As CNN, MSNBC and, presumably millions of Americans, were still fixated on the deeply compelling and disturbing presentation by the Democratic House impeachment managers in the Senate trial, Fox News made the bold decision to cut away at 5 p.m. ET for its regularly scheduled program, The Five.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) was mid-sentence when moderator Jesse Watters abruptly broke in, introducing a panel that on this day, for some reason, also included Judge Jeanine Pirro. “The political math doesn’t add up,” Watters began. “Democrats don’t have the votes, yet they’re still pressing ahead.”
After playing a handful of short clips from the day’s proceedings, and a counter argument from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Hannity the night before, Dana Perino joined Watters in drawing a false equivalence between Trump’s inciting words and various comments made by Democrats over the years.
Then, on the same day Fox rewarded The Five’s Greg Gutfeld with his own late-night talk show, he called the trial nothing more than “emotional political theater,” laughing to himself as he predicted that no Republican minds would be swayed by the horrific evidence being presented. From there, he went off on a bizarre, petty tangent about “free speech” and why the “media” is “destroying the country.”
And finally, Pirro started shouting nonsensically about the “Black Lives Matter attack” before going after Democrats for “trying to tarnish Donald Trump so he can never run again.”
“Well they’d better not forget that there are 74 million people who voted for Donald Trump!” she continued. “You can try to dissipate, you can try to dispel ‘em, you can do whatever you want through all this theater. But the bottom line is it doesn’t matter.” Growing louder, she screamed, “So what are we doing? Wasting time while Americans are out of jobs, we have a pandemic and China’s on the rise!” before dramatically pounding the table in front of her.
The rantings by Gutfeld, Watters, and Pirro were not that far removed from the even more unhinged rhetoric over on Newsmax, which started its 5 p.m. hour with an anchor telling viewers, “We have continuing coverage of a bipartisan betrayal of the American people and our Constitution” before adding, “Let’s watch the dagger plunge even further into the backs of we the people and this country.”