It’s time to Make Cable News Great Again. Just when we start hearing cable news is a dying model, about as relevant as newspapers, here we go – a political trial-athon.
The hipsters getting their news from social media and podcasts might join the boomers on the sofa if the political courtroom dramas become too enticing.
Watching Trials Could Unite the Country
President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, will reportedly be indicted by the end of September. If so, he’s likely to go to trial – maybe sometime in 2024, when former President Donald Trump faces four criminal trials, and the President could be on trial before the U.S. Senate if he’s impeached in the House.
Back in the day, when CNN was the only cable news channel, they thrived on ratings from gavel-to-gavel coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial. A few years later, Fox News displaced CNN as the top cable news outlet with its breathless coverage of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, which concluded in an impeachment trial.
Hunting for Answers
With the Hunter Biden indictment, Special Counsel David Weiss might see a chance to salvage his reputation in the legal community. As simply a Delaware U.S. Attorney, he offered the president’s son an absurd plea deal. But the deal fell apart in federal court when a judge asked too many questions.
IRS whistleblowers told Congressional committees that Weiss botched the investigation and wouldn’t follow up on matters leading to “The Big Guy” Joe Biden.
The public recoiled when Attorney General Merrick Garland named Weiss as a special counsel. Why him of all people, after that monstrosity of a deal?
But Weiss already humiliated himself once. Weiss might very well choose to conduct a real investigation that will follow the money wherever it leads if he cares more about restoring his reputation than about ensuring an A-list lobbying job after government service. In doing so, he could turn the political scene upside down, both in Congress and in the 2024 presidential race.
Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard a Hunter indictment is just around the corner for more than a year. But after Hunter turned down the sweetheart deal, Weiss isn’t likely to cut another deal. That means a Hunter trial that could occur within weeks of one of Trump’s four trials. The felony tax and gun charges are reportedly going to extend beyond Delaware and into D.C. and California.
It’s certainly possible a prosecution could short-circuit the potential House Republican impeachment inquiry. It might well put more documents and witnesses in the realm of a criminal investigation that Congress can’t currently see.
Hunter’s Indiscretions Cold Have Presidential Implications
Conversely, it could strengthen the GOP’s hand in a potential House impeachment investigation. In a special counsel status, Weiss will eventually have to issue a report and testify to Congress. But there is always the chance that the Biden Justice Department could slow-walk the probe.
Then who knows what comes out in a Hunter trial? As we now know, Hunter’s lawyers played hardball with the prosecutors and threatened to put Joe Biden on the witness stand for his son. Who trusts Joe Biden under oath?
Donald Trump’s Trials Will Bring Courtroom Drama
Trump’s Georgia case is likely to be televised, sort of like the old O.J. trial–or the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard divorce case if you’re looking for a more recent frame of reference. There have been many other crazy real-life courtroom dramas.
Trump’s two federal trials and New York cases are not likely to be on live TV. Hunter’s also in federal court, so his case won’t likely be televised either. Still, all these trials will get massive coverage.
And if “The Big Guy” is impeached in the House, a Senate Trial could provide some nice counterprogramming to all these trials.
Will 2024 be a year of split-screen political trials? It could be just the key to Make Cable News Great Again.
Barbara Joanna Lucas is a writer and researcher in Northern Virginia. She has been a healthcare professional, political blogger, is a proud dog mom, and news junkie. Follow her on Twitter @BasiaJL.