President Biden will not be among those glued to their TVs for the House Jan. 6 committee’s prime-time hearing on Thursday.
The White House said on Wednesday that Mr. Biden has more important things going on.
“He might catch it here and there,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. “But he is going to be very focused on his trip talking to Western Hemisphere leaders and making sure he continues to deliver for the American People.”
Mr. Biden will be in Los Angeles for the Summit of the Americas when the committee makes its primetime debut to begin unpacking the findings of its nearly yearlong probe of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.
Ms. Jean-Pierre said that while the president does not plan to watch the entire two-hour hearing, he continues to support the work of the committee.
“What we saw that day, over a year ago, was one of the darkest times in our democracy,” she said. “But it is an independent committee and clearly he will be very busy.”
The Democrat-led committee is hoping the rest of America won’t follow Mr. Biden’s lead.
The committee has promised to present “previously unseen material documenting January 6th” and receive public witness testimony on the events leading up to the riot during the hearing.
The panel has also hired a former ABC News executive to advise on its upcoming prime-time hearing and to help shape its rollout of evidence into a captivating television experience, according to Axios.
Most major news networks are expected to carry at least portions of Thursday’s hearing. ABC, CBS and NBC have announced they will pre-empt their prime-time schedule for live coverage of the hearing.
Fox News Channel’s primetime programs will not provide blanket coverage on its main channel but will provide updates on the hearing throughout the evening “as news warrants,” according to the network.
Fox News’ sister channel, Fox Business Network, will carry special coverage of the hearing beginning at 8 p.m., and coverage of the hearing will be offered across Fox broadcast affiliates. Fox News Digital will also stream the hearing.
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Tuesday chastised Fox News for what he called its “cowardly” decision to air its regularly scheduled prime-time lineup on Thursday and not offer gavel-to-gavel coverage of the hearing.
Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, said the network has an “obligation” to show the “true facts” as told by the Democratic-led special committee.
“Few things obstruct the American people from hearing the truth more than Fox News’s cowardly decision not to broadcast Thursday’s hearing,” he said.