The U.S. Senate refused a request to have independent TV cameras. So viewers were left with two uninteresting camera angles: one of the speakers' stand and a wide shot of the entire chamber. "Still, the Senate trial of a sitting president, accused of pressuring a foreign country to smear his political opponent, is a stunning TV sight, however basic the camerawork," says James Poniewozik. "And there was something striking about the still ritual, in a heated media age, of a hundred senators arrayed in front of the chief justice of the United States, being called by name and answering yes or no to vote after procedural vote. Day 1 of the trial was, in a way, like time travel. Maybe not all the way back to the quill-and-ink origins of the Constitution, but at least to 1999, when the Senate last tried a chief executive, with similarly constrained visuals. As if to complete the retro experience, lawmakers were required to surrender their smartphones before entering (though several Apple Watches made it past the ban)." ALSO: Day 1 of the impeachment hearings ended at about 1:50 a.m. ET early Wednesday morning.