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.
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.
Congratulations @FoxNews: Fox has 15 of the top 20 shows with @SeanHannity and @TuckerCarlson leading the pack at 1st and 2nd respectively. CNN has become totally irrelevant, down 19% from last year with only 1 show in the Top 25 (#24th). pic.twitter.com/5IcwYEbFRR
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) March 5, 2018
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…
If you’re a news organization and the folks in power are constantly praising you, you’re doing it wrong. By definition.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 6, 2018
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.