- Accuracy in Media - https://www.aim.org -

CNN Airs Criticism of Kavanaugh Instead of Kavanaugh Hearings

Tuesday’s biggest political story in Washington was the first day of U.S. Senate hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh.

But rather than show live feed of the hearing, CNN chose to run a rehash of criticisms from Democratic Senators. 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted the editorial decision.

CNN’s cameras left the live proceedings and the network played a highlight reel of Democratic Senators criticizing the nomination process; Burgess Everett, a POLITICO congressional reporter, Tweeted about [1] the coverage strategy of CNN.

“CNN is replaying Harris/Blumenthal/Booker remarks at beginning of Kavanaugh hearing instead of playing Mike Lee speaking live,” Everett said.

In response, Sanders Tweeted [2]: “Can’t imagine why @CNN [3] has such low ratings when during the day they break from live coverage to show reruns.”

The Hill’s Joe Concha reported [4] that in August, CNN saw a sharp viewership decline. “In prime time, Fox News and MSNBC saw slight gains in total viewers year-over-year, with CNN seeing a double-digit decline,” Concha wrote. “All the cable news networks saw a decline in total day viewership when compared to August of 2017, with CNN seeing the most precipitous drop.

Fox News averaged 1.299 [million] viewers in the total day category. When compared to the same month, Fox News was down 4 percent from last year. MSNBC finished second in total day, with 1.040 million viewers, with its audience also decreasing by 4 percent. CNN was third, with an average of 705,000 viewers in the category, and experienced a drop of 15 percent compared to August 2017 … In the advertiser-friendly 25–54 demographic in prime time, Fox was down 9 percent while still finishing first with 422,000 in the category. CNN took second, with 346,000 viewers in the demographic, but was down 17 percent from last year. MSNBC average 340,000 among those ages 25–54, but was also down 17 percent.”