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J6 Hearings Slump In Viewership; Polls Show Americans Concerned About Partisanship

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The House Democrat-led January 6th committee just got more bad news.

According to Nielsen figures, their latest primetime hearing brought in only an estimated 17.7 million viewers – this is 11% lower than their first primetime televised hearing in June.

In fact, the hearing brought in less than a normal night for the networks that cleared the airwaves for the Democrats hearing.

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“The figures from Nielsen are across 10 networks. The committee’s June 9 hearing, kicking off its series, drew about 20 million on 11 networks. Nielsen said that each of the eight hearings averaged 13.1 million, while the two primetime hearings averaged 18.9 million. The daytime hearings averaged 11.2 million,” Deadline reported.

“The highest viewed daytime hearing was on June 28, drawing 13.2 million. That was the hearing featuring the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide to the chief of staff Mark Meadows. Thursday’s primetime hearing was treated as a season finale of sorts, as the committee focused on Donald Trump’s inaction as the Capitol was under siege. Sarah Matthews, former deputy press secretary, and Matt Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser, testified,” the outlet added.

As Americans continue to struggle to pay their bills amid record-high inflation that has been driven by spiking gas, food, and energy prices under President Joe Biden and a Democratic Congress, not much else appears to be getting a lot of attention.

That includes the high-profile Jan. 6 Committee hearings.

Despite several prime-time proceedings on many networks, the committee’s efforts have largely been a flop and have failed to change many minds, CNN reported Wednesday.

“After the eight public hearings held by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, the American public’s views on the state of democracy and the threat posed to it by that event have changed little, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS,” the outlet reported.

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“All told, the poll finds that 69% of Americans consider the January 6 attack to be a crisis or major problem for American democracy. That’s up slightly since earlier this year when 65% said the same. More broadly, 54% say they see American democracy as under attack, about the same as the 52% who felt that way earlier this year,” the report continued.

CNN added:

Although there was little movement on each of these questions, partisans appear to be moving in opposite directions. While Democrats are becoming more likely to say democracy is under attack (55% now, up from 46% earlier this year) and that the January 6 attack is a major problem or a crisis (96% now, up from 91%), Republicans are now less likely to feel that way than earlier this year, before the select committee’s hearings. Just 36% of Republicans now say that January 6 was a crisis or major problem, down 7 points since February, and 54% feel American democracy is under attack, down from 66% earlier this year.

“Roughly 4 in 10 overall have been closely following news about the select committee’s hearings (41%), with attention concentrated among Democrats (55% of Democrats are following at least somewhat closely, compared with 40% of independents and 28% of Republicans),” the report continued.

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Overall, however, the hearings have been a ratings bomb for the networks that aired them.

According to Nielsen figures, their latest primetime hearing brought in only an estimated 17.7 million viewers – this is 11% lower than their first primetime televised hearing in June.

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In fact, the hearing brought in less than a normal night for the networks that cleared the airwaves for the Democrats hearing.

“The figures from Nielsen are across 10 networks. The committee’s June 9 hearing, kicking off its series, drew about 20 million on 11 networks. Nielsen said that each of the eight hearings averaged 13.1 million, while the two primetime hearings averaged 18.9 million. The daytime hearings averaged 11.2 million,” Deadline reported.

“The highest viewed daytime hearing was on June 28, drawing 13.2 million. That was the hearing featuring the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide to the chief of staff Mark Meadows. Thursday’s primetime hearing was treated as a season finale of sorts, as the committee focused on Donald Trump’s inaction as the Capitol was under siege. Sarah Matthews, former deputy press secretary, and Matt Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser, testified,” the outlet added.

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