- Fox News in its prime-time evening coverage of impeachment proceedings is playing testimony by top Democrats with no sound, and adding live spin from Trump allies.
- In his show, Sean Hannity assured viewers that the proceedings weren’t worth watching and attacked them as “24 hours of never-ending babbling, repetitive talking points.”
- Fox News has long been accused of being an unofficial communications arm of the Trump White House, and its coverage of the impeachment proceedings is leading the ratings.
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Defenders of the president at Fox News have hit on a new way of covering the damaging evidence presented by Democrats in the opening of the impeachment trial — by cutting out the audio.
The network has made the decision not to broadcast live footage of the historic impeachment proceedings during the evening, instead broadcasting its regular schedule of hosts discussing the day’s events with guests.
Aaron Rupar, who covers politics at Vox, noted that in its prime-time early evening show — The Five — the segments on the day’s impeachment proceedings had no audio of Democrats laying out their case against the president. Instead, allies of the president present their defense of Trump while the footage silently plays.
—Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 23, 2020
In his 8 p.m Wednesday slot Tucker Carlson, who according to reports has served as an informal adviser to the president,described proceedings as like “a movie written and directed by children whose ending you already know, and by the way, it’s 20 hours long and Hungarian with misspelled subtitles,” Carlson said. “That’s what it’s like.”
In that night’s edition of his show Sean Hannity, one of the president’s staunchest allies at the network, launched into a string of attacks against the Democrats, and went a step further – talking over live footage of testimony by lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff to assure viewers that there was no point in watching.
“If I was a terrible host, I would force you to endure watching the regurgitation, the repetition … the insanity that has gone on all day, America, 24 hours of never-ending babbling, repetitive talking points,” said the host.
Some of Hannity’s most vituperative outbursts have been reserved for Schiff, whom Hannity branded “a national disgrace, a stain on the Democratic Party, a walking, talking, lying con man, a perfect representation of everything that is wrong in the D.C. swamp.”
—Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 23, 2020
Hannity resumed the attacks in the Thursday night edition of his show, attacking rival network MSNBC for its coverage.
—Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 24, 2020
Fox News’ decision to stick to its regular schedule has been a ratings winner so far, with 4 million tuning in for Hannity’s show Wednesday, according to data from Nielsen.
In recent months the president has launched a string of attacks against Fox News, accusing the network of turning against him.
But it’s likely that he would have little complaint of its coverage of his impeachment trial so far.