Happy Friday! Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,168 words ... 4½ minutes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
New data about impeachment's opening hearing shows the difficulty Democrats face in capturing attention in a nation that has grown numb to the Trump era's constant political drama, Axios' Neal Rothschild and Sara Fischer write.
Day One's 13.8 million live TV viewers (not counting streaming and other online services) fell short of James Comey's testimony in June 2017 (19.5 million) ... the Christine Blasey Ford/Brett Kavanaugh hearing in September 2018 (20 million) ... or the Michael Cohen hearing in February (16 million).
Between the lines: While these other events were confined to a single day of viewing, the impeachment hearings will play out over many days. That could either scatter viewership, or build interest over time.
A number of factors may be working to suppress viewer interest:
P.S. Fox News was the most popular network for hearing coverage, with 2.9 million viewers — the network’s third most-watched day of the year.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is narrowing Joe Biden's longtime lead with black Democrats in the crowded 2020 primary field, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.
Last week, a group of more than 100 black female activists (Black Womxn) endorsed Warren, saying her policies, record, and understanding of structural inequality speak directly to black voters.
Axios tracked nine Quinnipiac surveys between March and the end of October, and found:
Apple will remove all 181 vaping-related apps from its mobile App Store this morning, sources tell Axios' Ina Fried and me.
Apple said in a statement to Axios: "Recently, experts ranging from the CDC to the American Heart Association have attributed a variety of lung injuries and fatalities to e-cigarette and vaping products, going so far as to call the spread of these devices a public health crisis and a youth epidemic. We agree."
The shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita (30 miles from L.A.) — which left two students dead and three wounded — happened over 16 seconds, when a classmate pulled a gun from his backpack in the quad, per the L.A. Times.
After weeks of venting their frustration over Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s negotiating tactics on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), current and former administration officials close to the trade talks tell Axios' Jonathan Swan they’re more optimistic than ever that Pelosi is close to agreeing to a deal.
Pelosi’s use of the word "imminent" yesterday to describe USMCA buoyed officials who have been pushing Congress to approve it.
Administration officials got an extra boost from an encouraging readout of a Democratic caucus meeting.
For months, the White House has put pressure on freshman Democrats who won in districts that Trump carried in 2016 and where he remains relatively popular.
Between the lines: The logjam on USMCA still hasn't broken and the legislative calendar is tight and clogged with impeachment. It's still going to be challenging to get USMCA passed before year's end.
Speaker Pelosi brushed aside the Latin "quid pro quo" that Democrats have been using to describe President Trump’s actions toward Ukraine and said: "It’s perfectly wrong. It’s bribery," AP reports.
"Triggered," by Donald Trump Jr., will debut atop the N.Y. Times bestseller list, and Publisher's Weekly reported first-week sales (via BookScan) of 70,730, compared with 32,683 and 30,681 for the week's next-ranking nonfiction books.
Here's a sneak peek at the N.Y. Times bestseller list for Nov. 24:
The cast of "The Big Bang Theory" plays Dungeons & Dragons in a February episode. Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS via Getty Images
Dungeons & Dragons, celebrating its 45th anniversary, "appears to have been resurrected as if by a 17th-level necromancer," writes the N.Y. Times' Ethan Gilsdorf.
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