CNN’s Michael Smerconish encourages Time Magazine to consider those who testified in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry hearings this week when weighing the options for “Person of the Year.”
During his Saturday show, “Smerconish,” the political analyst and host collectively called the witnesses “diplomats” who had to “put up with attacks,” including by “the president himself.”
Smerconish pointed out that there is plenty of precedent for groups to take home the title. Last year, Time honored Jamal Khashoggi, Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oo, Maria Ressa and the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Maryland, all of whom he calls “journalists who risked life and limb in pursuit of truth.”
“My choice is a group too,” he said. “I vote for ‘the diplomats’: William Taylor, George Kent, Marie Yovanovitch, Alexander Vindman, Jennifer Williams, Kurt Volker, Tim Morrison, Gordon Sondland, Laura Cooper, David Hale, Fiona Hill and David Holmes,” he said, listing those who testified before the House Intelligence Committee’s five days of public hearings.
“For these past two weeks of impeachment hearings, the nation was captivated by these civil servants who usually go about their jobs in anonymity, so that’s who gets my vote,” he explained, adding that they all “felt it was their patriotic and moral duty to come forward — some of them after being specifically directed not to — and reveal what they heard, saw and knew about the controversial policy actions regarding aid to the Ukraine. They had to put up with attacks from people with much more name recognition, including the president himself.”
Smerconish was right that the hearings “captivated” Americans: Across the five days of televised impeachment hearings, which featured all the diplomats he mentioned, millions of people tuned into all six major networks, bringing high ratings for cable and broadcast alike.