Accuracy in Media

Although multiple polls agreed that the American public is closely divided on the issue of the impeachment of President Donald Trump, liberal mainstream media outlets and alternative news websites doubled down on the pro-impeachment rhetoric echoed by Democratic Party lawmakers and activists. NowThis News was no different in highlighting the Democrats’ success in passing an impeachment vote in the House of Representatives.

NowThis News’s headline for its impeachment summary was, “Trump Got Impeached. But What Now?” The article began with three major points for activists to read, which read as follows:

  1. It matters, even if the Senate doesn’t indict him. As a refresher, The House has the power to impeach the president. The Senate has the power to remove him. Regardless of what the Senate decides to do, he has been impeached.
  2. This wouldn’t have happened without the 2018 midterm elections. And it shows that activism works.
  3. And 3. Impeachment means accountability.

The article acknowledged defeat in that Trump would most likely remain in power due to a Republican-majority Senate, but it took solace at the fact that “impeachment is done, and final.” NowThis News further brandished its partisanship when it claimed that Republican Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) “could be violating his oath of office because the Senate is supposed to hold a fair and impartial trial.” McConnell’s support for Trump was well-documented, but the claim that McConnell was violating his oath of office as a senator was disingenuous and dishonest. It was McConnell’s duty to determine whether the impeachment trial is fair for both Republicans and Democrats, not solely for one political party.

The article failed to recognize that not only was the impeachment vote along party lines, but two Democratic congressmen voted no on both articles of impeachment, another voted “no” on one article of impeachment, and presidential candidate and Hawaiian congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard voted “present.” The mostly-party-line vote added credence to Republican arguments that impeachment was a partisan political maneuver to attempt to remove Trump from the White House, against the wishes of the American people.

It concluded that elections matter because impeachment would not have happened without liberal grassroots activism in the 2018 midterm elections, which swept the Democratic Party into the majority in the House of Representatives. However, NowThis News ignored the other side to the 2018 elections: Republicans maintaining control of the U.S. Senate. Without having a majority in the Senate, impeachment will not progress past the House vote.

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