Russ White MUG

Game of Thrones has captured the fancy of the American viewing public as nothing has in a generation. The novels that spawned the series have now sold more than 90 million copies worldwide.

If not for the production of the series, those numbers might not have been nearly so impressive. Publishers originally hoped they would sell 5,000 hardcover editions and maybe 50,000 in paperback.

The same has been true throughout the history of television and movies. A generation ago, Alex Haley penned the classic saga of an American family — Roots. The novel spent 42 weeks on the bestseller list, selling 1.5 million copies. When made into a TV miniseries, an estimated 130 million viewers watched Roots.

The same for Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. Published in 1936, it was America’s top seller in 1938 and 1939, selling more than 176,000 copies. Then the movie came out and was viewed by untold millions, becoming the most successful film in box-office history, a distinction it still holds.

The pretender we have holding the office of president at the current moment has been successful at one singular thing in his misbegotten life: being a fake reality-TV celebrity. He understands the power of television to shape public attitudes.

Knowing these things, his blatant, in-public, obstruction of Congress in their efforts to hold hearings on the Mueller report is understandable. Not justifiable or legitimate, but understandable nonetheless.

Robert Mueller’s Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election is currently a bestseller. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 copies have been sold.

It is estimated that less than 1 percent of the American public will read the report. Sadly, most Americans appear to be willing to let other people tell them what to think about the report rather than to read it themselves.

For now, there are competing narratives on what is in the report, one side accurate, and one side not. Televised hearings would cure that discrepancy, and that is why the president and his team are struggling so ferociously to prevent that.

When the impeachment inquiry into the Watergate scandal opened, only 11 percent of the American public supported the impeachment of Richard Nixon. As the truth came out during the House hearings on the matter, that number had grown to 72 percent by the time he resigned.

The truth is in the Mueller report. We need to see open hearings.

— White, a retired fire services chief in South Florida, lives in Orange City. Send email to info@beacononlinenews.com.