Granted, the public’s interest in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is lacking, to say the least, this being a likely indication that the issue is seen as more partisan gamesmanship from the Democratic Party.
At the same time, when there’s no actual crime being involved the proceedings tend to get a bit dry.
Fox News cut away from the live feed of the proceedings several times on Monday in favor of panel discussions or interviews, including during The Five and The Story with Martha McCallum, to speak with insiders such as former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). While footage of the impeachment trial would play in the background, the audio was muted to allow for the hosts and their guests to speak, which didn’t sit well with those who were anticipating the impactful statement of Alan Dershowitz.
Viewers on the right may expect CNN and MSNBC to focus less on the efforts of the president’s defense team answering allegations leveled by Democrats, but to see Fox News run an interview with someone like Boxer over live coverage proved to be a little too much.
Not helping matters, CNN and MSNBC stayed with the live feed from the floor of the U.S. Senate.
Joel Pollak, the senior-editor-at-large for Breitbart News, complained on social media that he was forced to watch MSNBC.
“I’m watching the #ImpeachmentTrial on @MSNBC because @FoxNews, for some reason, has former liberal Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer on to discuss her views instead of hearing @realDonaldTrump’s own lawyer defend the votes of 63 million Americans,” he tweeted.
I’m watching the #ImpeachmentTrial on @MSNBC because @FoxNews, for some reason, has former liberal Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer on to discuss her views instead of hearing @realDonaldTrump‘s own lawyer defend the votes of 63 million Americans
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) January 28, 2020
When President Trump reminded his 71.7 million followers the “Senate hearing on the Impeachment Hoax starts today at 1:00 P.M.,” one social media user responded to inform the president that he couldn’t watch it on Fox News.
“But you can’t hear it on @FoxNews Mr. President. They chose to interview Barbara Boxer instead of allowing us to hear Robert Ray defend you! Sad move on their part. Several had to watch on C-Span and believe it or not @MSNBC,” the tweet read.
But you can’t hear it on @FoxNews Mr. President. They chose to interview Barbara Boxer instead of allowing us to hear Robert Ray defend you! Sad move on their part. Several had to watch on C-Span and believe it or not @MSNBC https://t.co/ofxY98pEyZ
— Larry Hefling (@hillsitter) January 28, 2020
The complaints were not isolated, as social media users took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the network:
FOX screwed the pooch by allowing McCallum to bring on Barbara Boxer while Allan Dershowitz was speaking in the Senate. Continuing this pattern of behavior will only cause you to lose the rating you so clearly covet. OAN ran the entire session… that’s what I want to see.
— Marc King (@kingforld15) January 28, 2020
What in the heck is wrong with #FoxNews??? Professor Dershowitz is providing a compelling and historic explanation why the #ArticlesOfImpeachment are bogus and #FoxNews is not covering it live. I have switched to #MSNBC to see this great educational opportunity. Come on Fox!
— ??QEPatriot?? (@PatriotQe) January 28, 2020
Who are the geniuses at @FoxNews that decided we’d rather hear Barbara Boxer bash Trump than listen to Dershowitz? To not cover the defense is denial of due process and info for viewers. What the hell is going on at FNC?
— Kyle Raccio – (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@kyleraccio) January 28, 2020
You cut away from the one part of impeachment your viewers want to watch for democrat Barbara Boxer @FoxNews ? Shall we cut away from you or what
— XpanseMaga (@2scooooops) January 28, 2020
I am a avid viewer of Fox News; however, I’m very disappointed with their coverage of the Impeachment trial. Not showing a continuous running of the President’s Legal Team’s defense for me to learn facts, I am ‘forced’ to watch MSNBC – ugh!!!
— Mickeyman (@MickeymanPorter) January 28, 2020
Even liberals commented on the coverage, suggesting the decision to break away was proof that things weren’t going well for Trump.
This is going so well for the White House, Fox News has cut away to discuss the tanking stock market.
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) January 27, 2020
To be fair, Fox News did not offer much live coverage last week as Democrats made their case, according to the left-wing Media Matters.
The analysis of “22 seconds” did come during the airing of the network’s shows in the evening that feature opinion hosts.
On Thursday night, Fox News' shows between 7 pm and 11 pm played live footage of Trump's impeachment trial for just **22 seconds**
Here's a compilation of all the live coverage Fox viewers saw: pic.twitter.com/srDhzjFaK9
— Media Matters (@mmfa) January 24, 2020
As for ratings, Ad Week reported that Fox News drew it’s largest impeachment trial audience on Saturday, the first day Trump’s legal team began mounting its defense — needless to say, the network blew away the competition.
Fox News’ Saturday audience of 4.2M viewers was its largest over the 5 days of the impeachment trial coverage so far. That day saw Pres. Trump’s legal team head to the Senate floor for the first time to argue against the case for impeachment. https://t.co/5zebZZQbIz pic.twitter.com/Sp6tC6VY5f
— TV News HQ (@TVNewsHQ) January 27, 2020
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