Media frenzy for Mueller testimony as broadcast, cable networks go wall-to-wall

Media coverage has reached a fever pitch for former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's testimony before Congress on Wednesday.

All of the major broadcast networks are offering wall-to-wall coverage, including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC broadcasting the testimony live. And all of the major cable news networks, including Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, will also offer coverage throughout the day featuring post-testimony news and analysis as well.

C-SPAN is preempting all regular programming to cover Mueller on Capitol Hill. 

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Anticipation for Mueller's testimony in separate hearings before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, which is expected to last five hours throughout Wednesday, has dominated the news cycle, particularly on cable news.

Many of the week's earlier segments were predictive, featuring political and legal pundits speculating what the largely reclusive former FBI director may or may not say. 

The focus surrounding Mueller's testimony is consistent with the level of attention, and speculation applied throughout the investigation into Russian election interference and possible obstruction of justice by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K coronavirus deaths DOJ: George Floyd death investigation a 'top priority' Lifting our voices — and votes MORE

According to White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley in March, shortly after the Mueller report was submitted to Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFrustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  Barr asks US attorney to further investigate 'unmasking' in 2016 Trump threatens to veto FISA bill ahead of House vote MORE, there were more than 8,500 stories on the Russia probe by The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC since the investigation began.

A March analysis by Axios also found that more than 530,000 web articles focusing on Russia, Trump and Mueller have been published since the special counsel's investigation launched in May 2017.

The data compiled by social media analytics company NewsWhip also found that the articles generated an eye-popping 245 million interactions, including likes, comments and shares on social media giants Twitter and Facebook.

Despite the overwhelming media attention, a CNN poll conducted before the Mueller report was completed earlier this year found that the Russia investigation did not register on the list of important issues for voters in the 2020 elections.

“This is a recent poll we just did, we open-ended it, said OK, ‘What’s the most important issue for your 2020 vote?’" CNN senior writer and forecaster Harry Enten told the network's morning program, "New Day." at the time.

 

"So voters could say pretty much anything," he continued. "But look at this. Look at the Russia investigation. Zero percent said that it was the most important to their vote in 2020."

“Zero, zero, zero respondents said Russia,” Enten underscored. “One thing we were talking about health care obviously, the Trump administration wants to get rid of the ACA [Affordable Care Act]. Look at that, it ranked significantly higher.”

Mueller's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee began at 8:30 a.m.

Follow The Hill's live coverage here