Republicans Are Afraid Of MSNBC

If you think that you have been inundated with Republican candidates yelping at one another on television for the past year, you would be right. So far there have been 17 GOP primary debates aired in a campaign season that has seen only two actual elections take place (Iowa and New Hampshire).

Here’s an interesting statistic that isn’t getting much attention. Of the 16 debates held thus far, the three major cable news networks (Fox, CNN, and MSNBC) carried eleven of them. Of those, the breakdown is five on Fox News, five on CNN, and only one on MSNBC.

Date Network Total Viewers Adults 25-54
Jan. 19 CNN 5,022,000 1,717,000
Jan. 16 Fox News 5,475,000 1,573,000
Dec. 15 Fox News 6,713,000 1,865,000
Nov. 22 CNN 3,599,000 1,041,000
Oct. 18 CNN 5,468,000 1,651,000
Sept. 22 Fox News 6,107,000 1,701,000
Sept. 12 CNN 3,600,000 1,100,000
Sept. 7 MSNBC 5,411,000 1,728,000
Aug. 11 Fox News 5,053,000 1,430,000
June 13 CNN 3,162,000 918,000
May 5 Fox News 3,258,000 854,000

What makes this interesting is that the single MSNBC debate drew more total viewers than four out of the five CNN debates. It beat all of the CNN debates in the key 25-54 year old demographic. In fact, in that demo, MSNBC beat every cable news debate except for one (Fox 12/15), despite its broadcast date back in September, before the campaign had begun in earnest.

With that kind of ratings performance you might think that the Republican Party would be anxious to get their candidates in front of such a large audience of engaged voters. You would be wrong. Republicans are not rushing to put their candidates on MSNBC and there can be only one reason. They are scared.

The GOP knows that they get treated with kid gloves on Fox News. It is their home field, it is staffed by teammates, and the stands are packed with rabid fans. CNN bends over backwards to prove they are not partisan, with the result being that they are partisan to the right. They even co-hosted one of their debates with the Tea Party Express, a disreputable political action committee that raises funds for Republicans, but pays out most of the donations to the PR firm that created it. Plus, the GOP knows that they can bash CNN, to the delight of their fans, and that the network won’t lift a finger in its own defense.

That diffidence was in evidence last night when CNN’s John King opened the debate with a question for Newt Gingrich about his ex-wife’s contention that he had proposed an open marriage. Gingrich was appalled that King would start off on such a sordid subject. Frankly, so was I. It was a boneheaded move that could have only resulted in precisely what happened. Gingrich would assert his outrage, the audience would explode with approval, and King would look like an idiot. What other possible outcome could King and CNN have imagined when they brainstormed that idea? It was, plain and simple, a gift to Gingrich.

During the 2008 presidential election, Democrats deliberately embargoed Fox News due to their blatant bias against them. At that time they were accused of being afraid to face tough questioning from Fox moderators. I’m sure those same critics would now regard the Republican candidates as cowards. And Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who said that “the candidates that can’t face Fox, can’t face Al Qaeda,” surely feels the same about candidates who can’t face MSNBC.

Last year Republicans were advised to steer clear of the “mainstream” media altogether and restrict their debates to friendly venues. Conservative columnist Hugh Hewitt and Breitbart blogger John Nolte were amongst those who advocated this policy. I wholeheartedly agreed with them. Nothing would be better for Democrats than to have the GOP nominate their presidential banner carrier in a series of love-fests that fail to either vet the candidate nor steel him for battle.

But I also knew that they wouldn’t have the guts to follow through on that. They need the media they pretend to hate. So they will continue to fraternize with those they regard as their enemy, except for one particular foe that they just cannot abide. With the primary season winding down, the GOP may succeed in skirting MSNBC until the general election. But they will not skirt the reputation of cowardice that is evident in their evasion.


8 thoughts on “Republicans Are Afraid Of MSNBC

  1. Since MSNBC no longer uses real journalists during their election coverage, the GOP candidates aren’t missing a thing.

    • That’s why Fox candidates got thrashed by Obama in 2008. 2012 will be even bigger thrashing.

  2. President Obama has been the winner throughout this republican primary run. What the republican party has running are the fools of clowns. They may win now but Obama will win the general.

    • Obama is running scared. That’s why he’s out there lying about his record.

  3. “The GOP knows that they get treated with kid gloves on Fox News.”

    Is this the same Fox News that Gingrich and Romney complained about when they got questions from the morning crew and Bret Bair.

    You’re a damn fool and an idiot to boot.

    • Fox is the most distrusted network with good reason. Gringrich, Santorum, Palin, Huckabee etc all work there and they have one thing in common they were thrashed by Obama.

  4. Think about this…all news networks are ignoring Ron Paul..he is proven uncorrupted..not tied with the globalists..the globalists really don’t care who wins because Obama & the other gop contenders answer to the same people. Study media mind control, study who owns & controls these networks! If you are Dem or Rep, you will see the truth..we have all been played..we need to unite as we the people. Listen close when Ron is talking..he is not one of them, that’s why they all hate experts that agree with Ron on foreign policy..tons of experts that disagree with Ron..there are none! Media forms people’s thoughts. Check these things out! Down with MSM! Ignore them..turn them off, & STUDY!

  5. Republicans might be afraid of MSNBC- IF you mean the GOP establishment. But the conservatives of this country are fed up with ALL the news networks and we don’t get our news from any of them. However, it does make us laugh when liberals accuse us of getting our info from Fox….Fox is pushing a RINO down our throat and we are sick and tired of them. Who needs the biased media? Get your info yourself and take everything you hear on tv with a grain of salt. Truth be told, the media is afraid of conservatives. We’re speaking to them – loud and clear.

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