Let’s be honest about the Mueller hearings. Chances are that absolutely no one came away from them with a change of opinion, one way or the other, of President Trump or the investigation itself. Trump supporters say that the Democrats lost the day while his opponents will declare Republicans as the losers. There really is no middle ground left these days.
Hardest hit, from my perch, were the political pundits/reporters and Hollywood celebrities who were so sure that Mueller would deliver the goods for Democrats to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump. I sat through both committee hearings and my first thought was about Robert Mueller’s appearance and demeanor. I thought he looked tired and often confused. It is clear that he had little to do with writing the report and appears to have been little more than a figurehead. His team, heavily partisan, did the heavy lifting. Political pundits took note early on in the day.
Fox Sunday show host Chris Wallace, no Trump fan, declared the Mueller appearance as a disaster for the Democrats, as well as for Mueller himself.
“I think this has been a disaster for the Democrats, and I think it has been a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller,” Wallace gave his reaction to the hearing so far. “He has seemed very uncertain with his brief. He doesn’t seem to know things that are in the report. He has been attacked a number of times, and you would think that almost anybody else would have defended his own integrity and the integrity of the investigation.”
ABC News senior national correspondent Terry Moran said that impeachment is “over”.
“Impeachment’s over,” Moran said. “I don’t think Nancy Pelosi is going to stand for her members bringing forth something that is going to obviously lose in the Senate, lose with the American public and the problem with Mueller’s testimony on this issue is that he had to carry the ball for them whether he wanted to or not.”
Celebrities in the entertainment world were not happy. Bette Midler tore into Rep. Louis Gohmert’s voting record instead of commenting on Gohmert’s very effective questioning of Mr. Mueller. He doesn’t believe in climate change, you know, so he is not to be taken seriously, according to Midler. I don’t think climate change was within Mueller’s purview.
& drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. On a C-SPAN program on July 8, 2015, after Pope Francis issued his second encyclical Laudato si', Gohmert said Pope was wrong identifying climate change as a serious problem. Gohmert supported US withdrawal from Paris Agreement. UGH.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) July 24, 2019
Rob Reiner, a.k.a. Meathead, sounded in a near panic in a tweet he posted demanding that Speaker Pelosi give her nod of approval to impeachment hearings.
It is imperative: Congress must start an Impeachment Inquiry. This President colluded with a foreign enemy power to undermine our Democracy. Then Obstructed Justice to cover that up. Period. Speaker Pelosi, with all due respect, NO MORE FUCKING AROUND!
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) July 24, 2019
Jimmy Kimmel, like the other late-night show hosts, was aggravated about Mueller’s performance and incorporated a vulgar sex reference to make his point that President Trump is a lying liar. He pointed his finger at Republican lawmakers who questioned Mueller and blamed them for not “caring about the United States.”
“Those guys don’t care about the United States,” Kimmel continued. “It really was something watching them defend this president. Normally, when people fall on their knees for Trump like that, he pays them $130,000 in hush money.”
That joke was in reference to the money Trump’s ex-personal lawyer Michael Cohen paid during the 2016 election to pornstar Stormy Daniels, who alleged she had an affair with Trump years prior.
Jimmy Fallon, in contrast to Kimmel, used some light-hearted humor to poke fun at the hearings. “Mueller was questioned by 60 lawmakers for six hours. The only other time you get grilled like that is if you’re single at your family reunion.” “If you did a shot any time Mueller said, ‘I can’t answer that,’ you were blacked out by 10 a.m. ‘I’m getting redacted today, man.’” “Yeah, he’s like a Magic Eight Ball except, no matter how you shake him, he just says, ‘That’s not in my purview.’” You get the idea.
I’ll end this with a glimmer of hope on the late-night television show front. A new show will begin Monday night that will not revolve around trashing President Trump and his supporters. Gasp! Actor and SNL alumnus David Spade will be the host.
Comedian and sitcom actor David Spade is joining the battle for weeknight viewers with a new program entitled Lights Out beginning Monday night on Comedy Central in which he and his guests will “focus more on cultural events and some Hollywood stuff, weird stories in the news” and far less on the Republican occupant of the White House.
Spade acknowledges that when comedy turns viciously partisan, half of the show’s viewing audience may leave. He prefers a “good-natured” touch.
“Lights Out” will have a monologue, guests and field pieces, Spade says, but will likely focus more on talking to a panel about popular culture and digital happenings. He’s not even sure he will revive the celebrity put-downs that brought him a measure of fame on “SNL.” He will likely discuss “more cultural events and some Hollywood stuff, weird stories in the news,” he says, Sure, “I still like to make fun of everyone and what they are doing, but it’s more good-natured. I realize how hard careers are and I realize you don’t need someone overnight s—ting on you out of the blue. But when people do things, I think it’s fair game to make a few jokes, and then you move on – not too personal, of course.”
His approach may be a welcome alternative for those who no longer bother to watch late-night talk shows.