CNN anchor Chris Wallace extinguished hope that partisan hearings about the Jan. 6 riot at the United States Capitol will end with substantive results that prove hyperbolic claims.
What did Wallace say?
Speaking on CNN prior to the first hearing Thursday night, Wallace voiced skepticism about the trajectory of the hearings.
To support his skepticism, Wallace — the former Fox News anchor who left the network for the now-defunct CNN+ — cited "overselling" by lawmakers on the House Jan. 6 committee and the hiring of a former ABC News executive to produce the hearings for TV.
"First of all I think the committee has fallen prey to terrible hype, terrible overselling," Wallace explained. "You've got Jamie Raskin, one of the members of the committee saying this is going to blow the roof off the house. You've got Adam Kinzinger saying it's going to change history.
"Secondly, they have gotten the former president of ABC News Jim Goldston to produce this made-for-TV event," he added. "I think that's a bad look both for the committee and mainstream media to seem that they’re hand-in-glove with each other."
Considering Jan. 6 happened 18 months ago, Wallace said he believes most Americans have already made up their minds about the events that day and the 2020 election, thus few Americans will be persuaded by the hearings.
"Do I think that something is going to happen tonight that is going to change that dramatically? I'm skeptical," Wallace said.
After the first hearing concluded, Wallace reiterated that nothing he saw — none of the earth-shattering evidence the committee promised — convinced him the hearings will shift Americans' opinions about Jan. 6.
"It was a very powerful, a very well produced, if you will, two-hour presentation — I still have questions," Wallace reacted.
"If you were horrified by the events of Jan. 6 and what we've learned since, you were certainly horrified by what you saw," he explained. "If you haven't been convinced of that in the last year and a half, I'm not sure if this or anything will change your mind."