Rachel Maddow Rides Impeachment to Ratings Victory Over Trump-Fluffer Sean Hannity

In the week since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Donald Trump is the subject of an official House impeachment inquiry, there have been some extraordinary developments. Trump himself blew a gasket and began flinging rhetorical feces at Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and what he called Democrat Savages,” and even his faithful defenders at Fox News. Trump descended head first into paranoid rants accusing his perceived enemies of treason and assorted other imaginary atrocities.

Rachel Maddow

What’s more, the public has been rapidly accepting that Trump is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors warranting his removal from office. Recent polls show a net 20 point swing in favor of impeachment. The Ukraine affair has the advantage of being quickly understood without the complexities of Trump’s unsavory connections to Russian and the 400 page Mueller Report that reveals criminality and obstruction of justice – if people would read it.

As the impeachment story heats up it is also having an impact on television news viewing. The past week saw MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow spike significantly as she focuses on Trump’s tribulations. Among the all-important advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds, Maddow handily beat her Fox News competition, Sean Hannity. Maddow averaged 586,000 viewers a day for the week, compared to only 550,000 for Hannity. This is good timing for Maddow whose new book – Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth – comes out today.

As the ratings and the polls consistently reflect the trouble Trump has caused for himself, he is becoming ever more desperate for the sort of flattery that fuels his tender ego. He typically finds it in the cultish sycophancy of Fox News and the utterly disreputable polling by Rasmussen. But lately he has been feuding with Fox and Rasmussen just reported a five point drop in his approval in the past week. Consequently he resorted to posting the results of an online poll at Breitbart “News.”

You might think it’s pathetic that Trump would rely on such a blatantly biased and unreliable survey of the crackpots who patronize Breitbart. But what’s even worse is that a poll taken in his own Twitter feed, with more than twice the number of respondents, has support for impeachment exceeding 90 percent.

It’s apparent that the movement to impeach Trump is only going to pick up steam as it goes forward. And along the way more people will be exposed to the facts offered by Rachel Maddow, while Hannity’s viewers slink off to the comforting seclusion of the underside of the rocks they call home. But this is no time to get complacent. Trump’s exploding derangement is going to spray psycho-shrapnel everywhere. And his most devoted disciples will even threaten civil war. In fact, both he and they and Fox News already have. So stay alert and engaged Resistors. This is just the beginning.

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

Trump ‘Congratulates’ CNN for Having Low Ratings, Even Though His Are Much Worse

Having a healthy ego is a requirement for anyone who aspires to be President of the United States. But there has never been a president with the kind of psychotically twisted self-image as Donald Trump. He has explicitly declared himself as the best in the world at whatever subject he happens to be babbling about at the time. Whether it’s taxes or war or energy or finance or women, Trump is adamant that he knows more than anybody else (see the video below). It’s rather impressive that he can be so self-aggrandizing and so wrong at the same time.

Donald Trump, Loser

So naturally Trump is obsessed with rankings and ratings and other measures of ability that he can exploit to make himself feel like he isn’t the miserable failure that he knows he is deep inside. And since he regards Fox News as an extension of himself, the cable TV ratings are a big part of Trump’s notion of self-worth. That’s why when he saw some ratings data (from the Daily Caller, the ultra-rightist website run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson) that noted the poor performance of CNN, he leaped at the chance to sarcastically congratulate the network as if these results were specifically heralding him.

Of course, anyone who follows the cable news business already knows that CNN has been lagging behind both Fox News and MSNBC. So it’s hard to figure out why Trump got so excited. But more interesting is the fact that Trump’s joy seems to ignore an important part of reality: Trump’s approval is even worse than CNN’s ratings. In fact, as disclosed in a recent poll, the American people trust CNN more than they do Trump or Fox News:

“Attacks on the ‘fake news’ media have been a staple of President Donald Trump’s messaging as both a presidential candidate and commander in chief, but new polling from Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter suggests that when it comes to credibility, that rhetoric really only resonates with Republicans.”

