Common Cause Delivers 98,000 Petitions Urging PBS to Air Impeachment Proceedings in Prime Time

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Today, Common Cause delivered petitions from over 98,000 Americans to PBS urging the nation’s public broadcaster to televise the full impeachment hearings of President Trump in prime time. The petitions stress the importance of PBS airing the hearings in their entirety both live and again during prime time on its flagship all-access public channels nationwide. That is exactly what PBS did during the Watergate hearings as Congress weighed the fate of President Richard Nixon in 1974. 

“Every American should have the chance to see the full case against Donald Trump firsthand in prime time in order to make up their own mind about whether their elected Representatives in Congress should impeach the President,” said Michael Copps, former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Advisor. “History is unfolding on Capitol Hill while most Americans are at work or school and as the nation’s public broadcaster, PBS should be airing the proceedings during prime time as service to the nation. PBS should ensure that everyone has the opportunity to view the entire process rather than have it delivered to them in soundbites and with partisan spin. The impeachment hearings are too important to the future of our democracy for the nation’s public broadcasters not to air them in prime time.”  


In 1974 PBS aired the Watergate hearings in their entirety – all 247 hours of them – in prime time. The petition emphasizes that it is vitally importantly for PBS to do the same thing again now as a sitting U.S. President is once again facing impeachment. 

The petition signatures were gathered by Common Cause over the last 7 days since the public hearings were announced.  

Common Cause thanks Daily Kos, Free Speech for People, and People For the American Way who helped circulate the petition. 

To view the petition, click here.