***To read the full blog, please check out the complete post on NewsBusters***
Capitol Hill was a hive of activity on Monday. The House Intelligence Committee conducted a hearing with FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers about the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee conducted the first in a series of hearings in the confirmation process of Judge Neil Gorsuch. Both were major events on the hill but the Comey hearing drew the overwhelming majority of the network news attention, leaving one anchor to say it was “overshadowing” Gorsuch.
In all, the Big Three networks’ (ABC, CBS, and NBC) evening news programs were hyper-focused on the Comey hearing. That hearing garnered a whopping 26 minutes 30 seconds of coverage across all three networks. In stark contrast, the confirmation hearing of judge Gorsuch received a mere five minutes 58 seconds.
NBC Nightly News had the largest disparity between Comey and Gorsuch, with nine minutes 48 seconds and one minute 36 seconds respectively. The network actually ran four separate stories on the Comey hearing. They reporting on the hearing itself, how the White House was distancing itself from advisers with apparent ties to Russia, Trump’s purported crumbling credibility, and anchor Lester Holt sat down with Tom Brokaw for his perspective. All of that before simply touching on Gorsuch.
Reporter Andrea Mitchell had the first Comey report on the hearing. “And tonight, the FBI revealing they're investigating possible coordination between the President's campaign and Russia's hacking of Democrats,” she hyped before speculating that, “A lengthy probe that could lead all the way to the White House.” She also whined that it was “a tale of two hearings,” because Democrats focus on Russia while Republicans wanted to know how Mike Flynn’s name was illegally leaked to the press.