U.S. Capitol Siege Fuels Nonstop TV News Coverage

Trump Supporters Rally Protest In DC
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters on Wednesday resulted in nonstop coverage across TV news outlets.

Network and cable news divisions were covering the beginning of the Electoral College certification in Congress — which a number of members said they would challenge, citing baseless claims of fraud — pivoted to coverage of the riots after people breached the perimeter of the Capitol.

ABC, CBS and NBC devoted most of the day to ongoing coverage of the chaos and planned to continue into primetime. ABC will devote all of primetime to news coverage, while plans at CBS and NBC were still in flux at publication time. The cable news channels have likewise been covering the story all day and will continue into the evening.

ABC's and NBC's late-night shows are also set to proceed with original episodes Wednesday night. Both CBS's Late Show With Stephen Colbert and NBC's Late Night With Seth Meyers will air live.

The images from inside the Capitol showed people in Trump gear going into the House and Senate chambers, congressional offices and other areas after members and staff were evacuated. One woman was shot and later died; other rioters roamed freely through the building for hours before law enforcement began to reassert control.

As the siege continued, the rhetoric from TV news anchors got sharper. CNN's Jake Tapper called them "insurrectionists," and in an interview, CBS anchor Norah O'Donnell pointedly asked House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy to "call a spade a spade" in condemning rhetoric from Trump at a rally prior to the storming of the Capitol.

Several pipe bombs were also found at the Capitol and the headquarters of the Democratic and Republican national committees. Police detonated the devices safely.

Jan. 6, 4 p.m.: Updated with ABC primetime coverage plans.

Jan. 6, 4:25 p.m.: Updated with Late Show and Late Night live episodes.