March Maddow-ness: MSNBC Dominates Fox News in the March Ratings Championship Game

Two years ago, Fox News was the unchallenged king of the cable news networks with ratings that sometimes exceeded the combined total of CNN and MSNBC. Last year, Rachel Maddow showed surprising strength against her competition, Sean Hannity. But now it is becoming a regular occurrence that MSNBC beats Fox News over significant parts of the daily schedule.

Rachel Maddow

MSNBC’s ratings success is driven by Maddow’s continued surge. She is no longer a quirky thorn in Fox’s side. She regularly wins her time period in the coveted advertising demographic of 18-34 year olds. In March she beat Hannity every single day of the month except for one. Her average audience for the month was 651,000. That compares to Hannity’s average of 568,000. But even more impressive is that Maddow also bested Hannity in total viewers fourteen out of the twenty-one weekdays in the month. Her average for total viewers was 2.99 million vs. Hannity’s 2.87 million.

MSNBC should also be proud of having better audience numbers in the demo than Fox News for most of the evening hours including primetime. Their average from 4:00pm to midnight was 458,400 vs. Fox’s 455,800. The Last Word with Lawerence O’Donnell won its time period thirteen of the twenty-one weekdays in March. And The 11th Hour with Brian Williams came out on top on nineteen days. Both of those programs scored higher than their competition (Laura Ingraham and Shannon Bream respectively) for the full month. And although Fox News generally did better during most of the daytime time periods, Deadline with Nicolle Wallace managed to beat Fox’s Neil Cavuto on eight days.

A weak point in MSNBC’s schedule is All In with Chris Hayes. Which is too bad because it’s an excellent show that has been recognized with multiple Emmys. However, it needs some juice if it’s going to be a decent leadin for Maddow and the rest of their primetime. They should think about pairing Hayes with Joy Reid as a co-host. Reid’s weekend program has been showing strength and is popular among MSNBC’s core audience. And it wouldn’t hurt to consider swapping Nicolle Wallace into Chris Matthew’s Hardball slot. Wallace has demonstrated her ability to pull in viewers, and Matthews may play better in the earlier, newsier part of the day.

The bottom line is that Fox News can no longer consider itself the number one network for cable news. It has been declining with each new reporting period. In January Fox News dropped fourteen percent in primetime. And February topped that with an additional fifteen percent decline. Meanwhile, MSNBC gained significantly in both of those months. February’s percentage gains were over twenty percent. Even worse for Fox News was their actual earnings performance. Their revenue rose less than either of their competitors – a measly seventeen percent. CNN’s rise doubled that to thirty-two percent. And MSNBC rocketed up sixty-two percent.

We can expect Fox’s earnings to fall even more in April with the advertiser exodus they are experiencing due to Laura Ingraham’s reprehensible attack on David Hogg, one of the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. So far there are at least eighteen major advertisers who have pulled their business from her show. And in the midst of that she just announced that she will be on “vacation” all of next week. For the record, that’s the same thing Bill O’Reilly did after his advertisers bailed en masse and just before he was canned by Fox.

UPDATE: Forbes affirms the above ratings analysis.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

WINNING? The Stormy Daniels Segment on 60 Minutes Outperformed Trump By Millions

This could kill Donald Trump. Perhaps the most notorious personality flaw of the President (other than his pathological lying) is his malignant narcissism. His ego is so gigantic, and yet fragile, that he has to constantly convince himself that he is the smartest, handsomest, strongest, and bestest at anything and everything he ever attempts. He never stops bragging about what are mostly imaginary accomplishments that he portrays as breaking historical records.

Stormy Daniels Donald Trump

And particularly with regard to his TV performance, Trump falsely claims to have been the top rated personality for years on The Apprentice. So he’s going to take it very hard when he learns that he lost the television ratings war to a porn star. Stormy Daniels interview Sunday night on 60 Minutes delivered on the anticipation that preceded it. The first public comments by Daniels about her affair with Trump was compelling drama that included sex, violence, corruption, and even some humor.

