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Week In Politics: How Tuned In Will Americans Be To The Impeachment Hearings This Time Around?




U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) speaks to reporters about closed-door depositions with the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees at the U.S. Capitol on November 4, 2019 in Washington, DC.
U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) speaks to reporters about closed-door depositions with the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees at the U.S. Capitol on November 4, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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The impeachment hearings regarding President Donald Trump will be broadcast live on TV, radio, and a multitude of streaming and digital services. So how will they compare to the Clinton and Nixon impeachment hearings? 

According to the Associated Press, tens of millions tuned in to PBS, NBC, ABC and CBS for the Senate’s Watergate hearings, which eventually led to Nixon’s resignation. Then the three majors and PBS offered a more unified narrative of what happened at Watergate and in the hearings themselves. The impeachment inquiry into Trump launches into the public sphere starting Wednesday. It will be covered by a wide variety of nichecasting entities, made to fit the viewing habits and desires of a fragmented audience. Experts say viewing habits could enhance already existing partisan attitudes compared to Nixon and Clinton. Even if you want to escape today’s hearings, it may be difficult because of all the different watching modes available.

Today on AirTalk, we discuss how Americans (and the world) will tune in this time around and how it could impact the outcome.  

Guests: 

Jane Kirtley, professor of media ethics and law at the University of Minnesota

Matt Rodriguez, Democratic strategist and founder and chief executive officer of Rodriguez Strategies. He is also a former senior Obama advisor in 2008; he tweets @RodStrategies

Sean T. Walsh, Republican political analyst and partner at Wilson Walsh Consulting in San Francisco; he is a former adviser to California Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger and a former White House staffer for Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush