Busy Washington day plays out differently on TVMarch 20, 2017 8:53pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Washington's day of high-stakes political drama on Monday played out much differently depending on where motivated television viewers decided to get their news.

CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC all followed FBI Director James Comey's testimony before a congressional committee Monday morning live. For a while, so did ABC and NBC, cutting in to normal daytime programming. Given how coverage of President Donald Trump has been a ratings magnet, that wasn't surprising.

Comey, in his testimony, said the FBI is investigating possible coordination between Russia and Trump associates during last year's election. The director also said he'd found no evidence to support Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama had ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower.

Shortly before 1 p.m., the networks diverged. Fox News wrapped up its coverage of the hearing, which lasted until 3:20 p.m. and was shown nearly in its entirety on CNN and MSNBC.

Instead of showing the hearing, Fox spent considerable time airing people talking about the hearing, starting with its commentary show, "Outnumbered." There was an emphasis on discussion about whether any real evidence of collusion had emerged, and Republican concerns about leaks to reporters.

"If you're a Republican or Democrat, you have reason to distrust (Comey)," said Fox panelist Meghan McCain. "I don't see that it moves the needle either way for the American public."

On Fox, there was little evidence that the hearing was continuing. The network carried White House press secretary Sean Spicer's early afternoon briefing. So did CNN, adding a silent box on its screen showing the hearing; it eventually cut away from Spicer to show the hearing again. MSNBC began carrying Spicer, but immediately shifted away when a break at the congressional hearing ended.

Following Spicer's briefing, CNN's Dana Bash was particularly biting in assessing his performance.

Spicer, she said, is "trying to defend the indefensible and explain the inexplicable," she said. "Today it was on steroids."

More Stories Like This

President Donald Trump about the health care overhaul bill, Friday, March 24, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. rump says he would be willing to reopen negotiations for a health care bill with Democrats if the Affordable Care Act fails.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Trump delivers his news to newspaper reporters
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. speaks with reporters outside the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, following a meeting with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
White House defends GOP lawmaker's decision to brief Trump
FILE - In this March 22, 2017, file photo, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Nunes privately apologized to his Democratic colleagues on Thursday, March 23, 2017, yet publicly defended his decision to openly discuss and brief President Donald Trump on typically secret intercepts that he says swept up communications of the president's transition team in the final days of the Obama administration. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
A look at the wiretap flap from Trump tweets to Capitol Hill
FILE - This Oct. 7, 2016 file photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump meets with members of the National Border Patrol Council at Trump Tower in New York. The union was an early supporter of Donald Trump's presidential bid, a gamble that is paying off with influence in the White House. Less than a week after Trump took office, a Border Patrol chief was forced out and replaced by a union favorite to lead the agency as it embarks on a major hiring spree. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)
Border Patrol union takes center stage under Trump
President Donald Trump honks the horn of an 18-wheeler truck while meeting with truckers and CEOs regarding healthcare on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP FACT CHECK: Trump's truths can come from wisps of info
Justice Department settles suit over LA Dodgers broadcastsThe U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday it has settled a lawsuit that accused AT&T's DirectTV unit of orchestrating a backroom deal with competitors to not carry the sole channel that broadcasts Dodgers baseball in Los Angeles
This component is currently unavailable.
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

Most Popular

AdChoices