North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has gained a lot of headlines in recent weeks, and people are noticing.

Like her or not, Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) has become central to the impeachment process directed toward President Donald Trump by virtue of her position on the House Intelligence Committee.

She is participating in the process, and asking questions of key witnesses and holding post-hearing news conferences.

She is one of the key members of the minority presence on the committee.

The cameras and microphones are on her, and people across the country are getting to know her name.

The anti-Stefanik crowd does not like the way she has been conducting herself during the hearings, saying she is nothing but a shill for the president, whom they abhor, and is defending his poor behavior at all costs.

They shout loudly that she is on the wrong side of history.

The pro-Stefanik crowd cheer her for her steadfast defense of the president, unafraid to expose the blatant partisanship of the Democrats' impeachment efforts.

The impact of the hearings is reverberating throughout the 12-county district from Watertown to Plattsburgh to Saranac Lake to Glens Falls.

Stefanik's potential opponent in the 2020 election, Democrat Tedra Cobb, has benefited from the hearing fallout.

Her campaign reported that it raised more than $1 million last weekend as anti-Trump, and now anti-Stefanik, followers reacted en masse with donations.

Stefanik's camp reacted just as strongly, claiming they, too, had benefited in the fundraising arena, and that the congresswoman, now in her third term, has raised her profile significantly.

The president even called her a rising star in the party.

And of course, the whole situation has become a hot mess on Twitter, which is most unfortunate.

Experience tells us that nobody ever "wins" a Twitter war, making us wonder why incumbents and candidates even bother to jump in that mud.

The media has also come under fire for our reporting on the hearings.

There have been complaints that Stefanik has gotten way too much coverage from this publication.

Our explanation is quite simple: She is a key player in this story and, therefore, she will get more coverage than the representative from New York 21 normally gets, locally, regionally and nationally.

We can't help that she is on the House Intelligence Committee.

We can deliver what Stefanik says and does, and let readers decide for themselves how they feel.

To accuse us or any media outlet of favoritism toward Stefanik because we run photographs of her on the front page is quite misguided.

We will keep following these proceedings and report on them as they unfold, including Stefanik's actions.

We will also carry on in our coverage of the impact this situation is having on the NY-21 race, and how Cobb's campaign is reacting.

And we will continue to offer independent analysis of the news as we have done so.

As for what plays out on Twitter, we can't control that, and would urge readers to take into consideration the emotions and context behind especially dramatic tweets.


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