Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney was the only senator this week to buck his party on impeachment, switching sides to convict President Donald Trump on one of the two counts in the Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday.
Since the vote, Romney has been predictably hailed as a hero in the press, an independent arbiter of truth unafraid to take a courageous and principled stand against power within his own party.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 6, 2020
“It is so rare to see someone take a stand the way Mitt Romney did. It deserves to be seen,” CNN’s Don Lemon said, going on to wonder if there is “still a place, for that kind of person, that kind of character, that kind of stature in America’s politics.”
Brooke Baldwin, another CNN anchor, was also in awe of Romney’s incredulous grandstanding.
“Wow, that was extraordinary. That was a moment we haven’t seen very often from a member of the U.S. government,” Baldwin said. “That was pure honesty and emotion from Mitt Romney.”
“How Romney’s Vote To Convict Trump Paid Homage To His Rabble-Rousing Republican Father,” read a news headline in the Washington Post.
Flashback to December, when two members of the House broke with Democrats to vote in opposition to impeachment. Democratic Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey rejected their party’s impeachment inquiry in October and voted to oppose the articles on the House floor in December.
Contrary to Romney’s treatment in the corporate media, which played a pivotal role in perpetuating Russiagate 2.0 itself, Peterson and Van Drew saw no such treatment. The headlines were glaringly boring.
“These Were The Only Two Democrats To Vote Against The Trump Impeachment Inquiry Resolution,” said a CBS headline.
“House Democrat Says He Plans To Vote Against All Articles Of Impeachment,” headlined CNN.
When Van Drew ended up officially switching parties to Republican over the issue, the media said Van Drew was turning his back on Democrats.
“Rep. Jeff Van Drew Will Abandon The Democratic Party While The House Votes To Impeach President Donald Trump,” read a headline in BuzzFeed News.
“Jeff Van Drew’s Party Switch Underscores The Particularly Partisan Impeachment Of Trump,” blasted the Washington Post.
“Another Democrat, Wooed By Republicans, Likely To Oppose Impeachment,” wrote Newsweek.
There was no coverage of heroism from Van Drew or Peterson coming from the mainstream media in their act of defiance.
The episode showcases a common double-standard practiced in the mainstream media today, where practicing bipartisanship only makes one a principled public servant if it plays into the media narrative. It’s clear that simply switching parties on a major issue only makes one a hero if it hurts Republicans.