Jun 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Schumer: Fox News "cowardly" for not airing Jan. 6 hearings

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, listens during a news conference.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer listens during a news conference. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that Fox News made a "cowardly decision" to not air the upcoming Jan. 6 hearing Thursday night.

Driving the news: Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will cover the Jan. 6 hearings over on Fox Business Network, while Fox News will air regularly scheduled prime-time programming.

The big picture: Nearly every other major broadcast and cable news network, including CNN and MSNBC, have announced plans to cover Thursday's prime-time hearing live.

  • All three of the major broadcast networks — CBS, ABC and NBC — will cover the hearings live in the 8pm hour with special coverage anchored by top evening news anchors Norah O'Donnell, David Muir and Lester Holt, respectively.
  • Between the lines: It's the first big-time TV political hearing since former President Trump's second impeachment trial, and TV networks are banking on eyeballs.

Fox News prime-time programs will cover the hearings "as news warrants," the network said, and Shannon Bream will anchor a two-hour live special from 11pm to 1am.

  • Fox News will stream the hearings on Fox News Digital for free without authentication, and it will be live-streamed on Fox Nation, the network's subscription video service.

Schumer said Fox News' decision will "obstruct the American people from hearing the truth" about Jan. 6.

  • "It's so important that the truth about what happened leading up to the insurrection on Jan. 6 and what happened on that day is presented for the world to see," he said.
  • "After all of the false facts that Fox News has allowed to be put on the air by its commentators and everyone else, they have an obligation to show the true facts by allowing the hearing to be seen by their listeners," Schumer added.

A spokesperson for Fox News did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

By the numbers: Cable ratings across the three major cable news networks — CNN, Fox News and MSNBC — are, on average, down 21% in prime time for the first five months of this year compared to the first five months of 2021. Those losses skew heavily toward CNN and MSNBC. Fox's ratings are up in that five-month span.

What to watch: The House's Jan. 6 committee has turned to former ABC News president James Goldston to make a mountain of explosive material into a captivating multimedia presentation, Axios' Mike Allen scooped.

Go deeper: Trumpworld plots Jan. 6 counterprogramming blitz

Editor's note: This post was updated to include that the hearings will be on Fox News Digital and streamed on Fox Nation.

Go deeper