It’s official: Americans are tuning out the Swamp—and the ratings prove it
Tone-deaf would be an accurate way to describe the Washington political class in general, and it certainly applies to Democrats’ latest impeachment attempt.
For the past two weeks, they’ve rolled out witness after witness for hours of nationally televised hearings. Each testimony had a few things in common, including that all substituted pure speculation in lieu of any actual evidence. But today’s “finale” had something extra: The witnesses weren’t even indirectly involved in the July 25 phone call with Ukraine. They learned about it the same way you did—from the news.
In fact, one of the two “witnesses” had already left her position when the call occurred. She confirmed her last day at the National Security Council was July 19.
That’s how little respect House Democrats have for the impeachment process—and for the American public. Their witnesses didn’t witness anything. Yet Democrat leaders are so convinced of their ability to shape the media narrative that they bet it wouldn’t matter. They assumed a 40-hour TV circus would be enough to tip public support their way.
Here’s their problem: Viewers quickly figured out there was nothing to see.
The ratings prove it. Simply put, they’re stunning. Despite wall-to-wall media coverage and attention, the first televised impeachment hearing last week drew an estimated 13.8 million viewers—nearly 6 million fewer than when former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate two years ago. And this is for impeachment.
Even more telling is what’s happened to viewership as the hearings pressed on. Once it became clear that no real evidence was forthcoming—only more opinions about President Trump from the Swamp—Americans tuned out. Tuesday’s morning session this week averaged 11.4 million viewers. By noon Wednesday, “the local ABC affiliate had ditched impeachment coverage and was airing its regular newscast instead. The Fox station had a daytime talk show,” The Washington Times reported.
Or think of it this way: “There are about 330 million Americans. According to the ratings, nearly 320 million of them aren’t watching the House impeachment proceedings.”
So did we learn anything from today’s witnesses, despite their lack of firsthand knowledge about President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine? Actually, yes:
- Fiona Hill previously testified that President Trump’s concerns about corruption in Ukraine were well-known and shared by everyone. “He’s not alone, because everyone has expressed great concerns about corruption in Ukraine,” she said.
- She also warned about the “perceptions of conflicts of interest and ethics” associated with Hunter Biden’s position on the Burisma board.
- David Holmes acknowledged that Democrats’ political efforts in foreign countries have been inappropriate. After not disputing a question that “Democrats and the Clinton campaign were the source of funds that funded the Steele Dossier,” Holmes was asked whether it is appropriate for political parties to run operatives in foreign countries to dig up dirt on their opponents. “No,” he said.
Meanwhile, the only real thing Democrats have accomplished this month is effectively shutting down Congress. Just today, Speaker Nancy Pelosi shrugged off her party’s chances of approving USMCA, President Trump’s recent trade deal to improve NAFTA for American workers, any time in the foreseeable future.
Why is that? As Politico writes, “she doubts Congress has enough time left to pass the USMCA this year.”