One of the Committee’s smartest moves has been prioritizing secrecy regarding who it will call as public witnesses and when. Surely, the Committee knows it is up against an entire GOP propaganda program designed to dull and degrade the impact of dramatic testimony. It was only late Friday night that Chris Stirewalt, the former Fox political editor, said that he would testify during the House January 6 committee’s next public hearing on Monday.
Stirewalt said during a NewsNation interview, “I am not in a position now to tell you what my testimony will be about.”
Fox News let Stirewalk go in January 2021 as part of what it called at the time “restructuring,” but Stirewalt has always maintained that it was because he was very critical of the network’s coverage of the election generally, and specifically that the network broadcasted lies in exchange for ratings. Fox broadcasted what its audience wanted to hear which also happened to be what the Trump administration wanted Fox viewers to hear.
The Committee has said that it will address how Trump spread his lies about the “rigged election” through the media, many believe that some critical and explosive testimony will come from Stirewalt, who is flying just below the radar.
Stirewalt may have a lot to unload as he has previously written in the LA Times (Via Deadline) that:
“Having been cosseted by self-validating coverage for so long, many Americans now consider any news that might suggest that they are in error or that their side has been defeated as an attack on them personally. The lie that Trump won the 2020 election wasn’t nearly as much aimed at the opposing party as it was at the news outlets that stated the obvious, incontrovertible fact.”
It is easy to sense the truth in the above statement. Trump behaved as though the loss invalidated his entire person and his followers adopted the same attitude. When media outlets reported that Trump lost the election, the MAGA movement took on the character of their leader. It was an attack intended to invalidate them as Americans and their place in this country. In response, Trump’s most aggressive followers, those involved on January 6th, called themselves “patriots.” One promoted the day as 1776. They fought back to claim their right to be American.
We also know from Mark Meadows’ texts, that Sean Hannity was in close consultation with Trump after the election and that Hannity was shaken by January 6th. During Thursday’s hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney read a text that Hannity sent to Kayleigh McEnany, who is now a Fox News contributor, in the aftermath of the Capitol attack.
“Sean Hannity wrote in part: ‘Key now, no more crazy people.’ ‘No more stolen election talk.’ ‘Yes, impeachment and 25th amendment are real, and many people will quit.’ Ms. McEnany responded in part: ‘Love that. That’s the playbook.’”
Cheney read the text on Thursday to prove that the White House knew that the election wasn’t stolen and plotted January 6th based on a lie. Similarly, Stirewalt may be about to light up Fox News executive suites in New York with testimony about what the network knew versus what it reported. Just as the White House knew it was pushing a lie in claiming the election was stolen or rigged, so – too, Fox News knew the election was entirely legitimate and yet played along in the name of ratings and its servile nature toward Trump and his administration. The result was January 6th, and Stirewalt knows it:
As Stirewalt has previously written in the LA Times piece:
“What tugs at my mind after seeing a mob of enthusiastic ignoramuses sack the Capitol, though, is whether that sophistication will come quickly enough when outlets have the means to cater to every unhealthy craving of their consumers.”
There is reason to believe that Stirewalt will testify about what tugged at his mind during the post-election period and what he knows regarding the coordination of coverage and plans leading up to January 6th. The Committee is giving Stirewalt a prominent position. It is not irresponsible to speculate that Stirewalt’s testimony may expose an ugly underbelly akin to “State Television,” shaking the network to its core by demonstrating that it is partly responsible for the only violent transition of power in the country’s history.
Jason Miciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, while also studying scientific philosophy, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.