“Straight news” anchor Martha MacCallum hosted a post-Jan. 6 hearing with three panelists who almost completely ignored the substance of the day's hearing.
There was almost no commentary on the material presented by the committee
First up, former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy gave a legal argument about the committee’s vote to subpoena Donald Trump. He made no comment on Trump’s absolutely despicable behavior or any of the new material that was presented in the hearing.
Panelist Byron York criticized the subpoena as “entirely theatrical” because Republicans will likely win back the House in the midterm elections and the committee will be “gone" before Trump would ever testify (assuming he would).
But York was the only one who seemed to think Trump’s incitement of the insurrection worth mentioning or who touched on what information the hearing revealed, albeit in a Fox-friendly way:
YORK: It doesn’t mean that we didn’t see some new stuff in this hearing. Indeed, we did. They had a lot of dramatic video of the leaders of the House and the Senate who were in their secret, safe place during the Capitol riot. We saw a lot there. But the basics of the story did not change today. The story being basically that this mob did attack the Capitol. Most people were horrified, tried to get it to stop. But President Trump liked it. He thought these people were fighting on his behalf and we saw more evidence about that today. But nothing to change the basic outline of the story.
Yeah, it’s a real yawner having to listen to new evidence about how a U.S. president deliberately endangered his own vice president and the entire Capitol in order to steal an election he knew he had lost.
Nobody on the panel, including “ultimate journalist” Martha MacCallum, noted that one of the videos debunked a big, Trump/Fox News talking point - that Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed or delayed calling the National Guard.
Instead, MacCallum said the committee drew “a tangent” with video connecting Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, but not Trump, to the Oath Keepers. As if that somehow meant there’s no direct connection between Trump and Jan. 6. Then she complained that the committee subpoenaed Trump at the end of their hearings, instead of the beginning.
But the propaganda cake goes to panelist Mark Thiessen.
First, Thiessen claimed that while his “blood boils” at seeing video of the Capitol attacks, he had “this distinct feeling that my emotions were being manipulated” by the Jan. 6 committee. “It felt like political theater,” he said, as if Republicans are not the kings of performative politics!
Then Thiessen launched a baseless conspiracy theory that just happened to dovetail with the GOP’s midterm messaging: “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they re-scheduled this hearing for the day that the inflation numbers came out because we just found out that record inflation continues … and they want everybody to be talking about January 6th.”
Instead of pointing out that there’s no evidence for that claim, “ultimate journalist” MacCallum murmured her interest.
Thiessen all but pleads with viewers to get out and vote Republican
Thiessen continued by giving a midterm campaign stump speech, rather than analysis of the hearing.
THIESSEN: We’re a month away from an historic election where we have a situation where, if the Democrats were to hold onto the House and gain two more seats in the Senate, they would get rid of the filibuster, they would pack the Supreme Court, they would pack the Senate by adding the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as states. They would pass their radical agenda with just 50 votes. We’re two votes away from a one-party state in this country. And they’re desperately trying to prevent the Republicans from stopping that.
Thiessen finally circled back to the hearing by reiterating that he had “felt manipulated.”
MacCallum closed by complaining that the committee had not “invited in” people “with a different perspective on it.” Somehow “ultimate journalist” MacCallum forgot, just like her colleague, legal analyst Jonathan Turley, that it was Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who refused to put other members of the Republican Party on the Jan. 6 Committee after Rep. Jim Jordan was rejected.
MacCallum added, “If they feel so strongly that they have this whole scenario right, that would have prevailed.” And yet, nobody on her panel offered a “different perspective” on the events of January 6th. They just distracted. Or, you might say they engaged in performative politics.
In other words, who cares that Trump tried to steal an election when Republican power is on the line? Fox doesn’t care, the Murdochs don’t seem to care and they obviously don’t want their viewers to care, either.
You can watch Fox’s performative spin on the January 6 hearing below from the October 13, 2022 The Story.