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ABC Producer Stages January 6th Committee

ABC Producer Stages January 6th Committee

If the public meetings of the January 6th Committee looked more like a tightly scripted television serial than a traditional legislative hearing, that is because it was.  It was nothing less than a political propaganda performance crafted by a television producer.

In an unprecedented move, the January 6th Committee hired a chap named James Goldston – the former president of ABC Television News and producer for “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.”  (Another example of the disturbingly close ties between media and the political world).

According to an unnamed Committee Source, Goldston was hired “to bring its news-gathering and storytelling skills to create a dramatic nightly presentation about the attack on the Capitol.”

In an article in The Wrap, Brandon Katz writes that his source said that “previously unseen footage of the attack, produced packages and other tools, will be leveraged to make the hearings compelling, rather than just a series of witnesses.”  In other words, crafted propaganda.

The idea of turning a traditional legislative hearing into a documentary was consistent with the Committee’s mission to prosecute the case against Trump.  What Goldston did for the Committee was to connect the Committee’s goal with a format designed to enhance its salesmanship.

The selection of material, evidence, and testimony parceled out to the public was crafted by Goldston for maximum impact.  Each public session of the Committee was prearranged as a docudrama – a concocted reality show.  Information presented or withheld for ascending impact.

In hiring Goldston, the Committee resorted to the basic tools of propaganda to give its preconceived narrative greater public impact.  Unlike most congressional hearings, this one was carried by the networks as if it was regularly scheduled programming – the latest installment in hyperbolic insurrection narrative.

Even the media reviews of the January 6th Committee television mini-series sound like movie hype – “dramatic” … “blockbuster” … “sensational” … “gripping”.

The January 6th Committee broke a lot of important traditions – Pelosi first banning members appointed by the GOP … then appointing Republican false flaggers … mandating the one-sided Committee with a specific outcome — and overtly utilizing media propaganda techniques and tools to create a public production.  

Apart from the events of January 6, 2021 – or the merits or accusations of criminality — the Committee has been a corruption of the legislative process in its brutal partisanship.  Turning the legislative hearing process into a stark partisan infomercial is bound to have repercussions in the future.  

It is one thing to televise a hearing, but quite another when it is scripted and rehearsed — and the legislators turned into actors literally playing assigned parts from the prepared script.  

The only thing missing was the “Produced and directed by James Goldston” at the conclusion of each performance.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

32 Comments

  1. JR

    I wonder how much of our tax dollar’s were spent for this theatre…? How can anyone associated with this be trusted ever, as this was scripted intentional deception for political purposes.
    At best ethics charges and censorship are warranted, but the waste of federal money is real and can easily be shown as intentional. I suspect criminal charges could easily be levied.

  2. frank stetson

    whine on, whine on, partisan son……..

    now you’re upset that they got a decent producer? that they made the tv productions as if made-for-tv? that they changed the very format that is a Senate Investigation?

    let me guess, you guys are going to boycott such behavior? I mean Trump’s twitter blitz was not four years of carnival-barking-propaganda? And unlike the 1/6 committee, not testimony of Republicans under oath, but Don-spew full of…..lies. Proven lies. Over and over. Thousands of them. Tens of thousands of them.

    And you’re crying about stage-crafting?

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

    • pcwalt

      Fine. (Here we go again!) List your “best of the best” lies. Not what anybody *says* he said, but quoting what he said, and giving the source.

      • Frank stetson

        Wapo has the entire database with all the info you requested.

        • pcwalt

          You are missing my point. You have surely curated it by now and know what the most damning and “dead to rights” lies are. Shoot your *BEST*.

        • pcwalt

          That is, either you are missing the point, or deliberately ignoring it.

    • Florida Phil

      “frank stetson”: I’m still waiting to see if you’re at all capable of stating anything worthy of the electrons used in your diatribes. PHHHTTT! Not yet, and I really don’t expect that to change as you age and your mind grows even more feeble with each passing second…

  3. Artie

    Wow, went right over your head…..

  4. Tom

    Well certainly not many of us knew that these Select Committee (SC) hearings were professionally produced. While traditional committee hearings (I remember the Watergate Hearings) do tend to be a bit boring, they can be informative if you can stay awake long enough. So I am not sure that hiring a professional producer to storyboard the choreography and production of the hearings is a bad thing.

