Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) says the way to win in court is to successfully frame the narrative of the case, telling The Houston Chronicle his goal is to make his narrative the answer a judge gives when questioned what he did at work that day.
“When the judge or justice went home that night and his or her 5-year-old grandson said, ‘What’d you do at work today, papa?’ I wanted to own that next sentence.”
“If I could own that sentence … you’ve won the case,” Cruz said, explaining that being a trial attorney is all about “framing the narrative.”
Cruz, a rather talented user of new media like Twitter, has decided to leverage his skill at framing the narrative and pair it with one of the most popular forms of new media, utilizing a digital narrative-framing tool to tell the story of the impeachment of Donald Trump, straight from the lion’s den of the Senate, as it were.
He’s started a podcast. It’s called “Verdict with Ted Cruz.” And it’s really good.
Subscribe and watch/listen now on:
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 22, 2020
In roughly 30 minute segments, give or take, every evening following the impeachment proceedings of the day, Cruz records his thoughts on what happened as a way to demystify impeachment for the general public. His interviewer is the talented-in-his-own-right Michael Knowles, who currently has his own eponymous show at The Daily Wire, and who brings a little levity and laughter to what might otherwise be a boring podcast about Congressional procedure.
But Cruz is pretty funny, too, and has an almost “if you can believe it, this is what’s going on” vibe on every show that is — for those who may see impeachment as a bit of a farce — instantly relatable.
And obviously so because “Verdict” has already been downloaded 500,000 times by the Senator’s own staff accounting, and has pushed Joe Rogan’s extremely popular “The Joe Rogan Experience” out of the number one spot on iTunes.
Knowles says it’s very simple why the show has struck a chord so quickly: because Cruz and Knowles harbor no condescension for the listeners, despite the fairly esoteric subject matter.
“People are a lot smarter than they get credit for,” Knowles says. “I think the show has been such a hit because Americans are eager to engage with what’s happening in their government—they want to go deeper than five-minute soundbites and shallow talking points.”
And the popularity is also likely due to a combination of Americans being curious about what’s exactly happening with impeachment but having neither the time nor desire to tune in for 12 hours every day; and the fact that Cruz is doing a bit of inside baseball analysis and describing some of the things that humanize his colleagues. Like talking about how they’re nodding off at times, or describing the anxiety he believes might be plaguing Democrat Senators running for president as they itch to get back on the campaign trail.
In fact, Cruz’s podcast may be one answer to the disconnect Americans feel from their elected officials. The daily insights from “Verdict” seem already to be bridging a bit of that gap.
Cruz noted on a recent podcast that impeachment proceedings could be over by the end of this week, or — should the Senate vote to call witnesses — the trial could last for months.
Fortunately, Cruz and Knowles will be there at the end of every day (if they can keep that schedule up because that might be asking a lot) to break it down.
Do yourselves a favor and listen to the first episode. It’s a fair bet that you’ll want to hear more.