Schumer: Fox News Is 'Deliberately Biased' and 'Leaves out Most of the Major Facts'

By Susan Jones | January 23, 2020 | 5:07am EST
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow he thinks the House impeachment managers, particularly Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), are doing "just an incredible, incredible job" in capturing the attention of Republicans, who "get snippets from Fox News."

CNN and MSNBC are all in for Trump's impeachment, finding fault with everything Trump says and does. On Thursday, for example, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" revelled in polls indicating that impeachment is working against Donald Trump.)

Yet Schumer blasted the cable network that advertises itself as "fair and balanced" and is known to give Trump credit occasionally.

Appearing on Maddow's set Wednesday night, MSNBC's Chris Hayes asked Schumer if there was any truth to (liberal) media reports that "a notable number of senators" are not in their seats for long stretches of time at the impeachment trial. "And I just wonder if you feel that the body is living up to the moment on both sides of the aisle, that there's a level of attentiveness and seriousness that you'd like to see.

"No," Schumer said, shooting down the reports Hayes mentioned:

I've rarely seen more than ten members out of their seats at a given time, and we've had all members there for most of the time. The attentiveness that most impresses me is the one I mentioned before, that I think might have the greatest impact, that a lot of our Republican colleagues who have never heard the whole story, have never heard a narrative and have gotten so much of their news from Fox News, which is so deliberately biased and leaves out most of the major facts, is really indicative.

So, no, I think the room is a very, very positive thing, and I was amazed. I look around and a lot of times admittedly the Republicans are sitting in their seats and they're to talk each other, or they're not looking, they don't want to look at it. When Schiff had his last 45 minutes, they were all glued to him, and that says something, I hope and think.

Schumer made two points about Schiff's "tour de force" speech on Wednesday:

One is, this is the first time many of our Republican colleagues have heard all the facts put together in a very cogent way. Most of them get the snippets from Fox News, which really doesn't tell much of the story at all, and they distort it. But here for the first time they saw the whole thing.

And when Schiff did his last half hour, his last 45 minutes, they were all intently looking at him. I look around, and most of the time they sort of don't want to hear the argument because of the pressure they're under to go along with Trump. Even though I think a good number of them know in their hearts that he's wrong and that Donald Trump did all the things that were laid out tonight.

But tonight they were rapt on him (Schiff). And you never know how this is going to work. Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump will do everything to prevent four people (Republicans) from joining us in our quest for witnesses and documents.

But with powerful speeches like Schiff, with Republicans hearing the whole narrative and the whole story for the first time, who knows what happens?

Schumer's second point was, "public pressure matters." Democrats are urging the American people to pressure the four wobbly Republicans (Collins, Murkowski, Romney and Gardner) to join Democrats in demanding witnesses and documents.

"I am very hopeful that what happened tonight will move the public and they will move some Republican senators in our direction," Schumer said.

"And it's going to be a process. Am I certain we'll succeed? Far from it. But do I think there's a chance if we keep at it? Yes," Schumer said.

"But if we don't and it's still apparent to the American public what an unfair trial this is, how they're so afraid of the evidence, it will make the value of an acquittal zero. And so either way, there's a good outcome.

"But obviously we prefer a fair trial and we'd hope that we can get four Republicans with everything that's happening to be for witnesses and documents. The fact that the public's with us, the fact that they're moving in that direction, may help push Republicans in that direction."

Schumer noted that Democrats have made "witnesses and documents the central issue" in the Senate trial -- documents and witnesses that the House, in its rush, did not obtain.

"We've won over, as you mentioned, a majority of the American people. And if we keep pushing and fighting, we may have a chance to actually get them (the four Republicans). I'm not certain. I wouldn't bet all the house on it. But I won't say for sure it's not going to happen either."


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