Well, of course it did. A new study finds that the “big three” broadcast networks went wild over House impeachment hearings directed at President Trump — but they selectively ignored significant proceedings associated with former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment in 1998. Yes, there’s a study.
“Broadcast networks NBC, CBS, and ABC have donated 75 hours of free air time to Democrats’ impeachment hearings, despite notably poor (and consistently shrinking) ratings. Yet during President Clinton’s impeachment, these same networks could not be bothered to carry more than a few hours of independent counsel Ken Starr’s one-day presentation of the evidence against Clinton on November 19, 1998,” writes Bill D’Agostino, a research analyst for the Media Research Center.
The hearings against Mr. Trump have fixated the broadcasters.
“NBC’s live coverage during the hearings amounted to a whopping 92% (1,653 minutes, or 27.5 hours) of the total 30 hours of testimony. CBS ran special coverage for 84% of the hearings (1,517 minutes, or 25 hours), while ABC broadcast 75% (1,358 minutes, or 22.5 hours),” the analyst said.
“By contrast back in November of 1998, NBC aired a paltry 26% (194 minutes) of Starr’s 12.5 hours of testimony on Capitol Hill. CBS covered 42% of the hearing (314 minutes), while ABC broadcast 36% (272 minutes),” Mr. D’Agostino noted.
“In the past two weeks, broadcast networks bumped hours of regularly scheduled programming for hearings featuring 12 hitherto unheard of witnesses, many of whom had never even spoken to President Trump. Yet these networks were reluctant to cover Starr’s testimony back in 1998, even though that hearing relied on a single well-known witness with intimate knowledge of all the evidence being presented,” he said.
The crafty networks masked much of the events from the public.
“The media heavily downplayed the Clinton impeachment hearings, as exemplified by an Associated Press article published on November 20, 1998, titled, ‘Viewers Turn Off, Tune In, Drop Out.’ The piece framed the networks’ choice to carry only sparse coverage of the Starr hearing as a service of their viewers,” Mr. D’Agostino concluded.
And by the way, the conservative press watch dog also uncovered something about The Washington Post.
Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the news organization, took a peek at the Post’s Twitter page on Thursday — the last day of the House impeachment hearings. The findings: The Post featured posted 183 tweets that day — and 99, or 54%, were about impeaching the president.
MR. VOIGHT’S TAKE ON THINGS
A certain Academy Award-winning actor has delivered a perfectly timed line about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House intelligence committee chairman Adam B. Schiff, both California Democrats.
“We have these people on bad behavior here. I look at the statements of Nancy Pelosi, I look at this fellow Schiff, Adam Schiff. It’s pretty clear there is something wrong here. These people are not well,” Jon Voight tells Fox News.
“And the audience is seeing the bottom line just as they’re seeing the bottom line with these debates. One ridiculous statement after another. That’s who the Democratic Party is,” he said.
Democratic presidential hopeful Michael R. Bloomberg has revealed the identity of his senior campaign adviser. That would be Timothy L. O’Brien, a former executive editor of the HuffPost and Sunday Business editor of The New York Times, among his many journalistic roles.
“O’Brien will play a key role in the campaign’s strategy to bring the fight to Donald Trump in battleground states now, and not wait for the primaries to be over,” the campaign advises in a statement.
Mr. O’Brien, however, also is the author of “Trump Nation: The Art of Being the Donald,” the contents of which prompted Mr. Trump to sue the author in 2006.
“O’Brien has written regularly on all aspects of Trump’s political and business dealings since 1990 — as an author, as a reporter for the Times, and as a columnist for Opinion — and is uniquely positioned to speak to the checkered realities of Trump’s career and the threat he poses to American values and national security,” the campaign says.
Mr. O’Brien intends to present Mr. Bloomberg as “the candidate who is everything Trump isn’t.”
NEVER A DULL MOMENT
MoveOn.org has figured out a way to harass Republican lawmakers while they are home for Thanksgiving.
The progressive organization will have mobile anti-Trump billboards traverse the home districts of Reps. David Schweikert of Arizona, Elise Stefanik of New York, Brian Fitzpatrick and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd and Chip Roy of Texas, Mark Amodei of Nevada, and Francis Rooney of Florida.
The rolling billboards call out to the lawmakers for “ignoring their constitutional duties and failing to hold Donald Trump accountable for abusing the power of the presidency,” the organization says.
“Defend democracy. Impeach Trump,” say the billboard mottoes, now seen on the local streets in question.
“So far, no Republican member of Congress has vocalized support for impeachment. The representatives targeted by these billboards include two people retiring from the House, lawmakers who have split with Trump in key votes, and those who represent less conservative constituencies,” MoveOn advises.
POLL DU JOUR
• 28% of U.S. voters watched the House impeachment hearings “live on TV”; 24% of Republicans, 23% of independents and 36% of Democrats agree.
• 21% watched clips of the hearings on TV but not the full show; 25% of Republicans, 21% of independents and 19% of Democrats agree.
• 18% watched clips of the hearings online but not the full show; 18% of Republicans, 17% of independents and 20% of Democrats agree.
• 5% watched the hearings online; 4% of Republicans, 4% of independents and 7% of Democrats agree.
• 27% did not watch the hearings “at all”; 29% of Republicans, 35% of independents and 18% of Democrats agree.
Source: A POLITICO / MORNING CONSULT poll of 1,988 REGISTERED U.S. VOTERS conducted NOV. 22-25.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.
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