The graphic footage shown Wednesday "was horrible, but it was also horribly necessary," says James Poniewozik. "Sometimes the horror was in seeing how much worse it could have been. New security camera footage showed Eugene Goodman, the Capitol Police officer hailed for his heroism during the assault, rushing down a hall and turning around Senator Mitt Romney — an outspoken Trump critic and plausible target of the mob — from walking down a hall toward attackers. Another silent video: Former Vice President Mike Pence is hustled down a stairwell with his family, as we’re reminded that mob members had chanted for his death. Another: Staffers of Speaker Nancy Pelosi rush to barricade themselves in an office; minutes later the hallway swarms with attackers, one of whom tries to smash down the door before giving up. Through it all, an onscreen graphic showed the mob as a red dot inching into the heart of the Capitol. Over and over, we may have been a short sprint, a piece of wood, a wrong turn away from a massacre. We saw the attack the day it happened, of course. We saw more of it in the days after. But we’d never seen it so completely, so sweepingly. What the impeachment managers put together wasn’t simply a deluge of shocking clips. It was a complex, edited narrative that moved us from one vantage point to another — Mr. Trump, the mob, the police, the fleeing lawmakers and staffers. The daylong arguments also had dramatic structure, including cliffhanger-like act breaks as the trial went into recesses....But there was also a larger, serial arc that laid out, over the course of months, the charge that Mr. Trump had primed his followers to believe he could lose the election only if it were rigged; that he cheered on violence in his name; that he publicized the Jan. 6 rally and targeted politicians — including his own vice president — in a series of increasingly furious tweets. All of this was an effort to use the tools of television — imagery, emotion, montage — to build a case against a president who was made by and obsessed with TV. After all, the managers need to argue not just that the Jan. 6 attack was horrible, but that Mr. Trump egged it on." ALSO: Jimmy Kimmel found Day 2 "absolutely gripping" after saying Day 1 was "boring and pointless."
TOPICS: Trump Presidency, Trump Impeachment Hearings