Hearing exposes TV viewers to blunt language, racial slurs

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Oliver Contreras

U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Harry Dunn, right, watches a video being displayed during the House prime committee proceeding connected the Jan. 6 onslaught connected Capitol Hill successful Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021. (Oliver Contreras/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

NEW YORK – People who watched the archetypal time of a House probe into the Jan. 6 uprising astatine the U.S. Capitol connected Tuesday were exposed to the benignant of blunt language, including profanity and radical slurs, seldom heard connected daytime television.

The proceeding featured emotional testimony from 4 constabulary officers who defended the Capitol and video clips of unit and mayhem. It was shown unrecorded widely, but not uniformly, connected respective tv networks.

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who is Black, said 1 rioter cursed him and called him the n-word, a operation that was repeated and adjacent chanted astatine him. Dunn didn't disguise immoderate connection portion describing it. Networks warned of graphic worldly successful onscreen messages.

In archetypal accounts of Dunn's testimony, The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Associated Press each mentioned the slur but did not spell it out. CNN's website linked to a video with the headline, “Capitol constabulary serviceman recounts rioters calling him the n-word.” The video itself, aft informing of graphic language, utilized Dunn's afloat quotes.


Cable networks CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC carried the hearing, lasting much than 3 hours, successful full. ABC pre-empted daytime programming to aerial astir of it but not CBS and NBC. Instead of compelling their section stations to transportation it, those networks said it was optional.

It wasn't instantly wide however galore CBS and NBC stations chose to aerial it, but those successful the New York and Los Angeles markets did not.

Television executives reason that consumers person galore much options to spot specified events than they did years ago, including unrecorded streaming.

“The information is, radical don't spell to broadcast tv for live, breaking quality the mode they utilized to,” said Mark Lukasiewicz, who ran NBC News' peculiar events portion until 2017 and is present dean of the School of Communication astatine Hofstra University.

Still, there's nary amended mode to drawback a casual viewer's attraction and awesome an event's value than broadcast tv peculiar reports.


Some Republicans, similar House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, person minimized the probe arsenic being partisan. So it was noteworthy that Fox News Channel, the favored destination for galore Republican viewers, aired Tuesday's testimony.

While onscreen chyrons occasionally reminded viewers that the investigatory committee was “Pelosi-selected” and “Dem-led,” the web stuck with the proceeding done the question-and-answer play until the end.

Fox's Bret Baier said the proceeding was an “eye-opener” for anyone who considered Jan. 6 a non-violent protest.

“You cannot ticker this grounds and accidental that it's not a large deal,” helium said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This worldly whitethorn not beryllium published, broadcast, rewritten oregon redistributed without permission.

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