But the part that will thrust Trump into another of his infantile tantrums is the fact that Daniels scored a much higher rating on the program than he did. The Nielsen overnights show that the Daniels interviewed was watched by by more than 23 million people and delivered a 16.3 rating/27 share. It was the highest rated episode of 60 Minutes in ten years. Which means, of course, that it beat Trump’s interview following the November 2016 election. That was also highly anticipated as it was the first interview of Trump as President-elect. But only 16.4 million people tuned in for that show. Stormy did more than fifty percent better.

You can bet that this is going to gnaw at our ego-driven Commander-in-Chief. After all, he is still obsessed with propping up his sore winner status over Hillary Clinton, who also beat him by millions of votes. And it’s only been a year and a half since that debacle. Trump just can’t get it out of his head.

This is a president who can’t talk about any subject with proclaiming himself the master of it. Whenever he addresses the tax reform bill that Congress passed, he says it was the biggest tax cut in history (it wasn’t). He says the stock market has risen more than during any other president’s first year (it hasn’t). He insists that he is the least racist person you will ever meet (so long as you’ve only ever met former Grand Wizards of the KKK).

Donald Trump is quite obviously suffering from a severe case of self-delusion. Virtually everything he takes credit for, he had nothing to do with. But he still demands recognition for having solved every problem he’s confronted. Never mind that he hasn’t repealed ObamaCare (despite repeatedly trying to sabotage it). He hasn’t ended terrorism (which he said would be so easy). And he can’t even get the Republican-controlled Congress to pay for his idiotic border wall (that Mexico was supposed to pay for). Reality notwithstanding, Trump exalts himself at every opportunity whether he deserves it or not. Here’s a tweet from September 2015 that proves how important this is to him:

The only way to characterize Trump so far in his presidency is as a loser. He can’t manage to keep people on his staff or attract competent administrators. His rallies are drawing smaller crowds with every event. And now he was beaten at the game he was so proud of for fourteen years by a woman who has never before been on television. He’s apparently afraid to even utter name. He will post insults on Twitter aimed at everyone from John McCain to Chuck Todd to Meryl Streep. But not a single word about Stormy Daniels. Perhaps he knows deep down that he is no competition for her. Or he knows what she knows about him.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Hypes Fox News Ratings While Ignoring the Success of Rachel Maddow and MSNBC

There is something deeply disturbing about a president who obsesses about television ratings. Especially when it’s focused so narrowly on one particular network that serves as his biggest media booster. Donald Trump has spent more time on Twitter fawning over Fox News than almost any other single subject. He frequently tweets or retweets things he just watched on Fox and Friends or Hannity as if they were his closest advisors.

Rachel Maddow

On Tuesday morning Trump retweeted a post by his son Eric that celebrated Fox’s ratings performance in February. Why on Earth was this so important to someone who is currently burdened with a nuclear standoff with North Korea, Russian interference in American elections, a trade war that he instigated, children being massacred in schools, undocumented residents who have spent nearly their whole lives in the U.S. facing deportation, and so many other serious matters? It’s almost as if his only experience for running the country came from being a TV personality.

Okay, so Fox had a pretty good month. They lost January, so it must be a relief to them – and to Trump. However, their February win wasn’t exactly a runaway. While Trump slams his arch-enemy CNN in this tweet, he neglects to mention MSNBC and Rachel Maddow. As News Corpse reported last week, Maddow had another impressive month, falling just short of beating Sean Hannity again in the key demographic of 25-54 year olds. And although her average audience was shy of an outright victory, she did win more days during the month than Hannity did.

What’s more, in January Fox News dropped fourteen percent in primetime. Now February has topped that with an additional fifteen percent decline. Meanwhile, MSNBC gained significantly in both months of this new year. February’s percentage gains were over twenty percent. Funny, Trump never mentioned any of that. But he did tweet about the ratings for the Oscar telecast on Sunday. And for some reason he took delight in the numbers having declined. Apparently our President is happy when the film industry, a major national employer and contributor to America’s domestic and export economy, is doing poorly.