    I think the real issue here is not a professional producer but rather, what is the intent behind such a production. As NY Times says, “Mr. Goldston’s challenge was to combine live witnesses, new evidence and video footage of people close to Mr. Trump testifying, like Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and assemble it all into compelling viewing that will drive home the gravity of the former president’s role in stoking an attack on a coequal branch of government.” Mr. Goldston did an excellent job! His intention of telling a story was well accomplished.

    But I think Americans are smart enough to realize other intentions or “hidden agendas” of the real purpose of the SC – which was stated by several Democrats.

    1) No doubt, Democrats were at a political low point and needed to recapture voter attention, and what better way to do it than a great reality tv show about the reality tv show king Trump! Border going wrong, economy in the toilet, inflation, Hunter Biden, Woke-ism, all needed something bigger to distract voters attention. What could possibly do it better than a reality real time SC tv show about Trump-ism and MAGA-ism in response to their “Fear of the coming Red Wave! ”

    2) Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, the Democratic campaign chair agenda to show Republicans as the nasty power hungry demons that just want to steal your vote and get all of the power for themselves.

    3) Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, said on Twitter that the hearings would “fully expose the cult’s extreme effort to overthrow the U.S. government.”

    Oh my how far we have strayed in fifty years from the Watergate Hearings of old, and the Frost/Nixon television interviews when the agenda was to “know the real truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

    While I do still maintain that the information we got from the SC hearings is good information, I also still maintain the concern that the story told was very one-sided, and that the story masterfully side-stepped important issues such as Nancy Pelosi not preparing the capital despite warnings, Mayor of DC refusing National Guard despite warnings, DOJ/FBI infiltration and cooperation with insurgency groups, FBI infiltrators never named or asked to witness, pipe bombs unexplained and no suspect when there was video footage (leads me to think the FBI already knew who it was), etc.

    Perhaps the GOP needs to hire a Goldston of their own, and now that they control the Congress, form their own SC and make a reality storyboard and segmented show of their own so that Americans will know the other side of the story. Then lets dig up another David Frost (UK producers are bound by government rules on truth in journalism and can be punished for publishing lies) and have him or her put together a composite movie of the real story behind Jan6th – When the Melting Pot Boiled Over”!!! .

    • Tom

      And if I have my choice between watching endless boring impeachment hearings or watching a GOP produced version of what happened on Jan 6th and how the Democrats facilitated the “meeting/party/protest/riot/insurrection”, I would definitely want to watch the GOP flick, and hope it would provide details of how the election was stolen along with all of my other questions being answered.

      • frank stetson

        Can’t wait for GOP version; I am sure Larry and Joe have all the ammo needed……he said sarcastically.

        As you “all the truth…” versus professional-producer-spun” TV show lament, remember, the complete transcripts are online and viewable by the public; even Larry.

        We will be waiting for him to ferret out the propaganda from the produced versus the full transcript.

        And he can even pose those all to important Republication adversarial questions that would blow the partisan lid right off this thing the right way, with facts instead of feckless allegations.

        • Tom

          As an Independent, you will find that my desire is to hear both sides and determine for myself what the truth really is. And we all know how power the truth when properly scripted can be weaponized to tell only one side of the story – which in my view is the thrust of Larry’s piece. The complete transcripts are on line, yes true – these are the transcripts to one side of the story which I already watched on tv. There is another whole side of the story that has not come out. There are testimonies that are not in the transcripts that may reveal the other side. As I previously stated, I believe the testimony given during the Dem Select Committee hearing was the truth from their perspective. And what one person may call feckless, another may call effectual. Even Pontius Pilate asked Jesus in his trial, “And what is Truth?”

          I am sensing much more to this Jan 6 story that what the hearings revealed. I am sensing a “cause and effect” relationship where the Select committee did a good job at documenting what happened that day “the effect” but did a very poor job at documenting the “root causes” of how this event was facilitated by what might have been the deliberate unpreparedness of the Speaker of the House in her harsh anti-GOP rhetoric, in the failure to ensure Capital security, the unpreparedness of a DC Mayor who refused National Guard troops, the weaponizing of the AG and FBI departments and the role they played in allowing and possibly assisting in the planning of this event, who were the FBI agents that infiltrated the insurgency groups and what were the FBI roles in those pre-event planning meetings, how extensive was the government culpability in this event, who made those pipe bombs and why can’t the FBI divulge who made them, or, why they cannot find them, and many more questions.

