Impeachment Gets Wall-to-Wall Coverage, So So Ratings


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Things that are on when people need to work get smaller viewings than average! I don’t quite get the so-so ratings thing. I am pro-impeachment but not watching because I need to work. Plus GOP antics would not be good for my blood pressure.

    The majority of Americans still support the impeachment inquiry. There is something horse racey about discussing the ratings over the substance. The call Sonderland made from the restaurant for example. I am old enough to remember when the very serious people were shocked and horrified by allegedly less than stellar e-mail practices, back in, checkes mores, 2016.*

    *she was completely exonerated though but what ya gonna do.Report

  2. Avatar InMD says:

    I think Saul is right on the ratings. As much as I’d love to watch them work makes it impossible.

    Of course I do find I’m having a really hard time figuring out where the public is and I just dont trust polling that much. I mean, I know where my zip code is and similar zip codes but I also don’t think that means much in the greater scheme of this issue.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to InMD says:

      We just aren’t going to know about impact for about a week. Then if there is an effect it should start showing up in Trumps approval ratings. If he stays within a point or three of where he’s at that’s minimal impact. If he drops down into the high 30’s for approval rating that’s a definite impact and also a major headache for the GOP because if Trump drops into the 30’s and they acquit him they’re falling into “possibly lose the Senate” territory.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The problem is always that high ratings mean high engagement and low ratings mean nothing.

    We have to be able to compare these numbers to the numbers that we think that the numbers should be and then say “Wow! These numbers are higher than I thought they’d be!” or “Crap, These numbers are lower than I thought they’d be!” or “Ha! I’m so good at this!”

    So I mostly look for people explaining that while people might think that something is bad, they don’t have enough context to conclude things.

    If two (or more) things could happen, A or B, and A would be an unqualified good, look to see what explanations are given for B… but don’t limit it to happening just once. If this thing iterates over and over and over again and there are plenty of opportunities for the one indicator that everybody agrees would be the good indicator to show up but, for whatever reason, the indicators that are not the one indicator that everybody agrees would be the good indicator shows up instead… look to see if there’s always an explanation for why the indicator that showed up instead doesn’t mean anything.Report

  4. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    I’m honestly not sure how ratings are measured nowadays. Like back in the day when the only way to watch proceedings was to tune your TV set into one of three networks Neilson was able to record how many sets were tuned in.

    I see the proceedings via embedded streaming on blogs or via my WaPo subscription. So am I counted in the ratings? I don’t know.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Roger Stone convicted. Ken Starr complained on Fox News that it was only a process crime. Irony died again for the one billionth time.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Today in bad faith arguments:

    Laura Ingram comlained that “attempted bribery” is not in the Constitution. Maybe I only went to a T2 law school but I remember covering inchoate crimes in criminal law. Year 1 criminal law.

    She merely uses her law degree to provide a veneer of respectability to her authoritarianism.

    I can think of who in OT is gonna to write “how dare you accuse them of bad faith!”Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      by that logic nearly all the criminal code is not in the Constitution. Which means all the “criminal acts” Sec. Clinton was accused of shouldn’t have been investigated since they aren’t criminal by that definition.

      But @LeeEsq is right – its always ok if you are Republican.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      “Bribery” is just a talking point Democrats came up with in a focus group, as reported today in the Washington Post. It’s not a real charge that they can establish, just like their use of “extortion” and “quid pro quo”, which they’re abandoning.

      A half-way competent prosecution starts out with evidence of a violation of a criminal code, and then proceeds to the who, what, why, and where. Democrats are trying to do this backwards, deciding to accuse someone, then accusing him (constantly), then making sure that only their own accusations can be discussed and that the accused isn’t allowed to provide any of his own evidence, and then flailing around to find something they want to accuse him of. So what we’ve got is, at best, an amusing court room scene that was cut from Idiocracy (2006). Maybe they’ve got some kind of “Legal Jeopardy” board game and they’re flicking a spinner. “You’re charged with…. zzzzz…. Inchoate bribery!”Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

        Mistermix, over at Balloon Juice, agrees with you…in a sense:

        “First, is there an Occam’s Razor for goobers? Maybe Gomer’s Butter Knife? Because the Republican Committee Counsel is a real fucking goober, asking pointless questions and running himself into corners like a haywire Roomba. So, either he’s an idiot, or he was on some kind of leash. I think Gomer’s Butter Knife would dictate that the answer is both: he’s not that smart (because a smart person wouldn’t want the job) and morons like Nunez have him on a leash.”

        Trump continues to Tweet out high crimes and misdemeanors on a daily basis (today threatening a witness) and everyone keeps insisting this cannot be the case, since no one could be that stupid.

        But Gomer’s Butterknife says that yes, yes he can.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Obviously Mistermix isn’t a lawyer. Tweeting, in public, that the fired ambassador was a train wreck while she’s testifying isn’t “intimidating a witness” under any stretch of the law, any more than slipping a “kick me” sign on her back while she’s entering the chamber would be witness tampering.

          And let’s look at who actually, and directly, relayed this “intimidating threat” (scare quotes) to the witness. Why, that would be Adam Schiff. Even if you tried to portray Trump as some kind of mafia don, Schiff would be the mafia thug who delivers the threat.

          I think the Democrats are playing to an audience of eight-year olds who don’t understand any of the legal terms being bandied about. For example, Nancy is claiming that Trump is guilty of bribery and today I was surprised to hear a pundit imply that the bribery was paid to Trump instead of by Trump. A competent prosecutor would at least have decided who was the briber and who was the bribee, but then this is a clown show, not a real hearing.

          The bribery case is also of course lacking any evidence of a transfer of money, unlike the bank transfers from Burisma to Biden and Kerry via a bank in Latvia which is providing the records. I have no idea whether the Latvians have some beef with former Ukrainian officials, or whether they just don’t want to be tarred as some dark entity favored by corrupt politicians, but reporter John Solomon is getting copies of the money transfers. Those are what a court considers as actual evidence of criminal activity.Report

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