Trump’s tweets on behalf of Fox News are more evidence that the network is a wholly owned and operated division of the Trump administration. Or is it the other way around? Or are both Trump and Fox News divisions of Russia’s Putin Enterprises Worldwide. All three scenarios are way too plausible. But most Americans would agree that the President has more important things to do than analyzing TV ratings and promoting programs that unfailingly exalt their Dear Leader. Jake Tapper of CNN had a pithy commentary himself on Twitter saying…

And conversely, if you’re a news organization and the folks in power are constantly maligning you, you’re doing it right. By definition. There’s a reason that Trump is relentlessly attacking CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc. He’s afraid because actual journalists are revealing his criminal activities and those of his associates. His only recourse is a campaign of smear tactics. But that is only making him look even more guilty. So keep it up, Donnie. And remember, no matter how bad the ratings are for CNN, yours are still worse.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Rachel Maddow Guides MSNBC to a Strong February 2018 – Fox News and Hannity are Scared

In another embarrassingly weak performance, Fox News has suffered a ratings fall-off in February 2018 that signals more trouble ahead. Fox’s declining fortunes are becoming a regular event. In January the network dropped fourteen percent in primetime. Now February has topped that with an additional fifteen percent decline. Meanwhile, MSNBC gained significantly in both months of this new year.

Fox News Sad

In January Rachel Maddow outperformed Hannity, and all other cable news programs, in the key audience demographic of 25-54 year olds. She came just short of repeating that performance in February with an average of 635,000 viewers per night. Hannity edged her out with 643,000. However, of the twenty days in February, Maddow won a majority (eleven) of them.

Maddow’s practice of covering breaking news and the unfolding scandals of the scandal-ridden Trump administration has proven to be an unqualified success. Her deep dive into research and expert analysis continues to draw devoted viewers. Two years ago no one would have predicted that Fox would be a second place news network. Fox actually moved Hannity into a direct time period competition with Maddow in an attempt to blow her out with his top rated program. That didn’t go exactly according to plan and must be gnawing at Hannity and his Fox bosses.

Consequently, Hannity’s program is sinking into ever more ludicrous conspiracy theory territory. He is challenging Alex Jones as the right-wing’s most unhinged crackpot. On almost every show Hannity ignores actual news of Trump’s daily failures. Instead, he features topics exploring Hillary Clinton’s ancient and baseless controversies, or some version of the alleged “deep state” takeover of America. And of course, Hannity is serving his master in the White House with constant attempts to slander special counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI.

These subjects are also spread across the Fox News schedule. It’s why Fox viewers are so often shown to be more uninformed (or ill informed) than viewers of any other news network. And it is probably contributing to the overall audience decline at Fox as people seek out actual news and information relevant to their lives. But it is consistent with the Fox News commitment to defend Trump at all costs.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The Fox News mission has always been to prop up the conservative, Republican agenda. But it’s more immediate objective is to discredit the investigations into Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia (and other financial corruption). And flagrant propagandists like Hannity, Tucker Carlson (who just called Democrats anti-American), and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, are focused intently on smearing America’s law enforcement and intelligence institutions. They are putting their rancid partisanship before the interests of the country. And America’s television viewers are reacting with disgust and seeking out more credible reporting. Which is good news for Maddow and MSNBC.

Totally Nuts: Trump Says His State of the Union Ratings Were ‘The Highest Number in History’

This is getting so far beyond ridiculous. The compulsion that Donald Trump has to lie about virtually anything cannot be regarded as merely self-interest or ignorance. This is a sickness. He lies about things that have no particular benefit to him; things that are easily fact-checked; things that are only designed to feed his gargantuan and diseased ego.

Donald Trump

The latest in a collection of literally thousands of lies came in the form of (surprise) a tweet about his State of the Union address. There was a curiously long absence by the President on Twitter (72 hours) prior to this posting. So it looked for a while like he had been kidnapped by the “deep state” or had his phone confiscated by the Secret Service. But on Thursday morning he reappeared to deliver this unadulterated bullshit:

Certainly Trump enjoyed all of the nice compliments and reviews he received from his usual pack of sycophants (Fox and Friends, Sean Hannity, Alex Jones, Breitbart). And just as surely he saw none of the objective analyses that reported his bland, ultra-partisan delivery and documented his lies. But Trump’s claim that the audience for his speech was “the highest number in history” was so completely deranged it’s hard to imagine that he’s allowed dress himself or use sharp utensils.