This poll shows that a majority of 53 percent regard CNN as “credible.” The same goes for another target of Trump’s, the New York Times. And all three broadcast networks came in higher than 60 percent. Fox News was below all of them at 52 percent. And that’s with 70 percent of Republicans believing it’s credible (a number that affirms the cult nature of their relationship with both Fox and Trump). Numerous other polls have been conducted on the question of trust, and in every single case the American people said that they trust the media more than they do Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump’s own ratings have achieved a dubious distinction as being lower than any president in history. So Trump is right about being the best – at least at being hated. Even the disreputable, right-wing, pro_Trump pollster, Rasmussen, has Trump down five points (to 47%) since the release of the redacted Mueller report less than a week ago. The more reliable Reuters poll shows that Trump has declined to a dismal 37 percent.

So to shore up his faltering standing with the public, Trump has spent Monday morning frantically posting clips of Fox News slobbering all over him. No less than five such clips were tweeted featuring crackpots like Lou Dobbs and Mark Levin. It’s the only way he can manage to salve his wounded and fragile ego. He is a man consumed by fear. And every tweet wherein he lambastes special counsel Robert Mueller, and the “witch hunt,” and the “Angry Democrats,” and the media, just reinforces his guilt and his desperation to suppress it.

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

Rachel Maddow is the #1 Cable News Program for First Quarter of 2019 Despite Trump’s Fox News Hype

The Rachel Maddow Show has achieved yet another milestone in her program’s ratings surge. She has been outperforming her competition since the midterm election last November. That includes staggering routs of Fox News and its primary Trump-fluffer, Sean Hannity.

Rachel Maddow

In a press release from MSNBC, Maddow is shown to have beaten “all other FOX News and CNN shows, according to Nielsen data from December 31, 2018 through March 28, 2019.” Furthermore, “this quarter was ‘Maddow’s’ highest-rated quarter ever in total viewers, averaging 3.07M total viewers at 9pm.” It’s a record-breaking achievement that demonstrates the audience appeal for an aggressively honest brand of reporting that respects the viewer and delivers facts that are well-sourced and documented.

The success of Maddow’s program was mirrored by much of the MSNBC schedule. The network’s Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5pm, viewing grew by a larger margin (17%) than Fox News, which actually declined two percent. The same goes for total day viewing that saw a nine percent increase for MSNBC versus a two percent drop for Fox News.

Additionally, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell bested its Fox competition in its time period to be the #1 program for the quarter in both the 25-54 year old demographic and total viewers. It also outperformed Fox by growing ten percent compared to a seven percent decline for Fox. And another bright spot for MSNBC was Nicolle Wallace’s Deadline: White House, which also rang in at #1 against Fox’s long time host Neil Cavuto. And the press release notes that:

“Multiple MSNBC programs also achieved total-viewer ratings highs, including weekdays during ‘MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin,’ ‘Andrea Mitchell Reports,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Velshi & Ruhle,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Katy Tur,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Ali Velshi,’ ‘MTP Daily,’ ‘The Beat with Ari Melber,’ ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews,’ ‘All In with Chris Hayes,’ and ‘The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell’; and Saturdays during ‘UP with David Gura’ and ‘Weekends with Alex Witt.'”

It must be especially painful for Fox News considering how hard Trump worked to promote his State TV division. At times it was impossible to tell whether Trump was the President of the United States, or of Fox’s Marketing and PR department. At one point in March Trump posted ten Fox News videos in one flurry of weekend rage-tweeting.

This quarter also saw the publishing of an in-depth expose of the clinging embrace between Trump and Fox News by Jane Mayer of the New Yorker. Trump also came to the defense of two of Fox’s most offensive hosts, Jeanine Pirro and Tucker Carlson, whose prafane and insulting rants have cost them most of their advertisers. The Democratic National Committee made a profoundly wise decision to ban Fox from hosting any Democratic primary debates. That decision was affirmed shortly thereafter by a survey that revealed the depth of Fox’s right-wing nuttery. Meanwhile, Trump kept tweeting what he thought was good news about his favorite network.

