It seems to some members of the media, impeachment is no longer about right and wrong, legal versus illegal. It’s about watchable versus unwatchable, enthralling and fun versus dusty and dry.
I wonder whether this is where hundreds of channels, dozens of streaming services and the internet have ultimately left us. In a world where there’s news breaking on social media every one-thousandth of a second, and you can hit ‘refresh’ all day long, is it too much to expect that voters will spend hours listening to sober civil servants with complicated stories and pocket squares?
Is it that President Trump, our clickbait leader, has trained us to expect daily drama, taking advantage of our natural affinity for the sizzle rather than the steak?
Or is it that after three years of almost daily revelations about porn-star payoffs, murdered Washington Post columnists, Russian back channels, WikiLeaks dumps, Charlottesville news conferences, mass shootings and Rudy Giuliani, the bar for what makes us pay attention has been ratcheted so high that something has to be absolutely bananas to clear it? And that we the people need daily plot twists and weekly cliffhangers in order to care?