According to Nielsen, Trump’s audience wasn’t anywhere near the highest ever. His seventh place showing was an embarrassing loss to his perennial nemeses Bill Clinton and Barack Obama (twice each). No matter how hard he tries to rise above these objects of his loathing, he continually falls short. Here is Nielsen’s chart of ratings for historical State of the Union addresses:

Date Rating Viewers President
2/17/1993 44.3 66,900,000 Clinton
1/28/2003 38.8 62,061,000 G. W. Bush
1/27/1998 37.2 53,077,000 Clinton
2/24/2009* 32.5 52,373,000 Obama
1/29/2002 33.6 51,773,000 G.W. Bush
1/27/2010 29.8 48,009,595 Obama
2/28/2017* 28.7 47,741,000 Trump

Trump is correct that Fox News beat the other networks. But why that is notable escapes me. Trump’s glassy-eyed disciples are glued to Fox News and dependent on its Big Brotherly guidance. They wouldn’t watch the Trump Show anywhere else. And naturally, Trump’s reality TV fans are the most likely to tune into his lie-fest.

It should be noted that while Trump suffered this poor historical showing in the SOTU ratings race, Rachel Maddow was beating the pants off of Sean Hannity. Her MSNBC program was the number one cable news show for the month of January, 2018. She scored solid victories for three of the four weeks in both the key 25-54 year old demo and total viewers, and double-digit year-over-year gains. Meanwhile, Fox News declined by fourteen and eighteen percent, respectively, in those same metrics.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

That’s encouraging evidence that thoughtful, well-researched and reasoned discourse can prevail over rancorous conspiracy theorizing and hate speech. Not to mention that the toxic and tedious lies that Fox News and Donald Trump peddle are clearly wearing thin. And it’s only February. Hopefully this is an indicator of what’s to come.

Rachel Maddow Swamps Hannity to Become the #1 Cable News Show for January 2018

Last September Fox News moved Sean Hannity’s program to 9:00pm to compete directly with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Looking back they might not consider that a particularly smart decision. Hannity is Fox’s highest rated program, but it consistently comes up second to Maddow, which must be a painful embarrassment. And the first month of 2018 was almost all Maddow’s

Rachel Maddow Sean Hannity

The first week that Hannity aired in Maddow’s time period he looked pretty good. Of course he front-loaded the show with high profile guests including Fox favorites like Steve Bannon, Bill O’Reilly, and Rush Limbaugh. He certainly wasn’t going to keep that up. But it was enough to get Donald Trump to retweet his son Eric bragging…

It was mostly downhill from there. In January Maddow outperformed Hannity, and all other cable news programs, in the key audience demographic of 25-54 year olds. She averaged 677,000 viewers to Hannity’s 636,000. She scored solid victories for three of the four weeks in both the key demo and total viewers. The last week of the month Hannity staged a bit of comeback as he ramped up his wild-eyed, conspiracy theory rhetoric. But by month’s end Maddow still had a higher average rating than Hannity.

What’s more, MSNBC was the only cable news network to see ratings gains year-over-year. They grew in total prime time viewers more than sixty-one percent, and in total day viewers more than fifty-five percent. Meanwhile, Fox News declined fourteen percent and eighteen, respectively, in those same metrics.

It would be an understatement to call Hannity’s deranged broadcasts “over the top.” He repeatedly assailed the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller as corrupt agents of the “deep state” who were acting on behalf of a “secret society.” These were deliberate attempts to smear those investigating Trump’s unsavory relationships with Russia. Hannity’s rants derailed with repetitious hyperbole such as…

  • “…the biggest scandal in American history.”
  • “…never seen in American history.”
  • “One of the biggest political scandals in modern U.S. history.”
  • “…far bigger than Watergate.”
  • “…makes Watergate look like stealing a Snickers bar.”
  • “This is Watergate on steroids and human growth hormones.”

