The 7 1/2 hours of hearings, from 8:15 a.m.-3:45 p.m. ET, drew an average of just under 13 million viewers (12.98 million) spread across ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Fox News led the field for Wednesday’s coverage with an average of just over 3 million viewers. MSNBC placed with 2.41 million.
Robert Mueller’s much heralded appearance before Congress yesterday not the blockbuster Democrats had sought nor was Mueller the action star they had cast. Dignified but shaky, and at times struggling to keep up, he largely stuck to “yes” and “no” and “refer you to the report” answers, steadfastly refusing to dramatize his conclusions as President Trump’s critics wanted him to do.
On Fox News, in words that would soon be hailed by President Trump’s Twitter feed, the political anchor Chris Wallace laid down a brutal verdict: “This has been a disaster for the Democrats, and a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller.”
The media will have a rare second shot at covering Robert Mueller’s findings when the former special counsel testifies before Congress this week, Margaret Sullivan argues. When they do, she says, they’ll need to wrest the narrative back from Attorney General William Barr’s rendering of Mueller’s conclusions and instead “substitute a well-rendered portrait of a subject that could hardly be more important to the country.”
The big three networks already plan to scrap their regular coverage and cover Robert Mueller’s Congressional hearings live later this week, not to mention the wall to wall coverage cable nets are preparing.
Wednesday’s surprise live TV statement of Department of Justice’s Special counsel Robert Mueller rocketed out-of-home TV viewing by 130% over normal levels, attracting 4 million OOH viewers at its peak time.
Newsy Ramps Up For 24/7 News
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s comments Thursday were covered with fanfare. ABC, CBS and NBC broke into regular programming to cover the appearance live, and Fox offered a feed to local affiliates. Cable news outlets including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC offered extensive analysis.
Sean Hannity was in no mood to celebrate the news that the special counsel did not find coordination between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Instead, he was infuriated. There was no collusion, no obstruction, no conspiracy, he said, just as he had been telling his audience all along.
“Our job is to bring facts to light,” said Martin Baron, editor of The Washington Post. “Others make determinations about prosecutable criminal offenses.”
Motivated by the typical soul-searching that can accompany the climax of a major story, or simple revenge, the performance of news professionals quickly became an issue following Mueller’s conclusion that he could find no evidence of a conspiracy by President Donald Trump and his campaign team to work with the Russians to influence the 2016 election.
The diametrically opposed opinion hosts — Sean Hannity of Fox News and Rachael Madow of MSNBC — who vie for the distinction of the most popular in cable news, were the windows through which many Americans digested Friday’s news that special counsel Robert Mueller had concluded a nearly two-year investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. While his report, or even a summary, has not been released, television news still had hours to fill talking about it.
Russia’s effort to influence U.S. voters through Facebook and other social media is a “red-hot” focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election and possible links to President Donald Trump’s associates, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.