Greg Sargent writes about how Republicans plan to use a barrage of congressional hearings to obfuscate their own roles in the Jan. 6th insurrection. Via the Washington Post:
Congressional scholar Sarah Binder notes that such efforts by Republicans will present an unusual, circular situation. Binder told me: “It appears their agenda might be to exonerate the former president, as well as their own roles, in fomenting the Jan. 6 insurrection.”
If and when all this happens, Republicans would naturally argue that they were simply using investigations legitimately, while Democrats used them illegitimately. News organizations would be under pressure to sort out the competing validity of each side’s investigations and the waters could get very murky.
Republicans would, of course, be thrilled if news coverage treated their investigative findings as significant. But Republicans don’t really need the press to validate GOP findings. Fox News and the right-wing media network are sure to treat all such “revelations” as both true and tremendously significant no matter what. Right wing media are already trumpeting what’s coming.
He predicts that “muddied mainstream coverage” may lead some voters to throw up their hands and decide that both sides use investigations toward political ends — which is the GOP goal:
There are plenty of examples of GOP-led congressional probes producing “revelations” that were dramatically hyped or largely imaginary. Even when Republicans got something partly right — the FBI’s processes during the Russia investigation were seriously flawed — their effort to discredit that whole investigation badly failed.
By contrast, Democratic congressional probes during the Trump years produced detailed pictures of a complex plot to strong-arm Ukraine into smearing Biden and a wide-ranging scheme to corrupt many government actors to overturn a presidential election.
If GOP probes next year follow their established pattern, the situation will be difficult for the news media to convey.
Well, yes. “Difficult.” The media’s lazy “both sides” narrative has trained news consumers to assume that Republicans are no worse than Democrats — and their coverage won’t do a damn thing to disabuse them of that notion.