You Ask, 6 Answers: Why televise days-long impeachment hearings nationally?

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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – In the first day of the impeachment hearings, more than 5 hours of back-and-forth questions and testimony was heard by the House Intelligence Committee. The majority of that questioning was broadcast live on national television.

WATE 6 On Your Side viewers asked: Why?

There a few answers as to why it’s important to broadcast the hearings in their entirety on national television.

The first, according to a Maryville College Professor of Political Science, is the ability to watch democracy at work.

“Both parties get to ask questions, every member of the committee has a few moments to ask questions. That becomes pretty important to show, that even in a time where maybe we have a lot of blue and red divide, in terms of process, everyone gets a chance,” said Mark O’Gorman, Professor of Political Science at Maryville College.

O’Gorman says the ability to watch and listen as both sides question witnesses is democracy at work, but also, hearing witness testimony allows individuals to form their own opinions.

“It’s humans listening to humans,” O’Gorman said.

Ultimately, O’Gorman says it’s a few hours over the course of a few days — worth the watch because, “it’s history in the making.”

And it’s not just for those in Washington D.C., but it’s also for those watching from all over the country.

The viewers, he says, are part of history, too.

He adds that because this is only the third time in American history impeachment proceedings have happened at this level, it’s a learning opportunity for his political science students, too. He says it shows the judicial process as outlined by the Constitution.

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