Most of the broadcast networks joined major cable news outlets Thursday morning (Sept. 26) in providing live coverage of the testimony of Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire before the House Intelligence Committee.
In effect, it was the first hearing in the Democrats announced impeachment inquiry.
Maguire was called to testify about the handling of a whistle-blower complaint targeting President Donald Trump and his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In D.C., ABC, CBS and NBC stations were all carrying special report live coverage, although the Fox station, WTTG, was sticking with its Good Day DC morning show, although it was doing news reports about the hearing the impeachment inquiry, but pointed out it was streaming the hearing live on its Facebook page.
Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) explained why the whistle-blower framework for self-reporting was so important for national intelligence agencies. He said that since others cannot vet what those agencies are doing, if whistle-blowers are discouraged, two things happen, either the alleged misconduct goes unreported, or the whistle-blower takes matters into his own hands and leaks to the press in violation of the law.
Ranking member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) leveled plenty of vitriol at the media outlets covering the hearing. He said that Democrats and their media assets would simply cook up some other ground for impeachment if the whistle-blower complaint angle did not pan out. He said the Dems and their "media mouthpieces" had simply ginned up yet another fake story, the latest in an unending parade of press releases, press conferences and "fake news stories."
He called the inquiry a "dishonest, grotesque spectacle" and a "charade. "
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