No doubt this nonsense will play well among Hannity’s dimwitted viewers and the glassy-eyed disciples of Donald Trump. Hannity is striving to steal the mantle of right-wing kook from Alex Jones. And his guests are often more tightly wound than he is.

This strategy could pay off over time because so much of the conservative audience has a an affinity for tabloid melodrama and unrealistic political soap operas. They like nothing better than the wingnut version of Housewives of Washington, D.C., mixed with some Duck Dynasty doofusness, and a healthy dose of white nationalism. You know, the makings of the average Trump voter. And Hannity is serving it up by the shovel-full.

Time will tell if Maddow’s thoughtful, well-reasoned, fact-based brand of intelligent discourse will continue to best Hannity’s Lowbrow Racist Hour. But it’s encouraging to see how successful she has been against competition that was considered unbeatable a year ago.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

MSNBC Has Biggest Black Prime Time Audience on Cable, Fox News Isn’t Even in the Top 10

Last year was a banner year for MSNBC as it ratings surged to unprecedented new highs. Much of this was driven by the soaring popularity of Rachel Maddow, but the rest of the network’s roster enjoyed similar success. Many of the programs achieved their highest ever ratings in 2017, a year that suffered through the painful presidency of Donald Trump.

Fox News MSNBC

There is speculation that Trump’s historically low approval ratings fueled some of the growth at MSNBC as viewers sought out news related to the latest Trump scandal. But that’s far too simple an explanation. Trump’s yammering about what he called “fake news,” but was actually just any news he didn’t like, didn’t fool the American people. They were more interested in credible journalism that relied on facts and honest analysis.

MSNBC benefited from that trend in the information marketplace. But they also benefited from a commitment to producing well-rounded coverage of a diverse nation. As a result, the latest report from Nielsen shows that MSNBC drew more African-American viewers during prime time than any other cable network. That’s not just any other cable news network, but any network of any type. Here are the rankings:

2017 rank Network (000)
’17 vs. ’16
1 MSNBC 483,096 50%
2 VH1 467,189 7%
3 ESPN 458,651 3%
4 OWN 330,729 -21%
5 TNT 322,525 6%
6 BET 322,330 3%
7 Nickelodeon 312,574 7%
8 CNN 306,359 5%
9 USA 286,537 -7%
10 Adult Swim 212,464 -28%

An especially notable omission from that list is Fox News. Their appeal to African-Americans wasn’t even enough to land them in the top 10. So if you ever wondered how Fox News gets away with filling their schedule with such brazenly racist programs and commentaries, these Nielsen numbers might provide the answer.

This certainly was not a new development for Fox News. News Corpse reported in 2014 that Fox’s share of the black audience was a pitiful one percent. This can explain why Fox News doesn’t worry about the consequences of broadcasting overtly bigoted content and dismissing all allegations of racism as “race hustling.” After all, they have little to lose by offending a segment of the television universe that doesn’t watch their programs anyway.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

There’s no reason to expect any of this to change in the foreseeable future. Fox News is just as devoted to inciting racial animus and division as ever. And their defense of Trump, along with his blatantly prejudiced views and policies, will only exacerbate the situation. If anything, Fox’s prime time lineup has become more racist with Sean Hannity’s hate-speech being joined by white nationalist Tucker Carlson and notorious xenophobe Laura Ingraham. So look for MSNBC to continue its rise in the ratings while Fox News grows more narrowly focused on the all-white, alt-right viewers who represent their dwindling audience.

Rachel Maddow Dominates an Increasingly Hysterical Sean Hannity as 2017 Winds Down

This has not been a particularly good year for Fox News. After the disaster of 2016 that saw their founder and CEO, Roger Ailes, fired for multiple instances of sexual harassment and abuse, 2017 was supposed to be a year of rebuilding. However, their problems escalated as their biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, was also terminated for the same deviant reasons. Several other Fox News hosts and executives were likewise jettisoned, and they faced lawsuits for both gender and racial discrimination.

