Right-wing media latch on to GOP hearing stunt to accuse Democrats of misogyny

Some right-wing media picked up a moment early Friday afternoon in the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry hearing when Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) refused to let ranking member Devin Nunes (R-CA) yield time to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), calling it “appalling” and claiming that “Schiff stifle[d]” her. In reality, this entire maneuver by the Republicans violated the rules of procedure that had been established for these hearings.

FoxNews.com also used Nunes’ word — “gagging” — in a headline on its homepage, “‘Gagging’ the Gentlewoman,” and described the incident by saying Schiff “stifles” Stefanik, a word reminiscent of classic sitcom character Archie Bunker telling his wife Edith to be quiet.


But as others have explained, this was just a stunt — Republican members would know that according to the rules of the hearing, only the chair, ranking member, and their respective staff counsels could ask questions in this round. (Stefanik indeed got a turn to speak later, as did all the other junior members of the committee.)

And as others have also figured out, this exercise was probably intended to circulate the idea that Democrats are bullying a Republican woman on the committee.

And, we might add, this was happening at the same time that the main witness at today’s hearing, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, was testifying about being subjected to her own right-wing smear campaign.