ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and NPR are all expected to air live coverage of the last hearing of the Pelosi-picked panel investigating the January 6 riot. This is the ninth hearing (two of them in prime time) that these networks have provided hours of free publicity to Pelosi and the Democrats, who are using today's hearing to raise funds in the midterms.
Meanwhile, special counsel John Durham is trying Igor Danchenko in federal court, which none of these networks has covered on air this week. To illustrate the lack of network interest, we searched the name "John Durham" in the Nexis search engine from January 20, 2021 through October 12, 2022.
ABC: One story by Pierre Thomas.
CBS: Two anchor briefs.
NBC: Two stories and one brief mention in a February 21 story on the Merrick Garland confirmation.
PBS NewsHour: Two stories and one anchor brief.
NPR: Four stories and one brief mention in its story on the Merrick Garland confirmation.
Contrast that pittance to 18 or more hours of live January 6 Committee television each.
Durham's probe has drawn less attention on the Big Three in the last 20 months than these networks gave to the unproven claims that black Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker paid for an abortion in 2009. The partisan probe by special prosecutor Robert Mueller -- with a staff dominated by Democrats, including Hillary Clinton donors -- also drew live coverage when the Democrats wanted it, especially when Mueller testified at its conclusion.
We should note that the Fox News Channel has provided live coverage of the seven daytime hearings of the Pelosi-picked panel, but it has also provided energetic coverage of the Durham probe, which the liberal networks have underlined.
When the networks have reported on Durham, it was to characterize him or conservative media coverage as a failure. In February, PBS brought on an award-winning trash-talker. Anchor William Brangham happily explained: "In a column this week, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie Savage of The New York Times wrote that the entire narrative appeared to be mostly wrong or old news, and its conclusions based on a misleading presentation of the facts or outright misinformation." At the same time, NPR's All Things Considered carried the online headline "The John Durham filing that set off conservative media, explained."
In May, ABC's single report focused on Clinton lawyer Michael Sussman being found not guilty of lying to the FBI. Pierre Thomas proclaimed: "It was the first trial of a case brought by the man handpicked by Donald Trump's attorney general to examine the origins of the FBI's investigation into Trump's possible ties to Russia. But tonight, a Washington jury handing special counsel John Durham a stinging defeat, acquitting a lawyer with ties to Hillary Clinton's campaign of charging that he lied to the FBI."
Liberals could consider the Mueller probe a failure, because it failed to find Trump-Russia collusion or lead to Trump being indicted. Rich Noyes of the Media Research Center found that from January 20, 2017 through July 20, 2019, the evening newscasts at ABC, CBS, and NBC alone devoted an astounding 2,634 minutes to the Trump-Russia narrative.