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Fox News’ Stirewalt: Maybe Congress Should ‘Take Television Away’ at Hearings, Members Keep ‘Preening for Cameras’

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After the last few weeks of impeachment hearings, Fox News’ Chris Stirewalt today said maybe Congress should just remove cameras and stop holding televised hearings because of how members grandstand to TV audiences.

Howard Kurtz spoke with Stirewalt and asked why the impeachment hearings don’t seem to have as much impact as hearings in the past.

Stirewalt pointed to media consumption as a reason why, saying it’s not as if people were watching the Army-McCarthy hearings live.

He also said everyone in Congress is “aiming for a soundbite-able moment.” Kurtz agreed and remarked, “It does seem like the speechifying and getting a viral clip often takes precedence over the grunt work of questioning the witnesses.”

“Do not tell our bosses that I said this, but cameras in Congress have been a failure,” Stirewalt responded. “Look, there are special circumstances where you might want to have cameras in for something… but the verdict of past 40 years that a televised Congress doesn’t make the work product better, it actually affects the way the members of Congress do their work because there’s the performative element to it. How much better would hearings be if they were not preeninng for cameras and instead doing the work?”

Kurtz asked why networks are taking basically the entirety of these hearings. Stirewalt said networks want to do the right thing before suggesting, “Take it away from the networks so they don’t have any choice. Do the right thing, Congress, take television away.”

You can watch above, via Fox News.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac