Broadcast networks NBC, CBS, and ABC have donated 75 hours of free air time to Democrats’ impeachment hearings, despite notably poor (and consistently shrinking) ratings. Yet during President Clinton’s impeachment, these same networks could not be bothered to carry more than a few hours of independent counsel Ken Starr’s one-day presentation of the evidence against Clinton on November 19, 1998.
NBC’s live coverage during the hearings amounted to a whopping 92 percent (1,653 minutes, or 27.5 hours) of the total 30 hours of testimony. CBS ran special coverage for 84 percent of the hearings (1,517 minutes, or 25 hours), while ABC broadcast 75 percent (1,358 minutes, or 22.5 hours). These numbers reflect the coverage on network-affiliated stations in the Washington, D.C. area.
By contrast back in November of 1998, NBC aired a paltry 26 percent (194 minutes) of Starr’s 12.5 hours of testimony on Capitol Hill. CBS covered 42 percent of the hearing (314 minutes), while ABC broadcast 36 percent (272 minutes).
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