Fox News, seemingly resurrecting its post-2020 election strategy and keeping its head down and trying not to get involved as major culture war and political battles occur, has shockingly decided not to air the Thursday opening of the January 6th Committee hearings, with Mediaite reporting that:
Fox News Channel will not carry Thursday’s primetime hearing of the Jan. 6 House select committee, as its usual lineup will air.
The hosts will cut in to the proceeding when or if they feel doing so is warranted, the network said.
To be fair, the network is airing the hearing or commenting on it in other ways. Tucker Carlson, for example, Fox’s top host, seemed to indicate he would be discussing the hearings on his show, saying:
“How grotesque a joke is the January 6 committee?” he asked? “Well, Liz Cheney and Nancy Pelosi have hired the producer from Good Morning America, not to do a prostate health update, but to put together a primetime show trial this Thursday…There are a lot of questions unanswered from January 6th. A lot. We’ll tell them to you at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday.”
Whether that meant he would be commenting on the hearings themselves or bringing up other information about what happened on that day was unclear.
Additionally, Fox will be airing a two-hour reaction to the hearings starting at 11 pm that night and hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will be the anchors for special coverage of the Thursday hearing on the Fox Business Network.
Also, Fox affiliates will reportedly be able to air the hearing and Fox Nation will be streaming it.
So, though the network won’t be itself airing the primetime hearing, Fox viewers will have ways of watching it or hearing about it without watching a leftist channel.
Still, the decision for the main conservative, or at least not overtly leftist, news channel to not air the hearings is a strange one, with Mediaite running an opinion piece saying:
Here’s the thing: Fox News is a ratings giant, and its political influence is somehow even bigger. Its current audience is more than CNN and MSNBC combined. And given the hyper-partisan and politically balkanized country in which we currently find ourselves, it’s more important that Fox News viewers watch these hearings than anyone else.
The executives at Fox News made a business decision to not air these hearings and they will likely reap revenue and ratings rewards. Viewers will be worse off. And so to will the nation.
Though the piece is leftist in tone, it makes a fair point; knowing what happened and what the other side is saying about it is useful, and doubly important when regarding a political grenade that has been tossed back and forth for months now.
Additionally, as news regarding the event will likely be heavily “fact-checked” after the fact, knowing what was actually said before personalities start trying to talk about what was said while dodging censorship would be useful.
Beyond that, the likely explosive hearings would almost certainly be good for ratings, drawing in viewers that want to watch the fireworks as right and left battle over the election and what happened yet again, making the decision not to air them even stranger.