CNN and MSNBC collectively used the word “impeach” nearly 200 times on Friday before the Special Counsel’s office disputed a bombshell report by BuzzFeed News.
According to a Daily Caller review of TV clipping service Grabien, personalities on CNN and MSNBC used the words “Impeach,” “Impeachment,” or “Impeachable,” 179 times.
The review included only original Friday programming and ran up until each network learned that BuzzFeed’s report was in dispute — shortly before 8 pm.
CNN mentioned impeachment 82 times while MSNBC mentioned it a whopping 97 times.
While some anchors and pundits hedged that the BuzzFeed story could only lead to impeachment proceedings “if true,” others repeated the story more uncritically and suggested that the president would be forced to resign and might even face obstruction of justice charges.
MSNBC’s Katy Tur, for example, stated at the top of her show that “Donald Trump is facing the most damming report to date for his presidency. A story that could lead to his impeachment.”
Both outlets also interviewed a number of Democratic congresspeople to get their thoughts on the possibility of impeachment of the president. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, for example, spoke to Democratic Rep. Jim Himes about the implications of the BuzzFeed report if it turned out to be verified, while MSNBC host Chris Matthews brought on Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu.
Matthews was perhaps the most eager cable television host to prop up BuzzFeed’s report, even insisting after the Special Counsel’s office’s statement that, “not accurate … it doesn’t mean it’s not true.”
BuzzFeed’s story, dependent on two anonymous sources, alleged that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was directed by President Donald Trump to lie about business deals in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign.
A spokesperson for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team disputed the crux of the report within 24 hours of its publication, stating, “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.” (RELATED: Mueller’s Office Disputes BuzzFeed’s Report)