All in all, it’s another stellar quarter for MSNBC, a network that was once written off as an also-ran that would always trail the perennial leader. And for Fox News it’s a bitter humiliation as their relentless and biased advocacy for Donald Trump, and shameless lying about his critics, proves to be a drag in the ratings race.

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

Poor Fox News is Pathetically Bragging About a Few Days of Beating MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow

Fox News was once the dominant news network on cable TV. It was so far ahead of its competition that it seemed unthinkable that it could be challenged. That’s mainly because they corralled all of the Deplorable right-wingers into one barnyard pen, while the rest of the television news was dispersed across many other channels. But it was still a marketing angle they could use as a cudgel against their competitors.

Fox News, Rachel Maddow

In recent years that domination has has dissipated substantially. And particularly in the past few months, MSNBC has caught up, and quite often surpassed Fox news in the ratings. Rachel Maddow’s program has been crushing Sean Hannity, her direct time period competitor, on a nearly nightly basis ever since the midterm elections last November.

In what seems to be a reaction to the surging performance of MSNBC, Donald Trump took measures to prop up Fox News which acts as his personal, state TV mouthpiece for propaganda. He’s has fervently promoted his fave hosts including Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Jeanine Pirro. He even did so on Thursday night at his latest cult rally in Michigan. It’s often hard to tell whether Trump thinks he’s working for the American people or for Fox’s PR department.

Fox News has also started to boast about their ratings. They featured a story on their website’s home page that celebrated what they called “Maddow’s Deep Dive.” What makes this extraordinary is that this isn’t the sort of thing that any network does. When was the last time anyone has seen CBS or CNN make a story about their ratings a news item? That’s generally reserved for the TV trade press. But even more embarrassing for Fox is that they have to do this at all. They are effectively conceding that they have been the big losers of late and now are proud that they’ve had a few days where they aren’t in the ratings cellar. It’s an admission that they are underperforming MSNBC and it is therefore cause for joy that they came out on top for a while.

It should be noted that this “success” for Fox News is occurring just after the release of a four page letter by Trump’s plant in the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr. The letter purports to be a summary of the 400+ page report by special counsel Robert Mueller. But it is a gross misrepresentation of that document by all accounts. And that includes the account of Fox’s senior legal analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, who says that there is evidence of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the full report. So it’s natural for Maddow’s viewers to take a break from what can be considered a slow news cycle, while Fox’s viewers pile in to get their pro-Trump fantasies gassed up.

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

Whether or not this constitutes a trend in the ratings, or is a temporary blip remains to be seen. But the fact that Fox News was compelled to throw a party simply because they edged out Maddow – who rose from nowhere to become a giant killer – just proves that Fox is worried and has to brag about briefly beating a show that they used to ignore as unworthy of their attention. Maddow and MSNBC are clearly making Fox so nervous that they can’t even hide it. That’s great news for MSNBC.

Trump Pumps Fox News Ratings Despite Their Primetime Shows Losing to MSNBC Four Months Straight

There is a stench of desperation in seeing a president so brazenly genuflecting to a sycophantic “news” enterprise. Especially one that serves as his personal State TV mouthpiece. But that’s what has transpired between Donald Trump and Fox News. It’s gotten to the point where he appears to be acting more like the president of Fox News PR and Marketing than of the United States. Just last week he posted ten videos of Fox programs touting his eminence.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

Trump’s devotion to Fox News is so all-consuming that it takes up more than half of his Twitter feed. He tweets more about Fox News than about “witch hunts,” although many of his tweets combine both of those subjects thanks to Fox’s own obsession over that particular conspiracy rant. But on Tuesday Trump took the additional step of bragging on Fox’s behalf about their ratings:

There’s a lot to unpack here. First of all, Trump already declared that the media has lost its credibility many times, going back nearly two years. Secondly, the Mueller investigation that he calls a “witch hunt” has produced dozens of indictments and seven convictions, so far. And with the release of the Barr Letter (allegedly summarizing the Mueller Report), Trump even praised special counsel Robert Mueller as “honorable.” Thirdly – well, we don’t really need to go into the absurdity of Trump’s self characterization as “your all time favorite duly elected President, me!” His historically low approval polling settles that question.

