Each anchor and their respective cable news network takes a unique and different angle on the news of the day during primetime programming. As a result, their audiences can come away with different perspectives on what’s happening in the US today.
Because of the role and platform that each host has, all three are able to shape and influence what viewers believe is the most important news in the world.
For a week, we watched all of their shows to compare what news each led their program off with. Here’s how the three primetime cable news anchors opened up their shows every night from September 10-14.
Monday, September 10: Anderson Cooper, CNN
Cooper, who frequently opens his 8 p.m. ET show with his “Keeping Them Honest” segment, led off his show discussing the White House’s response to the anonymous op-ed in the New York Times and its search to find out who wrote it.
Monday, September 10: Rachel Maddow, MSNBC
Maddow, who comes on the air on MSNBC at 9 p.m. ET, opened up her show discussing the developments on Hurricane Florence. She was the first of the three anchors sampled to discuss the hurricane at the top of her show, and the only one to discuss the storm at the top of the show all five nights that week.
She also talked about: the Republican attempt to set up a confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh later in the week, the Democrats’ attempts to delay the vote, the court proceedings surrounding Russian agent Maria Butina, the White House’s response to Woodward’s forthcoming book, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos being sentenced to prison for 14 days, and Trump’s expected declassification of Justice Department surveillance documents.
Monday, September 10: Sean Hannity, Fox News
Hannity, who comes on at 9 p.m. ET on Fox News, led off his show with his well-known “Opening Monologue” discussing the Democrats’ desire to impeach Trump if they win back the House of Representatives in the midterm elections this fall.
He also addressed policies Democratic candidates would support if elected to Congress, the impact the midterm elections could have on the Trump agenda, and the alleged bias and corruption of the “deep state” in the Justice Department and FBI toward Trump.
Tuesday, September 11: Cooper
On the 17th anniversary of September 11, 2001, Cooper opened his show discussing Trump’s early morning tweet about Hillary Clinton and Russia, the arrival of Hurricane Florence to the east coast of the United States, Trump’s claims about the historical impact of Florence, and Trump’s failure to mention the nearly 3,000 people who died in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria when calling the response “incredibly successful.”
Tuesday, September 11: Maddow
Maddow opened up her show once again by talking about the latest developments with Hurricane Florence and Woodward’s book, which came out that day. Like Cooper, Maddow also spent time discussing Hurricane Maria, its impact on Puerto Rico, the government’s response to the storm, and the similarity in the number of deaths to 9/11.
She then concluded the opening of the show by mentioning Trump’s comments calling the response to Puerto Rico as “incredibly successful” and reporting that the Department of Homeland Security received $US10 million from the FEMA budget to expand ICE’s immigration detention policies.
Tuesday, September 11: Hannity
Hannity started off his program by commemorating those who were killed on 9/11. He also discussed Trump’s visit to the 9/11 memorial service in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and criticised MSNBC host Joe Scarborough for thinking that Trump is worse for America than September 11.
Like on the previous night’s show, Hannity talked about the alleged bias of the deep state in the Justice Department and FBI toward the Trump administration and the impact the midterm races could have if Democrats are elected to take over the House and Senate.
Wednesday, September 12: Cooper
On Wednesday night, Cooper led off his show with the latest developments on Hurricane Florence and the impact it could have on North Carolina and South Carolina. To open up the program, Cooper spoke with a meteorologist, the mayor of Wilmington, North Carolina, and a reporter on the ground to find out more about how severe the storm could be.
Wednesday, September 12: Maddow
Maddow began her show discussing questions submitted by senators for Kavanaugh to answer before his confirmation vote, reports of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort possibly pleading guilty and cooperating with the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, the fallout of Woodward’s book on the Trump administration, the diversion of funds from FEMA to ICE for increased immigration detentions, and the latest updates on Hurricane Florence.
She concluded the segment by talking about the work of the US Coast Guard and how important their role is to hurricane rescues, arguing that the impact of the Coast Guard could lessen because of Trump’s decision to move funds away from FEMA.
Wednesday, September 12: Hannity
Hannity led off his show by discussing a Washington Post op-ed that said Hurricane Florence was Trump’s fault, the alleged corruption in the FBI and Justice Department and bias toward the Trump administration. He also accused tech companies such as Google as being biased against the president.
Hannity once again talked about the impact that the midterm races could have if Democrats are elected to take over the House and Senate, and what districts are most vulnerable in the election for Republicans.
He also compared the difference in agendas between the Republicans Democrats, and the impact that the left’s rhetoric could have on the race. He was the only one of the three hosts to discuss the midterm elections at the top of their show this week.
Thursday, September 13: Cooper
Like Wednesday night, Cooper began his show with the latest updates of Hurricane Florence and its arrival to the United States. On the ground in Wilmington, North Carolina, Cooper spoke with a meteorologist, other reporters in the area, and the mayor of Wilmington again to get various perspectives on the incoming storm.
Thursday, September 13: Maddow
Maddow opened up her show once again talking about the impact of Hurricane Florence on the Carolina coasts, the suspected gas explosions in the Boston area that destroyed homes and forced people to evacuate the region, Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s decision to send a letter to the FBI regarding Kavanaugh, and Manafort’s reported guilty plea and cooperation with Mueller’s team before the start of his second trial.
She was the only host of the three to lead off her show discussing the gas explosions in Massachusetts.
Thursday, September 13: Hannity
For the first time all week, Hannity began his show discussing the arrival of Hurricane Florence to North and South Carolina and brought on reporters on the ground to give local perspective on the strength of the hurricane. Hannity also discussed again the Post’s op-ed that blamed Trump for the storm.
Hannity talked further about the alleged deep state political bias and corruption of the law enforcement and intelligence communities against Trump, as well as Feinstein’s decision to send a letter to the FBI regarding Kavanaugh. He concluded his monologue talking once again about the impact of the midterm elections on the Trump agenda and how things could change if Democrats take over Congress.
Friday, September 14: Cooper
For the second straight show, Cooper closed out the week on the ground in Wilmington. Leading off his show once again with the latest developments of Hurricane Florence, Cooper described the scene in North Carolina and the impact that the storm had on the region so far.
He also brought on fellow primetime news anchor Chris Cuomo to get more perspective on Florence’s damage to the area, plus a meteorologist, other reporters on the ground in the Carolinas, and volunteers helping rescue people from the storm. Cooper was the only one of the three anchors sampled to travel to the region for the hurricane.
Friday, September 14: Maddow
For the fifth straight night, Maddow opened up her show with coverage of Florence and the most recent developments of the storm on the US East Coast. She also discussed Manafort’s decision to plead guilty and cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation, and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen reportedly talking to Mueller’s team for the Russia probe.
Of any of her fellow primetime news anchors, Maddow is known for covering and discussing the Russia investigation the most on her show.
Friday, September 14: Hannity
For the second straight night, Hannity closed out the week by leading off his show with the latest updates and developments on Hurricane Florence and speaking with a reporter on the ground in North Carolina.
He also spoke about Woodward’s book on the Trump White House and Manafort’s guilty plea and willingness to cooperate with the special counsel’s Russia investigation.
Hannity also continued, for the fifth straight night, to talk about alleged bias against the Trump administration at the highest levels of the government, as well as alleged corruption in the Clinton campaign during the 2016 election.
He wrapped up his opening segment again with Feinstein’s letter to the FBI about Kavanaugh and the sexual misconduct allegations against the Supreme Court nominee, as well as talking about the impact of the upcoming midterm elections.
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