How to watch Jan. 6 insurrection hearing everywhere except Fox News, which won't cover it

Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic

ARIZONA — The House Select Committee hearings investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection begin Thursday. Where can you watch the proceedings?

Anywhere but on Fox News.

CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC will carry the initial hearing, which begins at 8 p.m. EDT.

Fox News will stick with Tucker Carlson, and the hearings will be shunted off to Fox Business, where Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will anchor coverage. Wait, not familiar with that channel?

Exactly.

This is disappointing, but not surprising. When your primetime hosts steadily belittle the hearings — before they start — it would be more of a shock if Fox News did cover them.

But seriously, at this point the network might want to think about taking “News” out of its name.

The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol will go public with its findings in a hearing.

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Hearings will investigate the gravest threat to democracy in our lifetime

The Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — carried out by supporters of Donald Trump, who falsely claimed that the 2020 election was somehow rigged — was the gravest assault on democracy, including Watergate, in our lifetime.

So far.

Just by that standard, the hearings seeking more information about the insurrection are news. Which is typically something news networks cover. Not if it suits an agenda. If it’s news...and you’re a news network.

Will the hearings be an opportunity for committee members to grandstand?

Um, have you ever seen a congressional hearing? Of course they will be. If you watched television during Donald Trump’s administration — two impeachments, several committee hearings, Robert Mueller’s testimony and so forth — you know the drill. A long-winded wind-up followed by a question that seeks to produce not an answer but a slot on the prime-time talk show of your political leaning.

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When there are real consequences for lying, things can get interesting

This hearing is different. Sort of — it's a one-sided affair. But, it’s still a TV show.

The committee has gone so far as to hire James Goldston, the former president of ABC News and the producer of shows like “20/20” and “Nightline,” as an adviser.

Axios reports he is producing the initial hearing “as if it were a blockbuster investigative special." 

OK, that sounds a little tacky.

But the trick is to look past the bombast and the bloviating and never forget what happened on Jan. 6: A mob tried to interfere with the peaceful transference of power simply because they didn’t like the outcome. 

This is dangerous, in the extreme. There is the possibility, after all, that Jan. 6 was just a warm-up. There is also the sinking feeling that a sizable number of people hope so.

Pro-Trump rioters stand on the West front of the U.S. Capitol building during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection.

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No matter what you believe about the 2020 election — here’s your friendly reminder that there is no evidence it was fraudulent and those who claim otherwise are therefore lying — don’t you want to learn more about what happened? Doesn’t this appeal to your natural curiosity?

Funny things happen when people testify under oath. You can make a lot of wild claims in front of tree nurseries and in ballrooms of Phoenix hotel rooms.

But when there are real consequences for lying, things can get interesting. It clarifies the mind, you might say.

Willful ignorance remains one of the greatest threats to democracy

Jan. 6 was historic. In the worst possible way, yes, but still, historic. The hearings are a chance to learn a lot more about what actually happened that day.

If you don’t want to know what really happened, that’s a problem.

Willful ignorance remains the greatest threat to democracy. With the possible exception of an angry mob descending upon the seat of government because their side lost.

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Fox News will eventually get around to coverage on its signature channel — at 8 p.m. Pacific time, Greg Gutfeld’s show will be pre-empted for a two-hour special hosted by Shannon Bream. That’s 11 p.m. Eastern. Out of prime time. Some people might even call that bedtime.

Getting closer to the truth should be reason enough to watch and reason enough to broadcast the initial hearing.

Unless the truth is what you’re afraid of.

Jan. 6 hearings TV schedule

Thursday:  8 p.m. EDT on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and Fox Business. 

Monday: 10 a.m. EDT; networks to be determined.