Finally, Trump leaped into the TV marketing and promotions game by hyping what he thinks are good numbers for Fox News. It needs to be noted that that is NOT his job! But he persists in boasting as if Fox’s performance reflects on him personally, which in many ways it does. But his analysis is pitifully ignorant. His assertion that the Mueller news affected the ratings race is based solely on the steam emanating from the various orifices in his head (and perhaps other body parts as well). But more importantly, Mueller has been in the news all month and the ratings over the course of more than just the one day that Trump is focused on tell a completely different story.

For the month of March so far, Rachel Maddow has beaten her competition, Sean Hannity, in the all-important advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds. And in total audience they are separated by a miniscule fifty thousand viewers, with both coming just short of three million on average per night. Longer term, though, Maddow has crushed Hannity for the past four months straight.

So Trump is going out of his way to celebrate the ratings on a single night that has no bearing on the overall ratings picture. It’s what losers in the media do when they haven’t got a real story of success to pitch. And Trump is going all out to help his pals at Fox. He has scheduled his first post-Barr Letter interview for Hannity’s program Wednesday night. Although it’s a stretch to call these love fests interviews since they mainly consist of Hannity feeding Trump narratives he can brag (and lie) about. Undoubtedly the faithfull MAGA cultists will tune in for more of their regularly scheduled propaganda. But the real test will come in the days and weeks following these staged, reality TV style events.And if the past four months is any indicator, we won’t be seeing any more of these Trump pumps on his Twitter feed.

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

Rachel Maddow Stomps Sean Hannity with 4th Straight Monthly Win vs State TV (aka Fox News)

A couple of years ago Fox News was regarded as an invincible monolith on cable news that no other network could challenge. It was a fallacy created by their catering to a hard-core right-wing constituency that behaved like mesmerized cult worshipers, but it had the effect of corralling the whole demographic into a plurality of viewers while the other networks divided the rest of the audience.

Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Fox News

However, that tactic has lost its potency. Ever since the midterm election in early November, the Rachel Maddow Show has dominated her time period and helped to boost the ratings of her MSNBC colleagues. For four straight months Maddow has beaten the previous time period champ, Sean Hannity, by significant margins.

For the month of February Maddow’s ratings improved by nine percent over the prior year. She was the most-watched cable news program among adults 25-54. She won all but three nights in the entire month. Meanwhile, Fox News has been struggling to keep people tuned in. Tucker Carlson was down four percent year-over-year in total viewers. Laura Ingraham was down six percent. And Hannity was off seven percent. In the coveted advertiser demo of 25-54 year olds, Hannity has lost nearly a quarter (23%) of his audience. In fact, the whole Fox News primetime roster is down in the demo by twenty percent.

The dominance of Maddow’s program has increased over time. And on February 27 (the day following the House Oversight Committee’s hearing with testimony by Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen), she had the highest rating ever for her show. This performance has resulted in MSNBC achieving ratings records overall. From Morning Joe in the AM, to Nicolle Wallace in the afternoon, to primetime, MSNBC has enjoyed double digit growth.

In addition to Fox’s ratings woes, they are also suffering an exodus of advertisers. Some of that is due to their declining ratings, but most of it is because advertisers just don’t want to be associated with programs that advocate bigotry and promote violence. It’s gotten so bad that the ad sales folks at Fox are afraid to even try selling these shows to advertisers. Consequently, Trump has had to be enlisted in a campaign to rescue the failing network’s biggest “stars.” And it’s a two-way street with Fox hosts like Hannity and Jeanine Pirro showing up at Trump’s cult rallies.

Television ratings can be fluid and swerve back and forth between various networks and programs. But the rise of MSNBC has defied the predictions of most analysts. And their sustained dominance over many months has been particularly surprising. This is no fluke. And it is not likely a coincidence that this success has occurred as Democrats have increased their presence in Washington, and the legal peril for Trump has exploded.

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

As Trump’s prospects continue to decline, more people will tune in to MSNBC for the real news that Fox ignores and suppresses. And as more people become informed, Trump’s fortunes will wither even more. It’s beautiful downward spiral for a criminal president and his TV sycophants.

