January 6 Hearing Ratings: How Many People Watched?

jan 6 hearing ratings

Getty Thousands of Donald Trump supporters storm the United States Capitol building following a "Stop the Steal" rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Nearly 20 million people watched the first day of the Jan. 6 hearings Thursday, June 9, 2022, in which the House select committee televised findings on its investigation into former President Donald Trump’s alleged role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“The audience watching the first prime-time hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was larger than expected. About 20 million people tuned in,” NPR reported.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said during opening statements that the attack on the U.S. Capitol directly resulted from Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen.

“The attack on January 6 was a direct and predictable result of Mr. Trump’s decision to use false claims of election fraud to overturn the election and to cling to power,” Lofgren said during the televised hearing.

Here’s what you need to know:

All Major TV Networks, Except for Fox, Aired Continuous Coverage of the Jan. 6 Hearing

Fox News was the only major cable news network that opted not to air continuous coverage of the Jan. 6 House Select Committee hearing. The network did offer coverage of the hearings, and Fox Business also carried continuous coverage. NPR reported some local Fox broadcast affiliates carried the Fox Business coverage.

“Fox News star Tucker Carlson, for example, drew over 3 million viewers on Thursday, which was about average for him. On his show, Carlson showed visual images of the hearing, but he spent a lot of his show talking to guests who criticized the proceeding and tried to undermine its significance,” said NPR host Rachel Martin.

She went on to say that some Fox viewers could watch the continuous coverage, depending on where they lived.

“Now, in the market where I live, in Florida – Tampa, St. Petersburg – the local Fox broadcast affiliate carried the coverage from Fox Business. So it was even possible for Fox fans to see continuous coverage of the hearing on their local Fox broadcast station in some markets,” she said.

Fox published a piece in response to the ratings, headlined “MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS gush over January 6 committee hearing, tout TV ratings: ‘A big deal’: ABC’s Joy Behar praises ‘theatricality’ of the Jan. 6 committee hearing.”

“Members of the liberal media spent ample time attempting to convince viewers why they should tune in and how the content was pertinent to digest,” the article said.

3rd Hearing Day Will Focus on Trump’s Alleged Plot to Sway or Replace the U.S. Attorney General

The third committee hearing Wednesday, June 15 will focus on an alleged plot waged by former President Donald Trump to sway, or possibly replace, the U.S. Attorney General in an attempt to lend legitimacy to false election claims, according to The Washington Post. The Post reported that Jeff Rosen, the U.S. Attorney General at the time, will testify, along with his deputy Richard Donoghue and Justice Department official Steve Engel. The testimony of the three men is scheduled for the morning of June 15.

“Rosen was the nation’s top law enforcement official during Trump’s final days in office. He was pressured by Trump allies to send a letter from the Justice Department to state officials about false election fraud claims — thus lending them legitimacy — and refused,” the Post reported.

Each hearing day will include a theme, the Post reported. The theme of Wednesday’s hearing is to show evidence that Trump “corruptly planned” to replace the sitting Justice Department officials with people who were his allies.

The hearing will continue for the fourth day Thursday, Jan. 16 at 1 p.m. The formal schedule has not been announced for the following hearings dates.

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