Donald Trump, the former reality TV game show host, is once again obsessing over television ratings. It’s almost as if he still thinks he’s a TV personality, rather than the pathetic political loser who is now a senior resident of Palm Beach’s gaudy Mar-All-Ego retirement village in Florida.
Trump’s fixation on TV ratings goes back a long ways. He has long regarded them as being a better indicator of popularity than public opinion polls. That may be because most polls consistently exposed his weakness and general disapproval with the public at large.
Trump literally said that TV ratings “are the real polls” despite the fact that Nielsen doesn’t measure popularity, just viewership. Which means they don’t record the political ideology of viewers.
Furthermore, TV ratings don’t account for the fact that Fox News only tops the ratings because it has a de facto monopoly on the cult-like right-wing audience, while the rest of the viewer universe is divided among all the other news and entertainment networks.
On Tuesday Trump issued one of his increasingly impotent statements (since he can no longer post on social media) that are mostly ignored by everyone but his dimwitted disciples. He said that…
“CNN ratings are down 70%. MSDNC is also way down. Actually, they are ALL way down. They say the news is ‘boring’ since I left D.C. Morning Joe, Joy Reid (whoever that is?), Nicole Wallace, Jake Tapper, and even Chris Wallace, at Fox, in free fall. A wonderful thing to see!”
Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America pic.twitter.com/6RxB5Sfz9Y
— RSBN ?? (@RSBNetwork) June 29, 2021
Trump is surprisingly correct for once. Ratings for all of the cable news networks have declined year over year. According to Deadline…
“In primetime, Fox News topped with an average of 2.13 million viewers, compared to 1.31 million for MSNBC and 798,000 for CNN. Compared to the same month a year earlier, Fox News was off 42%, MSNBC was down 36% and CNN dropped 57%. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News drew an average of 329,000, down 50%; compared to 179,000 for CNN, falling 68%; and 166,000 for MSNBC, off by 48%.
“In total day, Fox News averaged 1.17 million in total viewers, down 35%; MSNBC posted 763,000, down 37% and CNN was at 580,000, down 49%. In the 25-54 demo, the numbers were 195,000 for Fox News, down 42%, 133,000 for CNN, falling 59% and 99,000 for MSNBC, dropping by 48%.”
However Trump doesn’t bother to explain why ratings have suffered. He simply implies that it’s because his unceasing lunacy is no longer a part of the daily circus that consumes the press. He’s at least partially correct. There are fewer viewers for the same reason that viewership declines after any other catastrophic event. Ratings spike when a hurricane ravages the eastern shore. Then they subside when the weather returns to normal. And Hurricane Trump has petered out.
In the big picture, the ratings for all of the cable news networks were expected to fall back from this time last year. In June of 2020 the nation was in the midst of a presidential election. The party conventions were approaching. And it isn’t insignificant to note that people were confined to their homes due to a deadly pandemic. Which was another Trump catastrophe that boosted news viewing.
Trump’s statement went out of its way to identify program hosts mostly from MSNBC. And the only one that he derisively insulted was Joy Reid, a Black woman. That’s a pretty good indicator of who and what he is most afraid of. But his last comment stating that these ratings declines are “A wonderful thing to see” reveals his hostility to the media that he has repeatedly referred to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.”
Like the totalitarian dictators he admires, Trump wants the media to fail. He regards a free press, and the Constitution that protects it, as an adversary. And any bad news for the media is good news for an aspiring tyrant like Trump. He actually confided his envy to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, telling him that he also would like to “get rid of” the press. And given the opportunity, don’t doubt that he wouldn’t try.
UPDATE: Fox News reported on the ratings decline of CNN and MSNBC, attributing it, without evidence, to a “credibility problem.” And speaking of credibility problems, for some reason Fox’s article never mentioned Fox News ratings at all, or that they had declines that were just as bad and, more often than not, worse.
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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