Rachel Maddow Leads MSNBC to a January Freeze-Out of Sean Hannity and State TV (aka Fox News)

The new year has started off with big bang for MSNBC and its star anchor Rachel Maddow. For the past couple months her program has been smothering her Fox News competition, Sean Hannity. It began immediately after the midterm election on November 6th and hasn’t slowed down since. And January’s results confirm that it was no fluke. Maddow has definitely caught fire and her sharp analysis and engaging manner of unfolding complex subjects is clearly winning over viewers.

Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity

Some of the highlights from the January Nielsen ratings include that Maddow was the number one non-sports show on all of cable, not just just news programming. She dominated in both total audience and the advertiser friendly 25-54 demographic. Her success helped drive up the performance of her primetime colleagues Lawrence O’Donnell and Brian Williams. In fact, that bloc of programming won every hour for the entire month.

Maddow’s show contributed to MSNBC’s impressive audience growth. It gained fourteen percent in total day, and six percent in prime time versus January 2018. During the same time period Fox News declined significantly. It’s total day viewership was down eleven percent. In primetime Fox News lost ten percent. And those numbers were even worse for in the 25-54 demo: down twenty-one percent total day, and twenty percent in the demo.

Almost as satisfying as Maddow’s success is the failure of Fox’s Sean Hannity. Once the unchallenged cable news champ, Hannity’s total ratings crashed nineteen percent since the midterms in November. His fall in the demo was a massive thirty percent. His Fox News lead-in, Tucker Carlson, didn’t fare any better. He was Fox’s top program, but he trailed Maddow by seventeen percent in total audience, and by nineteen percent in the demo. It’s a relief to know that America’s television viewers are recognizing the hatred and racism that emanates from the likes of Carlson and Hannity and are changing the channel.

What’s more, Carlson and Laura Ingraham are suffering from an advertiser exodus due to their offensive positions. Carlson mainly for his open advocacy of white nationalism. And Ingraham for her attacks on the kids from Parkland, Florida, who survived the school shooting last year. So their shows are not only losing viewers, but they aren’t making any money either.

In addition to the solid wins by Maddow, there was good news in January’s numbers for the rest of the MSNBC roster. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and The 11th Hour with Brian Williams were both number one in both total audience and the demo. Morning Joe rose fourteen percent while its competition, Fox and Friends, sunk ten percent. Hardball was number one in total viewers. And the programs hosted by Chris Hayes, Ari Melber, Stephanie Ruhle, Hallie Jackson, Craig Melvin, Andrea Mitchell, Ali Velshi, and Katy Tur all posted record numbers. One particular standout was Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, which was number one in total viewers, beating perennial Fox News host Neil Cavuto.

The days of Fox News dominating the cable news ratings are definitely over. And thanks for that should go to Rachel Maddow for redefining how a successful news program can be produced. She does not follow the daily tweetstorming of the President, and never hosts panels of belligerent partisans yelling over each other. She presents detailed examinations of serious issues in an honest and accessible way, and respects her audience.

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

But some thanks should also go to Donald Trump for behaving like a loathsome cretin whose flagrant lies are driving away whatever few rational thinkers are still left watching Fox News. Those who remain are the barrel-bottom crud who enjoy wallowing in ignorance and will never be pried loose from their cult worship.

Crybaby Trump’s Fear and Whining Loses to Pelosi and Schumer in Nielsen Ratings

The most prominent character flaw of Donald Trump (among so many) is his dangerously malignant narcissism. He has an ego so large and fragile that its collapse could produce a tsunami big enough to wipeout much of the civilized world. The evidence of this is often revealed in his frequent bragging about things he undeservedly takes credit for, and his whining about failures for which he refuses to take any responsibility.

Donald Trump, Loser

Naturally, any poll that he can strain something positive out of, he will feature prominently on his Twitter feed. And among the surveys that he most likes to promote are those taken by Nielsen Media Research. Trump just gets giddy with excitement when he excels in the ratings. So the results of his Oval Office speech on Tuesday night are likely to bring a storm of rage due to his defeat at the hands of his Democratic foes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.

