannity says “as warranted” he will dip in to the Senate impeachment proceedings, calling them “pointless” and telling his viewers, “We are not going to torture you.” He also promises to play highlight clips from today of Trump’s legal defense defending the President. pic.twitter.com/8O8DlsTgyG
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 22, 2020