Rachel Maddow

That left Sean Hannity as the default face of Fox News. He was moved up to the 9:00 pm slot and expected to carry the primetime schedule with newcomers Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. He would also be airing head-to-head against MSNBC phenom, Rachel Maddow. Surely the most embarrassing outcome for Fox News would be for Hannity to lose to a left-wing lesbian on a liberal network. But as the year comes to a close, that’s precisely what happened.

In the first half of December, Maddow outright beat Hannity nine out of eleven days in the coveted 25-54 year old advertiser demographic. On four of those days she also won in total audience. Her demo margin of victory was an impressive average of 656,000 viewers, more than 50,000 above Hannity’s average. And Maddow helped to carry her colleagues to wins over Fox News. Lawrence O’Donnell took five of eleven nights, and Brian Williams took six of the eleven. [Note: The second half of December is not included in this analysis because most of these programs had guest hosts].

What’s more, Maddow has been steadily pummeling Hannity throughout the year. The annual figures for these programs put Maddow in close contention with Fox’s long-running leaders. In total audience, Maddow grew an astonishing seventy-seven percent. In the 25-54 demo she was the number two program (after Hannity) following a seventy-four percent growth surge. And among younger viewers (18-49) Maddow was number one.

Along with those achievements in ratings, Maddow also won two News and Documentary Emmys this year, something Fox News has never done. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Fox News is not regarded as an especially reliable source for news. They exist only to pump disinformation into the muddled heads of Republican partisans and Donald Trump cultists. Their coverage of any issue is predictably focused on advancing right-wing politics and defending Trump for whatever outrageous thing he did or said that day.

And Hannity is the worst of the lot. He openly colludes with Trump, who he reportedly speaks with almost every day. He has appeared in campaign ads for the President. There is simply no more brazenly brown-nosed Trump-fluffer than Sean Hannity. Not even Trump’s TV babysitters on Fox and Friends. And as his fortunes decline, Hannity gets ever more extreme. He is outdoing Alex Jones’ Infowars for crackpot conspiracy theories. This year he has spent hours on pure nuttery like Pizzagate, the Seth Rich murder, Hillary Clinton’s email (still?), and most recently, his fetish for smearing special counsel Robert Mueller. Hannity has led the charge to slander Mueller as a corrupt, dishonest, charlatan determined to stage a coup against Trump. Never mind that Mueller is a decorated Marine veteran with a long and distinguished career in law enforcement. And a life-long Republican to boot.

2018 may bring even greater rewards for Maddow and her MSNBC colleagues. She has the intelligence and the insight to make some very dry subjects both interesting and educational. And there is clearly an audience for smart, honest news analysis. The country yearns for programming that is more light than heat. And that’s what Maddow specializes in. She never books hostile adversaries simply to provoke on-air fights the way Fox and CNN do. Her mission is to inform, not infuriate. And when truth is on one side of the debate, lies are never presented just to have a perception of balance. That’s the Maddow model, and the rest of cable’s newscasters should seek to emulate it. It’s obviously a winning strategy, with the added benefit of having journalistic integrity.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Roy Moore’s Alabama Trainwreck Was a Disaster for Fox News and a Big Win for MSNBC

Alabama’s senate race became a national event due the the unique circumstances that marked the election. Roy Moore’s campaign was emblematic of a new movement to hold sexual predators accountable. And his anachronistic racial and religious rigor was reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition. Donald Trump also figured into the southern soap opera. Despite his sudden amnesia with regard to Moore, the outcome would be a referendum on the President whether Fox News liked it or not. And they really didn’t like it.

Fox News Sad

You’ll never guess who else didn’t like it. Fox News viewers voted with their remotes Tuesday. As the election returns came in, the ratings for Fox News fell off a cliff. And by the time the race was called for Doug Jones they had lost more than half their audience. In the 9:00 hour Fox’s coverage of the race was pretty strong with about 3.8 million people watching (831K in the 25-54 demo). For much of that time Moore was still leading. Rachel Maddow wasn’t far behind with 3.1 million viewers (760K in the demo).

