Susan Jones wrote in a Jan. 4 article that "With 16 days left in the Trump presidency, the talk on MSNBC on Monday morning turned to impeaching President Donald Trump once again, this time over his phone call with Georgia election officials," complaining that the call was "apparently taped without Trump's knowledge by a person not identified" and that "the left-wing media went ballistic" over the call.
But after the Capitol riot spurred by Trump's riling up his supporters with bogus election fraud conspiracy theories, CNS at first started out started by echoing its earlier impeachment-call article with an anonymously written piece under the headline "Pelosi Calls for Trump to be Removed or Impeached—13 Days from the End of His Term." Then it fell into the same state of shocked balance that followed its coverage of the riot itself, with a Jan. 11 article by Melanie Arter surprisingly citing a prominent Republican senator admitting that Trump committed impeachable offenses. That was followed by an article by the ususally highly biased managing editor Michael W. Chapman offering a straight recounting the article of impeachment filed in the house. Then followed a fleet of articles by commenators denouncing any possible impeachment:
- Geraldo Rivera: Impeachment 'Is a Loser…Focus on Vaccine Distribution, for Goodness' Sake'
- Dershowitz: 'It's Unconstitutional' to Impeach Trump for 'Constitutionally Protected Speech'
- Huckabee: Democrats’ Plan to Impeach Trump Again ‘Just a Vindictive Act of Political Theater’
Thiswas joined by a column from Pat Buchanan -- whose 1996 presidential campaign CNS editor Terry Jeffrey was manager of -- histrionically calling impeachment an attempt by "the establishment" at a "last opportunity to stomp him and his movement to death.
Once impeachment proceedings started, it was back to form by heavily focusing on defenses of Trump, whataboutism and attacks on the impeachment itself:
- Rep. Cole: 'Our Priority Should Be to Find Ways to Come Together' (a Republican congressman who argued against impeachement and said "our priority should be to find ways to come together")
- Rep. Nancy Mace: ‘There Is Violence on Both Sides of the Aisle’
- Rep. Jim Jordan: More Democrats Objected to 2016 Electoral College Results Than GOP Did This Year
- Gaetz: The Left ‘Lit Actual Flames, Actual Fires, and We Had to Put Them Out’
- Sen. Graham: 'Why Don't We Impeach George Washington? He Owned Slaves'
- Rep.: ‘Impeachment Show Extravaganza’ Brought to You by Censors in Liberal Media, Big Tech and Democrat Party
By contrast to these six articles supporting Trump, only one CNS article -- "Rules Committee Chairman: 'I Saw Evil, Mr. Speaker'" -- was offered in support of impeachment. Afterwards, an anonymously written article reiterated claims in support of impeachment.
CNS also gave space to attacks on Republican Rep. Liz Cheney for voting for impeachment. A Jan. 13 article by Chapman highlighted how Republican Rep. Jim Jordan planned to force her out as chair of the House Republican Conference, and the next day he touted how "the Wyoming Republican Party sent her a message on Wednesday, stating that she had 'aligned herself with leftists,' was helping Democrats to 'smear the entire conservative movement,' and had 'denied President Trump due process'" by voting for impeachment.
Jones then helped Trump with a little cleanup work afterwards:
President Donald Trump, speaking to the nation Wednesday evening through a video posted on the White House Twitter site, "unequivocally" condemned the "troubling events of the past week."
He said "no true supporter" of his would engage in such vandalism and violence, and he said there should be no repeats:
The video appeared shortly after the House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump for the second time -- this time for allegedly inciting violence at the U.S. Capitol.
But Trump did not comment on impeachment.
Even Jones seemed a bit exhausted at having to do this.