The hearings on 6 January are fighting for your attention | MarketingwithAnoy

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Last night, a large number of Americans lined up to watch the House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. capital hold a hearing live on television. It brilliantly presented facts about the uprising that even those who religiously followed history did not know. It aired on no fewer than six networks (especially not Fox News), and instantly became the feed for TV shows late at night. (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert aired a special live episode after the hearing.) While it was developing, however, I could not help but think, in this time with too many screens, what it is that people choose to watch.

Yes, people have been following the actions of the committee on January 6 for almost 10 months. On Twitter, on cable, via news sites. But the broadcast on Thursday night felt different. The committee hired a former ABC news director to produce the hearings and make them look less like a C-SPAN live feed. They aim according to Maryland Representative Jamie Raskin, to “tell the story of a conspiracy to overthrow the 2020 presidential election and block the transfer of power” from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. In terms of TV policy, it is on par with The Watergate hearings.

In other words, a must-see TV. That was what the committee wanted to give their results to the public court of opinion. In a time of misinformation, the goal is to train the eyes of voters to see clearly what has happened to democracy in the United States. They certainly did not get them all. During the hearings, Fox Tucker ran Carlson’s show without commercials. And in the middle of it all, attention was split between the TV and the smaller screen. Quarreling about politics is one of the many established pastimes of the social internet, but it can often feel as if there is more talk and analysis than actual observation.

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I guess it’s about seeing. In a essay i New York Times this week, Kim Phuc Phan Thi – the woman known as “Napalm Girl”, wrote after her photo was taken by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut during the Vietnam War – that the photo often made her feel “ugly and ashamed.” She noted that America typically does not see images of school shootings, like the last month in Uvalde, Texas, in the same way as images of foreign wars. Doing so may seem “unbearable,” she wrote, “but we should confront them.”

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