          It bewilders, shocks, and saddens me for our democracy that requires two party dialogue, that the person for which I am involved in this torrid blogosphere bromance does not wish to give equal footing to hearing both sides and is so gripped by partisanship so as to be willfully blinded to the truths of their own party that may have provided the undercurrents and willful derelictions of duties that facilitated events of that dreaded day!

          • frank stetson

            “the person….does not wish to give equal footing to hearing both sides and “the person….does not wish to give equal footing to hearing both sides and is so gripped by partisanship so as to be willfully blinded to the truths of their own party that may have provided the undercurrents and willful derelictions of duties that facilitated events of that dreaded day!”

            I’m sorry, have I actually said that recently? Ever?

            If you are demurring to my general tenor round here, let me remind you of what others have assumed: you are a right-leaning Independent, at best case. So yes, I am a liberal Democrat. All that stupid shit aside, the foundation of your argument cards is built upon quicksand.

            You seem to base your entire rant on the fact there are two sides to the story, two sides to almost any story, two sides that must be heard. Your two-sided opinion led to this actual response: “The Republican version will be the truth.” Like the Republican truth will obliterate the so-called Democratic version? How can that even possibly happen ever, much less in this specific case?

            There is only the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. In the end, highlander, there can be only one.
            Oh yes, that can change too :>) and there still will be only one truth; the new one.

            Point is there may be sides to a story, stories can change, be updated, use new facts, replace old facts, over time, but ultimately, there is just a single truth. The truth. At best, the “Republican version” will be a blend and the only question about the 1/6 version will be how much, if any, was wrong? I am guessing most of the facts will stand the test of time. Why? Because Republicans told us the story. In pictures and in words.
            Back on point about your “two sides to the story” faulty logic. If you think me wrong, ask yourself this most simple of questions which exposes your flaw: why two sides? (Especially strange coming from an Independent) Opens a whole new meaning to all truth when it MUST be us and them, and now, everyone else too.

            We may have an adversarial court system, but the truth is not an adversarial debate, it is the result of investigation, research, studies, tests, experiments, etc. Most often, there are not sides at all. There are not two sides to the Bible story, or facts.

            What you meant to say is that it was political and therefor both major parties need to be represented and Independents are not important even though they are the biggest party — still not perfect though.
            We may argue the facts, argue the “spin,” but you can’t argue the truth UNLESS you have new information. New facts. Politics does not matter, the truth matters.

            I would love to hear more facts. Different facts. Cross examination of facts by any relevant “sides.” I would love each of your questions to be investigated and probably can add an equal list in the exact same areas. Remember, from the beginning, I have been whining about the Republican-denied Senate version which was to be a 9/11 style, bipartisan, commission which would not have been as hamstrung as the House version. No Independent voice joined me.

            Remember too, this commission is artificially constrained by time and constitution. They knew early one that they had until January 1st, odds-on chance confirmed with each passing day. They knew it would immediately end, funds cut, and they would be disbanded. They were also constrained by McCarthy pulling his team off the field. I would love to see anyone take more time to investigate the issues you mentioned.

            Never said different.

          • frank stetson

            NOTE this: you got what you wanted. The committee may have been one-sided, the INVESTIGATION was heavily bipartisan. All those Republicans on video charging, attacking, beating, harming, destroying everyone and everything at the Capitol. You saw it live, you can view the video. All of those are Republicans telling you the Republican story of the day. You discount Cheney who is about as conservative as they come. That’s Trumpian unfair. Kinzinger is half-conservative. I think conservatives were represented, Trumpers were not.

            Second, Trumpers are not exactly quiet —- they’ve seen what’s been said and said little except getting personal and whining about form and format, not the facts presented. And much about facts not presented, true and made up ones. The never-shy crowd has demurred, and it’s not often I use that twice in a passage :>) Trumpers were also talking on video that day, either from the field as they rioted, insurrected, and the like as well as those participants testifying, under oath, in court, with our adversarial legal system in play and completely two-sided. All Republicans, their voices were heard. Lots of screams too. Screaming that they were lied to, they were instigated, all by a man called Trump.