When Trump finds out that more people watched The Pelosi/Schumer Show than his pathetic babbling about steel barriers and beheadings, he may have a stroke. Sure, some Fox News viewers tuned out after he signed off. But the audience increased for the other cable networks enough to exceed the total for his audience. And the combined post-Trump total for MSNBC and CNN surpassed the number of viewers on Fox.

NETWORK TRUMP SCHUMER/PELOSI
FOX NEWS 8,221,000 7,864,000
MSNBC 4,025,000 4,461,000
CNN 3,390,000 3,742,000
TOTALS 15,636,000 16,067,000

If Trump was hoping to command a large audience of dimwits he could persuade with his oozing charm, he failed bigly. Not only did he give a presentation that induced narcolepsy, it lead to a Wednesday afternoon meeting with Democrats where Trump stormed out in a huff upon hearing that he still wasn’t gonna get the wall he wanted from Santa. Then he tweeted an insolent and incoherent message:

Trump seems to think that by agreeing to reopen the government, he’s entitled to total subservience from Democrats who still oppose the wall for a host of legitimate reasons. Those reasons don’t disappear because Trump finally behaves responsibly and Congress does the job they’re paid to do. And the wall isn’t his reward for releasing a hostage nation from his aspiring authoritarian grip.

There’s no way that Trump can win this argument because he’s relying only on an infantile insistence that everyone bow down to his demands. But Republicans in the Senate are already starting to fall away as they realize that deliberately hurting their constituents is bad politics. So it’s only a matter of time before Trump caves in with some face saving resolution that still denies him his precious wall.

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

Rachel Maddow Beats Her Fox News Competition Every Single Day for the Whole Month of December

The new year is beginning with an incredible boost from the remarkable performance of Rachel Maddow’s program on MSNBC. She has been dominating her Fox New competition, Sean Hannity, ever since the midterm election in early November. But her numbers for December are truly spectacular and may indicate a monumental shift.

Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Fox News

The success of Maddow’s program may even be getting to Donald Trump. While he has never tweeted about her since becoming president, he did run an ad on Facebook that featured her as his top nemesis. Trump is notoriously frightened by strong women (see his fearful behavior around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi). And he has good reason to be scared of Maddow. Her program provides some of the most incisive, detailed accounts of Trump’s criminality and analyses of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. That attention to the facts in a comprehensible form has paid off for Maddow.

The Nielsen ratings for The Rachel Maddow Show have exceeded in almost every way possible. She beat the Sean Hannity show every single day for the entire month of December. Granted, he was on vacation for a small part of that time, but so was she. The numbers weren’t even close. Maddow topped Hannity by a whopping forty-seven percent in total viewers. She also whooped him by twenty-one percent in the all-important advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds.

What’s more, Maddow powered MSNBC to historic highs. The network was the third most-watched channel in primetime for all of cable TV, not just cable news. And it was the second most-watched basic cable network across the 24-hour day for 2018. It was the only network that posted double-digit growth over the prior year. And it was number one among African-American viewers for the year.

The rest of the MSNBC schedule also enjoyed record ratings. Lawrence O’Donnell, Brian Williams, and Nicole Wallace regularly beat their time-period competitors. And the dayside programs with Katy Tur, Andrea Mitchell, Ali Velshi, Stephanie Ruhle, Chris Hayes, etc., leaped to new highs. And all of this happened while Fox News either declined or made impotent gains of one or two percent.

This should inform the rest of the media that intelligent, honest, reporting and analysis is a winning programming strategy. The public is tired of deliberately hostile panels and ridiculous attempts to balance facts with lies and nonsense. And as the new year progresses with more revelations from Mueller and the expected oversight hearings in the new Congress, the media needs to rise to the occasion and fulfill its obligations to the people.

That means rejecting Trump’s anti-constitutional assaults on the free press that he frames in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” Maddow proves that when the press respects the principles of ethical journalism, rather than devolving into State TV flunkies (aka Fox News) the people will reward them them with their viewership, trust, and loyalty.

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

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: