On December 11, The Federalist posted an article falsely claiming that CNN and MSNBC “refuse to air” the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the origins of the infamous Russia investigation. This is false; both CNN and MSNBC have aired portions of the hearing live.
The headline of the piece reads, “CNN, MSNBC refuse to air DOJ Inspector General hearing live.” The article claims that “CNN and MSNBC stopped following the IG hearing after about 30 minutes, and both refused to cover the opening statements by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.” The article concludes, “The truth does not fit the CNN and MSNBC agenda, and that is why they refuse to give a platform to it.”
MSNBC dedicated special coverage for the duration of the hearing, airing a little over 20 minutes of Graham’s opening statement and cutting away to discuss what had been said so far. As the network returned to the hearing to cover Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) opening remarks, MSNBC’s Ari Melber explained that they would show “part of her opening statement as we did with the majority member” to give both “equal time.” But Feinstein’s opening statement ended up being less than 10 minutes long. MSNBC also aired Horowitz’s entire opening statement and has continued to air the hearing live.
CNN has given less coverage to the hearing than MSNBC and did not air Graham’s or Feinstein’s opening statements, but the network aired the entirety of Horowitz’s opening statement. The hearing coverage continued for over an hour, and included Graham questioning Horowitz, before the panel cut away to discuss.
While it is accurate that the networks devoted less coverage to this hearing than the impeachment hearings, it is patently false to claim MSNBC and CNN refused to air the proceedings live and stopped after only 30 minutes. The Federalist is merely jumping on another opportunity to spin a mundane scheduling decision into a nefarious conspiracy theory targeting conservatives.