            On your questions: same thing, have at it. Investigate them all. It’s your dime now. Can’t wait. However, wouldn’t you think if a Trumper could blow this out of the water, hit it right below the water line, sink the whole story, don’t you think it would already be all hands on deck, fire all guns? Do they appear to be a crowd that waits on court process versus trial by press? Where are they? In the words of the almighty Mikey in Rocky II: “what are we waiting for, take this!”

            Just saying, remember…

            I can go with all questions were partisan. But the answers were ALL REPUBLICAN. Do you really think somehow, based on the questions, that the Republicans totally lied and there is yet another Republican side? Really? I say you got what you wanted: a perfect partisan, bipartisan investigation. Just saying. Think about it. Pretty weird huh?

            Bottom line, and I keep saying this too. Investigate away. Faster, harder, more. Remember to get your professional producer, get the Wag The Dog guy…or Kevin Bacon. Bring in professional prosecutors, whatever. Everyone loves bacon. Gives me tremors. Be footloose and fancy free, but I would not expect Republican lawmakers being able to shake those Republicans without shunning all Democrats from their investigations. Tell you what, we will put up Omar and AOC for sacrifice :>) We just won’t pull our own team, your side will have to do that, or at least the one you lean towards on a regular basis.

            While the investigation team was mostly Democrat, there were Republicans. And almost every participant of that day that testified to the committee or in court papers, was Republican or Independent. Almost every person from the government that testified was Republican. It was a bi-partisan investigation in that Democrats questioned, and Republicans, a multitude of which were not compelled, but volunteered, responded with what Republicans thought was the truth. Bipartisan.

          • larry Horist

            Tom … It is not surprising that Stetson and Bruder are willing to opine that there is not two sides in every situation in which opinions are rendered — and especially where opinions are founded on preconceived biases and prejudices. In my opinion, to suggest that the Committee arrived at absolute truth or that there were two sides presented — as do Stetson and Bruder — is evidence of arrogance, intellectual dishonest and limited knowledge. Their reliance on ad hominin attacks and sophomoric sarcasm is further evidence.. If there is an absence of truth — or even seeking truth — it is found in their insipid responses. You and I do not always agree, but at least we debate at an adult level. When people think it is cleaver to mockingly alter a persons name — or assumes the thinking of another person — you know you are not dealing with rational people. You and I have both altered out opinions based on information provided by the other. Stetson and Bruder are both deeply embedded — and intellectually compromised — but their own admitted left-wing beliefs. Most progressive folks — and conservative folks — can discuss differences civilly and intelligently, But folks on the fringe — not so. I think that is why Stetson and Bruder get so pompous and nasty at the same time.

          • frank stetson

            Gee Larry, you completely left out:

            “Can’t wait for GOP version; I am sure Larry and Joe have all the ammo needed……he said sarcastically.”

            “I would love to hear more facts. Different facts. Cross examination of facts by any relevant “sides.” I would love each of your questions to be investigated and probably can add an equal list in the exact same areas. Remember, from the beginning, I have been whining about the Republican-denied Senate version which was to be a 9/11 style, bipartisan, commission which would not have been as hamstrung as the House version. No Independent voice joined me.”

            And more.

            Larry kvetches about ad hominin attacks visible only to him. If I call him Larry, he gets upset. So let me end with one he can easily reference now and forever: you are a whiney little political hack that can’t substantiate many of his lame arguments for love or money so must divert the discussion to the personal front where he attacks at will, often without cause. I said nothing bad about Larry, personally, in this passage up until this point. Big baby.

            “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

        • Miles collins

          The Republican version will be the truth

          • Nancy Murphy

            Frank and Tom have nothing better to do with their lives.

    • larry Horist

      Tom … As a discerning reader, you have understood that I never judged the culpability of Trump in most matters — although did say he is looking weak in the New York business cases and looks like a loser in the documents case. My recent commentaries ALL dealt with the danger of relying on one-sided information. The Committee has produced information, but nothing that warrants their criminal referrals. They are far from proving a criminal case — although that is what they claim they have done. That argument only works for folks with inadequate knowlege or excessive partisanship. If you are going to accuse someone of a crime, you should make damn sure you produce sufficient evidence that will hold up in court. Otherwise it is a form of slander. The purpose of my commentaries are not declare Trump Innocent ( as Joseph S. Bruder falsely contends), but to suggest caution against making a rush to judgment in the dangerous court-of-public-opinion. In my judgement, Joseph and Frank are looking for vigilante justice to satisfy their political prejudices.

