Perhaps the Fox News audience was confused because they’d never heard this Democrats version of the story before, or maybe it was just too much truth for one evening. Nevertheless, the right-wing cable channel bailed out of the impeachment hearing on Thursday.

CNN Reliable Sources anchor Brian Stelter writes:

The executives at Fox News made a remarkable editorial decision Wednesday: They decided to cut away from the Senate impeachment trial proceedings in favor of airing regular programming. It started during the 5 p.m. hour. While CNN and MSNBC continued airing raw feeds showing Democrats make their case on the Senate floor, Fox chose to air “The Five” hosts’ opinions on the trial and grievances about the media.

The network never looked back. While some shows dipped into the Senate chambers here and there for impeachment proceedings, Fox mostly continued airing its pro-Trump prime time lineup. I checked in with a spokesperson for the network to see if someone could walk me through how it was determined that airing shows like “The Five” carried greater editorial value than the historic trial of a sitting President of the United States. I never heard back…”

Poynter reports that actually Fox won the ratings for the first day of the hearings on Tuesday.

Early Nielsen research showed that from 12:30-5 p.m. Eastern, Fox News had 2.654 million viewers. That easily outdistanced CBS (1.94 million), MSNBC (1.909 million), ABC (1.6 million), NBC (1.4 million) and CNN (1.4 million).

Fox News also won the much coveted demo of 24- to 54-year-olds — it had 394,000 viewers in that demographic, the next closest being ABC (385,000) and CNN (383,000).

So why did Fox suddenly “stop the presses” last night?

This post contains analysis and opinion.