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Tuesday, March 9, 2021
CNS' Impeachment Coverage Largely Ignored The Actual Trial
Topic: reflexively returned to pro-Trump defense mode as the House impeached him after the Capitol riot, then continued to grouse about impeachment as the Senate trial moved closer. The week before the trial, kept pushing the pro-Trump takes:

By contrast, CNS published only three articles on the pro-impeachment side -- two of which quoted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the third misleadingly framed Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy as agreeing with Rand Paul while burying the fact that he also said that "I come to a different judgment."

When the actual trial started on Feb. 9, CNS had no interest in covering what was actually being said and done on the Senate floor -- perhaps because its editors knew that the evidence did not look good for  Trump. So it sought to distract attention from it; one early story by Craig Bannister on a Rasmussen poll carried the headline "Only 36% of Voters Will Watch Most or All of Trump’s Impeachment Trial – And, Pres. Biden Isn’t One of Them." Instead, it covered what (mostly Republican) politicians said outside the trial being critical of it:

By conbtrast, only three articles that week focused on the case against Trump:

The three above articles followed by asterisks are the only ones of the 15 CNS published during the week of the trial that directly reported testimony given during the actual trial.

CNS was also making sure to highlight the Republicans who voted against Trump. A Feb. 10 article by Susan Jones complained that "Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana on Tuesday joined five liberal Republicans (Collins, Romney, Sasse, Toomey, and Murkowski) in voting to proceed with President Trump's second impeachment trial on constitutional grounds." When the Senate ultimately voted to acquit, the anonymously written three-paragraph article announcing the decision devoted one of those paragraphs to listing the Republians who voted for conviction. That was followed by an article by Bannister claiming that Trump "issued a statement of thanksgiving, encouragement, hope – and warning" after the trial, which also listed the seven Republicans who voted for conviction.

And it wouldn't be CNS if it couldn't work an anti-LGBT angle into things. Thus, we have an anonymously written article complaining that "Rep. David Cicilline (D.-R.I.), who is now serving as a House Impeachment Manager in the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, also serves as the chairman of the 'Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus.'" No explaination was given as to why CNS felt the need to inform readers of this or what relevance it has to impeachment.

It was only after Trump was safely acquitted that CNS felt it could publish numerous articles critical of him on Feb. 15, two days after the end of the trial:

Only one impeachment-themed article published that day defended the acquittal, and it quoted Trump-friendly attorney Alan Dershowitz.

Unlike Trump's last impeachment, CNS largely restrained itself from presenting ridiculous defenses with a straight face. But because it knew Trump's actions were indefensible, it apparently decided that its coverage would be as minimally impactful as possible. Which, of course, still makes CNS a pro-Trump shill, not the "news" organization it proclaims itself to be.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EST

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