However, the race was called (first by Fox News, oddly enough) at about 10:30. And that saw a drop off for Fox to about 3.5 million (889K demo). But, Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC took off scoring 3.745 million (1.0M demo). And CNN also spiked with 3.5 million (1.5M demo). And by the 11:00 hour, when it was clear that Jones was victorious, Fox News was pitifully defeated. They ended primetime with just 1.8 million viewers (470K demo). That’s less than half the total audience they had before the returns were in That compared to MSNBC’s 3.7 million (947 demo), about twice Fox’s numbers, and CNN’s 3.2 million (1.4M demo).

Clearly Fox News viewers were too upset to continue watching television. Seeing the pedophile they supported lose to an honorable Democrat was just too painful. Never mind that by the next morning most of them were insisting that Moore was never a viable candidate, they never really liked him, and that they are better off without him in the senate making the GOP look bad. That’s pretty much the view taken by Fox News and, not coincidentally, many Republicans and Donald Trump. Not to worry. They still have sexual predator and Russian collaborator (allegedly) Trump and his devoted Deplorables to make them look bad.

On the other hand, Doug Jones’ victory inspired viewers to tune into MSNBC and CNN en masse at the conclusion of the race. This isn’t because the Democrat won. Americans tuned in to the networks where they thought they would get truthful reporting of the results, without the desperate spin of losers trying to make excuses. That’s why the numbers didn’t increase for Fox News even when there was actual news to report. And the Fox cultists who had tuned in early weren’t going to subject themselves to what they considered bad news. A few more nights like this and Fox News will have to cease broadcasting.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Rachel Maddow Crushes Trump-Fluffer Sean Hannity in November Ratings War With Fox News

Two months ago Fox News moved Sean Hannity’s program to 9:00 pm. It was the latest schedule change resulting from the terminations of Fox anchors (Bill O’Reilly, Eric Bolling) accused of sexual harassment and abuse. For Hannity it was a promotion to a more desirable time slot with a potentially larger audience. He must have been excited for the opportunity.

Rachel Maddow

He very likely regrets it now. The latest Nielsen ratings report for November 2017, has some depressing news for Hannity and Fox News. In the new time period Hannity has been losing to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on a regular basis. The programs are not really competing for the same viewers, but the bragging rights for being number one are important for both promotion and advertising revenue. Hannity is especially hurting on the latter as a result of his support for the pedophile senate candidate in Alabama, Roy Moore. Advertisers have been fleeing the program and a successful Stop Hannity campaign was launched.

The Nielsen ratings results for the month of November reveal another bitter loss for Sean Hannity. With the pressure of going up against Fox’s top program, Rachel Maddow managed to score an impressive victory. That makes her the number one program in all of cable News in the coveted 25-54 year old demographic. Her ratings improved year-over-year by forty-eight percent. Fox News was down eighteen percent.

On the strength of Maddow’s popularity, the rest of the MSNBC lineup benefited as well. It was the only cable news network to grow its total audience from last year, rising thirty percent. Meanwhile CNN and Fox News both declined (-49% and -31% respectively). The MSNBC primetime was a strong contender across the board, finishing either first or second.

For early risers, Morning Joe took second place and delivered its best numbers in the twenty-one year history of the network. It was also the only show in the time period to grow its audience. In the 25-54 demo Morning Joe advanced twenty-two percent. CNN was down just three percent. And the “Curvy Couch” potatoes at Donald Trump’s favorite show, Fox and Friends, fell by twelve percent.

This has to be a satisfying victory for Maddow and MSNBC. Having suffered a year of Donald Trump’s infantile whining about fake news and low ratings, the network can boast that it handily outperformed Fox News (aka State-Run TV). It’s an indication that the country is hungry for real, in-depth reporting and analysis that doesn’t talk down to them. And, more importantly, doesn’t lie or engage in humiliating episodes of fawning over and defending the ignoramus in the White House.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

As we go forward we will likely see more of the same as Trump’s star falls ever further and the legal noose around his neck gets tighter. Hannity and his Fox News colleagues will undoubtedly ramp up the crazy (just as Trump is doing) in a desperate attempt to keep from becoming totally irrelevant. But their desperation will result in even more ludicrous conspiracy theories and lunatic outbursts. Who knows? This might actually end up being kinda fun to watch.