One of the most anticipated events of the year so far will be the live testimony of former F.B.I Director James Comey as he appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
Almost all major television networks, news stations, and online streaming outlets will be focused on Comey’s hearing. Political pundits are expecting Comey’s testimony to attract more viewers than Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration in January this year.
The New York Times reported that there is so much anticipation around Comey’s hearing that even some businesses have cleared their schedules to watch it live. Evergreen Partners, a strategic communications firm, has said it will be making popcorn and has implemented a rule that none of their employees may discuss client work while James Comey is speaking.
Karen J. Kessler, who is the president of Evergreen Partners, said that “We canceled meetings when we saw what time it was on.” Kessler added that she would be providing “a cheese-and-crackers spread” while listening to Comey on her big office television.
“It’s must-see TV.”
Once could even say that the anticipation for the event is similar to the feeling soapie fan get when they see the cliffhanger at the end of an exciting episode. Except this time the drama and intrigue is real, with potentially serious political consequences.
Did President Trump request a loyalty pledge from Comey? Did he ask Comey to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn? What will be divulged when Comey presents his meticulous notes on his encounters with Trump?
This is the first time James Comey will be appearing at an official event since he was fired by President Trump in May this year. Millions of Americans are waiting anxiously to hear what dirt Comey is going to dish during the hearing. Pundits have compared the gravity of Comey’s hearing to major historical events like the Army-McCarthy hearings and Anita Hill’s testimony about Clarence Thomas.
Nick Akerman, who served on the Watergate special prosecutor’s team, is looking forward to hearing how the events between Trump and Comey played out, from the horse’s mouth.
“This is the John Dean moment, if you want to compare it to Watergate. It’s going to be the first time the American public is going to hear what these conversations were about. Right now, we’re just getting it second-hand in press reports.”
According to Deadline, ABC, CBS, and NBC are planning to interrupt their television schedule accordingly, which will mostly affect daytime dramas. Barring Days of Our Lives, the other major soap opera favorites may be bumped off today’s schedule. CBS and ABC have not confirmed the change in programming, however, have urged viewers of The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful and General Hospital have been warned that June 8 episodes may not air in full.
Depending on the length of Comey’s testimony and the nature of the information that is revealed to the Senate Intelligence Committee, the networks may decide to move whole episodes over to their usual slots tomorrow. It would mean that The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and General Hospital won’t air at all today.
James Comey’s testimony is scheduled to end at 1 p.m. (EST). Nevertheless, the TV homes of the three soap operas above are also planning to air post-hearing discussions and analysis which might run well into the afternoon.
Additionally, President Donald Trump is said to be planning a post-hearing rally, which will likely also receive extensive coverage on all the networks.
For those who are interested in watching James Comey’s hearing, it will start at 10 a.m. (EST) and 7 a.m. (PST) and will be covered by ABC, NBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, CNBC, C-SPAN, and Univision.
Radio coverage of Comey’s hearing will be provided by NPR and multiple SiriusXM satellite channels. All major newspapers, digital news outlets, and Twitter will live stream the Comey event. Twitter is partnering with Bloomberg.
[Featured Image by Alex Brandon/AP Images]