At 12:30 on Tuesday, CNN showed a countdown to mark the minutes until former President Donald J. Trump’s second indictment trial began.
On MSNBC, prime-time anchors, Brian Williams and Nicolle Wallace, placed viewers through a specially reported afternoon.
On cable news channels that largely supported the former president, the broadcast was in a different tone. In Fox News, panel members gave a grim picture of President Biden’s economic agenda. And on the Newsmax side, commentators were considering whether or not a Republican could become governor of California.
And even as Fox News began the process, it did so with a twist: “While we await the second prosecution in the Senate, 30 minutes away, thousands of National Guard soldiers are stationed at our nation’s Capitol,” Harris Faulkner said at anchor.
He added that the cost to troops that have been in Washington since a pro-Trump crowd attacked the Capitol in a deadly riot on Jan. 6 has “reached an impressive, eye-catching level. Of course it is. This is our money. They spend our money. After the commercial break, the Fox News panel met to discuss this very topic.
At 1 p.m., Fox News and Newsmax began broadcasting from the Senate floor. The trial began with a video featuring scenes from the siege of the Capitol, footage that did not deceive the multiple obscenities used by the mob. Roughly 45 minutes after the initial arguments, Newsmax broke away and John Bachman anchored apologize to viewers.
“The video was played right from the start – we apologize if people tune in,” he said. – Obviously there are some strong languages. But this was video evidence presented by Democrats.
At 2:15 p.m., when major cable TV networks, including Fox, insisted on a smooth broadcast of the trial, Heather Childers, the anchor of Newsmax, teased a segment before getting into a commercial: “Coming up: What is President Trump doing today?”