The Blue Wave Swept MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Into First Place for November 2018

The 2018 midterm elections truly lived up to the pre-election hype. All the talk of a “Blue Wave” panned out as Democrats took the majority in the House of Representatives with more gains (40 seats) than any election since Watergate. In addition, they flipped seven governorships, seven statehouse majorities, and almost 400 state legislative seats. It was an unambiguous blowout for the Trump Resistance.

Rachel Maddow

But there was a victory that was not related to the the electoral one. The campaign for the eyes and ears of America’s television news viewers also tilted broadly to the left. The perennial leader, Fox News, suffered a decline in November versus their numbers for November 2017. So did CNN. But MSNBC had a notable gain. And that increase was driven by the popularity of their primetime anchor, Rachel Maddow.

Following the election on November sixth, the ratings for Maddow went steadily up. She was the top performing program on cable news for the rest of the month. Her competition, Sean Hannity, was unable to keep up. Maddow pulled in total 2.9 million viewers on average per night, compared to Hannity’s 2.8 million. And in the advertiser demographic of 25-54 she did 527,000, far exceeding Hannity’s 497,000.

Throughout much of this time period the election was still in progress as many districts continued to count votes in close races. That might have held the interest of viewers for Maddow, but you have to wonder why it didn’t do the same for Hannity’s audience. The difference may be that the election wasn’t the only story being told.

Donald Trump was doing his part by inflaming new scandals every other day. They included his callous response to the California fires; his ever-present battle with the media; the ongoing inaction to the murder of a journalist, and U.S. resident, Jamal Khashoggi; his embarrassing neglect of respect for fallen troops during his junket to France; and so many more it’s hard to keep track.

Maddow was studiously reporting on all of these issues and more. While Fox News was desperately trying to figure out ways to avoid these subjects altogether. Consequently they wound up recycling their typically ludicrous “War on Christmas” fare or regurgitated segments about Hillary Clinton’s emails. No wonder even Fox’s viewers turned away.

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

Whatever the reasons, Maddow showed that she is still a force to reckoned with. And as the new year brings a myriad of stories about congressional investigations into Trump and his crime family, along with the expected release of a report by special counsel Robert Mueller, the future looks bright for Maddow and MSNBC. Meanwhile, Fox viewers can look forward to more of this:

Fox News Regular Says the Mueller Investigation is a ‘Stalinist Approach to Criminal Justice’

It’s only been one day since the bombshell report that Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. His plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller provided new information about Trump’s collusion with Russia. But already Fox News is spinning it in the most frantically defensive manner possible. And it isn’t just the primetime “opinion” hosts doing it. It’s smack in the middle of the midday “news” block and buttressed by so-called “journalists.”

Fox News, Robert Mueller

Mollie Hemingway is a regular guest on Fox News and writes for the ultra-conservative Federalist. Her appearances on Fox are consistently pro-Trump no matter what new atrocity he has committed. So it isn’t especially surprising that she was called upon to help soften the blow of the new wrinkle in the Cohen scandal (video below). What’s surprising is the tack she took to disinform the willfully ignorant Fox viewers. She began with a nonsensical legal argument:

“If someone has evidence of something wrong, then they should bring that forward. But in this country we don’t decide that someone’s guilty and then go on a fishing expedition until they find something that they did.”

Since when do investigators “bring forward” everything they have accumulated prior to the completion of the investigation? She seems to think that law enforcement should tip off criminal suspects before all the evidence has been gathered. And contrary to Hemingway’s suggestion that Mueller is on a “fishing expedition,” he is actually just following the evidence wherever it takes him.

And that’s what’s worrying Fox News most of all. Because the evidence is invariably pointing to the guilt of Trump and his crime family. Facts are stubborn things. And the more that come out, the more trouble Trump is finding himself in. And the more desperate and fearful he behaves. Even to the point of accusing Mueller of McCarthyism. But Hemingway has taken this tactic ten steps further:

“It’s not that Donald Trump was a businessman that we need to find out. We already know that. We know that he’s a global businessman. What was alleged was treasonous collusion, and not just ‘this guy is someone we don’t like so we’re gonna punish him and anyone that worked with him.’ That’s a very Stalinist approach to criminal justice. It’s not how we’re supposed to do things in this country.”

Stalinist? So Hemingway thinks that the special counsel, who is a lifelong Republican, appointed by a Republican Deputy Attorney General that Trump chose, and working for Trump’s Justice Department, is a Stalinist operative? What does that say about the Republican Party – and Trump? Also, this isn’t about whether Trump was a businessman. He was, and really bad one with multiple bankruptcies. But this is about Trump lying about the business he was engaging in.

More to the point, Mueller is following the code of law to the letter. There is nothing remotely resembling the totalitarian methods of Stalin’s dictatorship about this probe. Stalin would have simply ordered his critics executed. Mueller is just asking people associated with the President’s campaign some questions. Oh, The Horror!

What’s more, the only similarities to Stalin in any of this are coming from Trump. He is actually using Stalin’s own words when he calls the media “the enemy of the people.” And Trump has banned reporters from the White House. He has maligned them as “fake,” “stupid,” “dangerous,” “dishonest,” and “sleazy.” He recently imposed a set of behavioral conditions that he is forcing them to follow. Now that is a very Stalinist approach.

Trump’s aspirations to tyranny are evident in all of this, along with his deranged worship of America’s authoritarian enemies like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. If Hemingway wants to make references to Stalin in her sycophantic defense of Trump she should at least be cognizant of the fact that it’s Trump who is acting out the role of dictator, not Mueller. And if Stalin were around to see this, Trump’s words and deeds would make him proud – and perhaps a little jealous.

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