Anyone who woke up at 6 a.m. to watch the opening of the public impeachment hearings got kind of a boring start. The Democrat leading the way, Adam Schiff, gave a starchy opening statement, quoting that same Benjamin Franklin line that Nancy Pelosi keeps quoting ("A republic, if you can keep it"). His Republican counterpart on the House Intelligence Committee, perpetual dunce Devin Nunes, then gave an opening statement in which he asserted that this is really about Democrats wanting nude pics of Trump (not kidding).
Then George Kent, a diplomat in a yellow bow tie, gave his opening statement (full text here). He equated US supporting Ukraine to France supporting the US during the Revolutionary War. Then Kent's former boss, Bill Taylor, acting ambassador to Ukraine, in a teal necktie, gave his opening statement (full text here). He reiterated what Kent said about Ukraine needing our support, and repeated that he thought it was "crazy" to condition US military support on Ukraine digging up dirt on Joe Biden.
Even though Kent's and Taylor's opening statements clearly showed that they are principled and patriotic people who have worked with distinction for both Republican and Democrat presidents, and even though Kent and Taylor testified there is no truth to the conspiracy theories about the Bidens, Fox News filled the screen with confusing contradictory messages about... the Bidens.
When I flipped over to Fox News during Taylor's opening statement, I saw a little animated graphic along the bottom of the screen that said "Fox Facts." The facts were not about the history of impeachment, what the Constitution says about separation of powers, foreign interference in elections, or anything like that. They were conspiracy theory fodder about Hunter Biden's actions, Joe Biden's actions regarding Hunter, and the "perception of a conflict of interest" regarding Joe and Hunter Biden.
As Taylor was speaking, I snapped two pics of the "Fox Facts" I happened to catch before the screen changed again. They had nothing to do with what Taylor was talking about, as you can see:
But these screenshots weren't the half of it! Apparently while I had been watching MSNBC, Fox News had actually been airing White House talking points, superimposed on the screen, including Trump's unproven allegation that Bill Taylor is a Never Trumper. (CNN's fact check: "There's no proof diplomat Bill Taylor is a Never Trumper.")
Here's what MSNBC's screen looked like side-by-side with what Fox News's screen looked like:
As soon as Taylor's opening statement was over, Adam Schiff began to question the witness. MSNBC and CNN stayed live, because this was the very beginning of witnesses' testimony in a US presidential impeachment proceeding, and there have only been three other impeachment inquiries in the history of this country. The opening moments of that questioning were vital, historic, so MSNBC and CNN stayed live.
What did Fox News do? Instead of staying live, they immediately cut to a commercial break. It would be funny if it weren't so frightening.