Cracks in the Red Wall
That adrenaline rush we’re experiencing with each revelation in the Trump-Ukraine scandal is conjuring up old feelings of euphoria from our days as Watergate-obsessed teenagers. The uncovering of that scandal inspired a generation to go into journalism. The uncovering of this one could do the same.

A three-year long fever is breaking in Washington; you can hear the triumphant movie music rising in intensity at the Capital and through the newsrooms of America’s great media organizations. The forces of decency, so long on the ropes in Donald Trump’s America, are finally ascending.

Nothing announced that the worm was turning as well as the disarray in the conservative media. Normally a fortress of support, the president’s favorite tabloids, broadsheets and cable stations became nests of confusion and recrimination as the concerning headlines streamed in.

The House of Murdoch in particular seemed thrown off stride.

Fox News celebrities were turning on one another. Judge Andrew Napolitano said the president had effectively confessed to a crime when he admitted he asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. That led Tucker Carlson to bring on attorney Joe diGenova to call Napolitano “a fool,” which led Shepard Smith to call diGenova (or was it Carlson?) “repugnant.”

Sean Hannity, who will ultimately be the last man standing for Trump, pronounced the world “less safe and secure" because of the investigations into his friend. But Steve Doocy of Fox & Friends stumbled off the reservation for a few moments to say it would be “really off-the-rails wrong” if the president offered a quid pro quo deal with the Ukrainian government.

The New York Post tried to hold the Trump party line as best it could. But its heart clearly wasn’t in it. “Impeaching to the Choir,” read the confusing cover headline, which tried to mock the impeachment effort because House committees were already doing the job ( really? ). Michael Goodwin attacked Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. He came back yesterday saying Pelosi had "plunged the country into a nightmare."

Commendably, The Wall Street Journal wasn’t having it. "No President should invite a foreigner to investigate a domestic opponent, especially a President whose opponents sought foreign dirt to defeat him in 2016," scolded the Journal editorial board Wednesday.

Nearby was an op-ed that went even further. "It appears that Mr. Trump has grossly abused the powers of his office and distorted American foreign policy in pursuit of personal political gain," wrote Brookings Institution senior fellow William A. Galston in his Journal opinion piece .

Coming to its senses somewhat, The Journal came back tougher yesterday. There was this doozy of a commentary signed by 19 GOP House members: "Impeachment Is What Vladimir Putin Wants."

What's rich is that Journal news reporting has helped lead on the Ukraine story. Props to Murdoch for allowing them to do their jobs, even as his other newsrooms were lost at sea on this story.
How Do You Like Your Impeachment?

To say that Frank Bruni is no fan of the president would be an understatement. But he reminded readers this week of the downside to all the celebrating.

"...While an impeachment’s impact on November 2020 is unknowable, its effect on us as a nation is almost certain,” he wrote. “A dangerously polarized and often viciously partisan country would grow more so, with people on opposing sides hunkering down deeper in their camps and clinging harder to their chosen narratives."
“It is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and I’m not. And I will be the hero. These morons—when this is over, I will be the hero.” – Rudy Giuliani 

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Kirtzman Strategies is a strategic communications and public affairs firm that works with public officials, nonprofits, companies, tech startups and education organizations.
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