      • Joseph S. Bruder

        Oh, puh-leez, Larry. You’ve been making excuses for Trump and the Republican Party for at least six years now… If you want to see what Republicans have become, look at today’s embarassment in the House. Explain THAT away…

  5. James P.

    Put on all the glitter you want, the J 6 Show was still a pile of steamy shit.

  6. Joseph S. Bruder

    A little late on this, aren’t you Larry? How about some current news, like how fucking incompetent the House Republicans are? That’s not new either, but at least it would include current events… I saw articles about Goldston being hired by the Committee back in June of last year.

    • larry Horist

      Joseph S Bruder … Are you under the impression that I write my commentaries for you personally? Perhaps you picked up on that very underreported fact. And I am not sure what you read was critical of that choice. The story becomes more compelling when you see the results of his work — not when they hired him. But the way your brain seems to work on anti-GOP spin, I doubt you really comprehended the reason for the article. I do not write for you because you are not educable. Ergo, your ankle-biter responses come in at the bottom of the intellectual scale, in my judgment.

      • Joseph S. Bruder

        You’re not giving your other readers much credit, telling them about “news” that is 6 months old. I guess time flies when you get to be your age…

        • larry Horist

          Joseph S Bruder …Again the empty childish insults — with at touch of ageism. I guess I will have to put you on the non-respond list for failure to hold an intelligent dialogue.

          • Joseph S. Bruder

            You never respond to me (or Frank) without at least a couple insults. Tit-for-tat.

    • pcwalt

      Maybe Larry was waiting to see whether the actual information of the hearings would be more significant than the presentation and staging, only to be gravely disappointed.

      • Joseph S. Bruder

        The disappointment is that the story was put together from the evidence gathered, told professionally so that any idiot can understand it, and they STILL don’t comprehend the magnitude of Trump’s crimes. If it was money wasted, it’s because brainwashed Trump cult members refuse to even look at the evidence. Too much cognitive dissonance.

        • pcwalt

          The overall point is that the whole thing was carefully crafted by people who had already decided that Trump was guilty. It was assembled with carefully edited video and carefully choreographed performances in order to “prove” that Trump was “guilty”. There was no presentation of the other side, no cross-examination. In fact, the testimony of Kash Patel (among others) was omitted from the report. Cognitive dissonance? Some people avoid cognitive dissonance by refusing even to *hear* the other side.

          • frank stetson

            Crafted, yes. Assumed guilty, maybe. Edited and choreographed, absolutely. Prove Trump guilty, well, thank you for that conclusion. Other side: the people testifying were ALL from the other side? The arrested testified. They were mostly Republican or Independents. There’s even video.

            Again, Patel IS in the report and his entire testimony, in it’s entirety is online.

            Tell us what this “other side” said that is so memorable that it should be in the report. Show us the money, show us the cash. From the Patel testimony, not the op ed pages of the right-wing blogosphere.

            Crickets?

  7. Randy

    “Crafted, yes. Assumed guilty, maybe. Edited and choreographed, absolutely. Prove Trump guilty, well, thank you for that conclusion.”

    Does that sound more like a fair proceeding to establish innocence or guilt, or a third-world paper proceeding to quickly punish without a fair trial?

    Your post should have ended with the above quote. Pretending, which is apparently the core of all your arguments, that the “Select January 6th Committee” wasn’t a planned and carefully executed political hit job is beyond belief. The Republican look into this and other bastardizations of justice by the democrats will be welcomed by the American people as – finally – an injection of sanity into the corrupt world that they, with the help of the MSM and an incompetent and equally corrupt Biden administration has forced upon us all..

  8. Big DippER

    It is amazing how many IDIOTS that are eat up with TDS and yet they are enambered by the Mumblinling, bumbling, senile 80 yr man who usually does not know where he is or what office he holds or who his VP is. Now, we see that JOEY had Hunter living with him and he had access to all the confidential files & that he had the habit of selling STUFF to the CCP!!

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