Watching the first public impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump had a distinct ring to similar events almost exactly 21 years ago.
I can still remember, the lead up to Christmas in 1998, two things were dominating the news agenda around the world. The US and the UK were involved in a short military campaign against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime, whilst President Bill Clinton was facing impeachment at the hands of Congress.
The former President had been accused of lying under oath during a string of sex scandals which threatened his presidency.
TV networks in the US and around the world covered the impeachment proceedings wall to wall, whilst also simultaneously trying to cover bombing raids by the US and UK forces in Iraq.
I remembered that no too long ago, I had uploaded videos that I had recorded on video tape of the impeachment hearings and bombing coverage from CNN. What is interesting to note from the coverage is firstly the quality of VHS is shocking, but also television output on-screen as come on leaps and bounds in 21 years!
What is also evident is how CNN has dramatically changed from then – reporting the news and the facts, to now – where it is politically biased and no longer really reporting the news.
It is also worth remembering, that the plethora of news channels and news outlets that we take for granted now, simply didn’t exist then. In the UK, digital television was extremely new, with Sky UK having only announced its digital satellite platform in the autumn of that year, and still months from rolling out to the general public.
Analogue cable or satellite was the only option for multi-channel television, and even then, only Sky News, BBC News 24 and CNN International were widely available in the 24 hour news genre.
Anyway, enjoy this little trip down the CNN memory lane!