Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie has our racing forum for today:
HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT …
— DEMOCRATS tell us that they will have her detail the political retribution she experienced at the hands of RUDY GIULIANI and his cadre of aides and advisers. In Democrats’ telling, YOVANOVITCH was totally screwed. She was a well-respected, 33-year veteran of the State Department, where she has served as an ambassador under George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump in far-flung locales like Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Ukraine.
She was an official who fought corruption wherever she went, Democrats will say. Until one day, she started hearing rumblings that GIULIANI was looking to get her canned. What did she hear from Ukrainians as she was being pushed out the door? And what did she hear from the administration — for example, when she was told to get on a flight at 1 a.m. because she was in danger? This removal, Democrats will say, was the precursor to what they consider the improper behavior by President DONALD TRUMP. YOVANOVITCH was fired for doing her job, Dems say.
— REPUBLICANS are already saying that YOVANOVITCH is a sideshow. Yovanovitch, they say, was not in Kyiv for any of the time when TRUMP was alleged to have been trying to hold up military aid for an investigation into the Bidens. They’ll also say TRUMP is well within his rights to fire ambassadors whenever he pleases.
CHALLENGES FOR BOTH … DEMOCRATS need to keep the line moving, as they say in baseball. New revelations, new details, new color. Networks are still planning to take this live — and the cables all will, too — so the lights are still bright. REPUBLICANS, to put it bluntly, can’t look like they’re whacking a career Foreign Service officer — who happens to be female. Republicans have one woman on Intel. So they tell us they have to be exceedingly careful to not look as if they are ganging up on her.
Capitol Hill insider gossip mavens writing Axios morning email thingie is going long with our li’l buddy Eric Trump that the Wednesday hearing was a snooze fest:
New data about impeachment’s opening hearing shows the difficulty Democrats face in capturing attention in a nation that has grown numb to the Trump era’s constant political drama, Axios’ Neal Rothschild and Sara Fischer write.
- Wednesday’s hearing generated middling viewer interest compared with blockbuster hearings of the past three years.
- Why it matters: Democrats are banking on the hearings’ spectacle to move independents and Republicans in favor of impeachment.
Day One’s 13.8 million live TV viewers (not counting streaming and other online services) fell short of James Comey’s testimony in June 2017 (19.5 million) … the Christine Blasey Ford/Brett Kavanaugh hearing in September 2018 (20 million) … or the Michael Cohen hearing in February (16 million).
- On social media, Wednesday’s opening day generated 7 million interactions (likes, shares, comments), per analytics company NewsWhip.
- That’s higher than the 6 million interactions for Comey coverage on the day he testified, but shy of 8 million for Robert Mueller’s testimony — and way below the 18 million for the Kavanaugh/Ford hearing.
P.S. Fox News was the most popular network for hearing coverage, with 2.9 million viewers — the network’s third most-watched day of the year.
- MSNBC was second with 2.69 million, ABC had 2.01 million, CBS had 1.97 million, CNN had 1.84 million and NBC had 1.68 million. (Nielsen via AP)
Expect our ratings-analyst-in-Chief to start bragging about his Apprentice ratings. Again.