After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her intention to open an impeachment inquiry in response to evidence that President Donald Trump tried to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, several mainstream outlets reacted predictably: They ran stories with terribly flawed headlines.
Following Pelosi’s announcement, some outlets framed stories with headlines that warned that impeachment could backfire on Democrats -- focusing the story on politics instead of the corruption at its core. A featured story on the Reuters home page Wednesday morning urged Democrats to “be careful what you wish for.” Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal ran similar headlines, framing impeachment as a political risk for Democrats, and ABC News centered the headline of one story on why Trump’s Ukraine scandal could be “potentially politically perilous for Biden.” Meanwhile, the banner headline on the The New York Times' home page on Wednesday morning called impeachment a “high-stakes showdown for both sides.”
CNN tweeted that Pelosi may have “acted too soon” to open the impeachment inquiry, which again treats the issue as a political calculation instead of a duty to carry out. CNN wasn’t the only outlet guilty of using such language. There was no shortage of tweets and headlines that accused Democrats of taking the “plunge into politics of impeachment” or abdicating their duty as legislators as they oversee the possible “derailment of congressional agenda,” as headlines at The Hill stated. (However much the House may slow a “congressional agenda,” it will be nothing compared to the obstruction already coming from the Senate that has yet to act on over 230 bills the House has passed this term.)