WEDNESDAY, JULY 13, 2022
...concerning those rather brisk edits: A year or so back, the Washington Post added midwestern conservative Gary Abernathy to its roster of pundits.
We rarely agree with Abernathy. That said, here's his report card for Donald J. Trump, as seen in his latest column:
ABERNATHY (7/13/22): By insisting against all credible evidence that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent, President Donald Trump incited the Capitol riot, dangerously directed his anger toward his own vice president and, most damning of all, refused to participate in the peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 20, 2021.
Credit where due! Abernathy charges Donald J. Trump with insisting on a ridiculous claim; with inciting the Capitol riot; with putting Mike Pence's safety in danger' and with refusing to participate in the peaceful transfer of power.
We're not sure why the last of the four offenses is rated as the worst. But Abernathy can't exactly be accused of going easy on Trump.
Abernathy offers this assessment as part of a larger claim, in which he says that the January 6 committee hasn't turned up anything much that's new. Most specifically, "the effort to connect Trump to some grand conspiracy involving a shadowy network of fanatical backyard warriors and armchair militants is a bridge too far."
Or so Abernathy says.
Abernathy is referring to groups like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. In our view, the committee hasn't exactly made the link between Trump and those violent groups, but we're waiting to see if stronger evidence of some such pre-planning might surface.
In truth, we were most struck by a comment Abernathy made in his column about one aspect of the committee's work. This paragraph features a fairly silly complaint, followed by an observation we ourselves have made:
ABERNATHY: Of all the Trump tweets and sound bites routinely rolled out by the committee, it’s revealing that this part of Trump’s address to the Ellipse crowd on Jan. 6, 2021, is never presented: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” On Tuesday, Trump’s replayed remarks were abruptly clipped just before he delivered that line once again. Why? Because Trump’s call to march peacefully to the Capitol undermines the narrative. Likewise, the sloppily edited video testimony of others is suspiciously clipped, sometimes midsentence. Someday, it will be informative to watch it in toto.
Should the committee play the (one) part of Trump's speech where he told his acolytes that they should proceed "peacefully?"
Not necessarily, no. But we've been struck, as Abernathy has, by the way some bits of videotape have been (perhaps) "suspiciously clipped, sometimes midsentence." Like Abernathy, we have occasionally wondered how the statements in question might seem if viewed in their wider context.
(It has seemed to us that Ivanka Trump has been "quick-edited" a couple of times. It's surprising to us that the committee hasn't released transcripts of the wider contexts.)
Years ago, this sort of abrupt, mid-sentence clip was known as "the Maddow edit." We were surprised to learn that Abernathy has reacted this way, as we have, to some of the committee's clips.