On Tuesday Donald Trump delivered a speech announcing his entry into the 2024 presidential race. The speech itself was typically riddled with lies, self-exaltation, and infantile insults. And despite the massive dose of melodrama, it was painfully dull.
Trump’s speech was so boring that even Fox News cut away after forty interminable minutes so that Sean Hannity and his guests could try to rescue the night by slobbering all over him with preposterous praise. They actually gushed that Trump was “in as good a form as you have ever seen him,” and that “If he keeps on like this tonight, he is unbeatable in 2024.”
Trump was at his dystopian worst, warning of an America that is plagued by “blood-soaked streets” in “cesspool cities.” It was precisely the sort of dreadful dialogue that resulted in his losing in 2020. It’s why 65% of registered voters don’t want him to run in 2024. And it’s why he failed to produce the fabled “red wave” in 2022.
Nevertheless, Trump posted comments on his floundering Twitter ripoff, Truth Social, bragging about the ratings for his apocalyptic address. One of the comments linked to the ultra-rightist Trump-fluffing website, Breitbart, where the headline lied “At Least 12.5 Million Watched Trump 2024 Announcement Live.” About four million of the viewers that Breitbart counted were reported by an unverified video webcaster. The other link was to a more reputable source, Mediaite, where the exaggerated headline read “Fox News and CNN Soar in Ratings During Trump’s Announcement.”
The actual ratings per Nielsen Media were 5.16 million on Fox News, and 2.43 million on CNN. MSNBC and the broadcast networks did not air the speech. So that’s a total of about 7.59 million viewers, not counting smalltime players like Newsmax and OAN.
For the record, the three major cable news networks drew 6.3 million the day before Trump’s speech, and 5.7 million the day after. So there wasn’t a particularly big spike for Trump. What’s more, the previous Tuesday the nets pulled in 13.8 million for election night. And for comparison, CBS’s “FBI” had 7.1 million viewers opposite Trump’s speech.
Another relevant comparison would be the televised hearings of the House Select Committee investing the January 6th insurrection that Trump incited. On the day that former White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, testified, the ratings soared to more than 13 million. And that was during the daytime. The Committee’s first hearing, that was held in primetime, drew about 20 million viewers, more than twice what Trump’s speech did.
At some point you would think that Trump might get the message and stop humiliating himself. Then again, a malignant narcissistic is not likely to accept the reality that he is widely despised. And of course, this is still the only way he has to fleece his flock and support himself. So even with these embarrassing stats, expect Trump to continue performing before his glassy-eyed cult disciples for as long as they shell out.
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