Donald Trump's public televised public hearings begin Wednesday and may give the US a litany of damaging testimony.
The transcripts of the private hearings already show witnesses testifying about the same basic scenario: Trump wanted the Ukraine to investigate his potential rival in the 2020 elections, Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had been working in the country. This resulted in weeks of negative news cycles for Trump. When these same witnesses are interviewed live on television, the situation can only worsen for the president.
Except on the conservative media.
The themes put forward by conservative commentators fiercely supported the president and were hostile to impeachment, often portraying an alternative reality of a brutal, intimidating, illegal and unjust plot against Trump.
Jeanine Pirro, in her eponymous Fox News, recently criticized: "There has been a lot of talk about constitutional crises – but the only constitutional crisis at the moment is the anarchic attempt to remove the incumbent president."
Fox Business's Lou Dobbs celebrated a Republican protest by saying, "Republicans, God bless them to do something. I am so impressed. He also described the investigation as "the illegal efforts of Dems radicals who hold secret hearings with the aim of overthrowing the president," noted Columbia Journalism Review.
On the far-right news site Breitbart, some of the hot topics recently discussed were the "hoax madness", a reference to the anonymous whistle-blower, whose complaint ultimately prompted the investigation into in accusation. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said: "Adam Schiff is developing new rules for the indictment investigation; Limit questions about Republican witnesses.
The main story on the One America News Network website on Friday afternoon (tucked between two links to the same article on "abortions targeting fetuses with Down's syndrome") featured a headline on Marie Yovanovitch, an upside down ambassador for Ukraine, as follows: "Report: Yovanovich committed serious prejudice According to recently discovered emails."
But despite their crusade on behalf of Trump and his supporters and their campaign to end it, the public phase of the indictment investigation will still benefit from mass coverage. The live procedure should be a good boon for television networks, as well as a traffic jam for the news sites, including the conservative media groups who attack it.
This would correspond to public trends at other important congressional hearings in US history. Seventy-one percent of Americans watched Watergate's hearings in 1973, Reuters reported.
Public testimony was also proven in Trump's time: about 19.5 million Americans followed the testimony of former FBI director James Comey on Trump. The testimony of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford was seen by more than 20 million people after she accused the Supreme Court Supreme Court candidate of sexual misconduct.
But this intense demand for coverage raises a question for the conservative press. How do Pro-Trump Outlets – in keeping with the likes of their audience – manage a story that is inherently negative?
Fox News Channel "will feature live coverage around the House's standing selection committee at the first intelligence hearing," the company said in a statement. Bret Baier, Fox News senior political presenter, and news presenter Chris Wallace will lead the cover.
Charles Herring, president of One America News, said they would provide "end-to-end coverage of impeachment hearings."
"It's hard to avoid live hearings on TV even for Fox," said Rick Wilson, Republican political consultant and Trump critic. "They will cover."
But viewers will find that the time of day will have an influence on Fox's coverage. Fox News day programming deals with news; while prime-time programming has a conservative range of animators like cheerleaders Trump Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Pirro. So, in fact, Fox will serve two doses of indictment coverage: one essentially factual and one falsely biased in favor of Trump.
"Fox's audience is divided in two. The daily audience of Fox is not the same as that which is accorded by night. Wilson said. "There are still big reporters at Fox, and they are not happy. They are dealing with this field of reality distortion. "
But to meet the demands of conservative viewers, Fox has become "dependent" on Trump "for an audience that exists only through him," Wilson said.
According to a new study by Crooked Media and Change Research, 89% Republicans who watch Fox News are against the impeachment because they do not think the essential facts of the Trump-Ukraine controversy are true. This proportion drops to 59% for Republicans who do not watch Fox, revealed the survey of 971 registered voters.
"The old conservative public is gone. The old conservative public is not what turns into Fox now, "he said. "They are here to watch the Trump show – the chairmanship of reality TV."
Conservative media play a key role in the defense strategy of Trump and his allies. As the evidence of the imputation investigation has consistently demonstrated the existence of a "counterparty" attempt with Ukraine, the Republican attacks against it have largely focused on the process itself and not on the facts revealed.
This was echoed by the conservative media, providing a vital echo chamber at Republican talking points.
"I think what they're going to do, is somehow attack the process," said Brad Adgate, independent media consultant and Forbes contributor, explaining that their motive would be as follows: "C & C Is a circus and it is only a hoax. "
And the ultimate goal of all this is clear: to consolidate Trump 's base as the 2020 election approaches.
If the Republican base remains favorable to Trump, the report devoted to it "will help stabilize it, keep it in place," said Thomas E. Patterson, Bradlee's government professor and author of How America's Lost Its Mind. .
"As long as the base is in place, the Republican Senate, provided it is removed from the House, Republican senators will vote almost against the person who will not vote for a conviction," he said. "I think the right-wing media are important to the question of Trump's survival and that they will do everything possible to make sure that he will not be sentenced."