The Democrats are moving quickly with the impeachment investigation. Televised hearings begin on Wednesday. And the most important audience won’t be in the hearing room but living rooms across America. Democrats think they have a good case, but the public is deeply divided. So much more information is available today that it makes coverage of previous impeachments of Nixon and Clinton looks almost quaint. CNN’s Brian Stelter reports:
“This is the first internet impeachment. The first social media impeachment. This is the first impeachment since Fox News became a powerful force in American politics. The first impeachment since smartphones, Twitter and “alternative facts.” The hearings will be clipped and digested and condensed and remixed and memed and distorted and mocked in ways that weren’t even possible during the Nixon or Clinton eras.”
Back in ’70’s, the Nixon impeachment was a huge television hit. It was called the “hottest daytime soap-opera,” according to the Associated Press:
“It was a communal experience, and by some estimates, more than 80% of Americans tuned in to at least part of the Watergate telecasts. They were offered by ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as PBS, which won acclaim and viewers by showing not only the live hearings but also the full-length replays in prime time.
“Seeing the witnesses lay out the case against the president moved public opinion decidedly in favor of impeachment.“
For the Trump impeachment proceedings, ABC, CBS, NBC and NPR will provide live coverage as well as the cable news channels. It all begins at 10 am Wednesday, November 13.