By Jon Dougherty
Try as it may, CNN just can’t seem to connect with viewers, as evidenced by the latest Nielsen ratings which show the network hemorrhaging viewers like Michael Moore blows through cheeseburgers.
And without question, the inability of network hosts, anchors, editors, and writers to overcome their “Trump Derangement Syndrome” has played a huge role in CNN’s continued decline.
From April 8-12, the network only averaged an audience of 690,000 people — and just 180,000 in the key 25-54 age demographic.
Coverage last week included three presidential town halls with New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.
All were ratings disasters. Gillibrand’s town hall only pulled 507,000 viewers, but the other two didn’t fare much better: Inslee pulled 549,000 viewers and Castro just 654,000.
By comparison, last week MSNBC’s prime time lineup averaged 1.6 million viewers with 249,000 in the key demographic.
Fox News, meanwhile, managed to beat CNN and MSNBC together with a total viewership of 2,438,000 and 394,000 in the key demo.
As reported by The Daily Caller, CNN couldn’t even beat out the Food Network:
The top networks for primetime viewership last week were led by Fox News, followed by MSNBC, the Home and Garden TV, USA Network and TBS Network to round out the top five.
CNN finished 15th, behind networks like Discovery Channel, Food Network, TLC and A&E Network. Their ratings have continued to drop following the conclusion of the Mueller report. It appears like they might have a difficult time bouncing back after investing two years of heavy coverage on the investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the Kremlin.
But then, when you live by the lie and push fake news day in and day out, what should you expect? Take MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow, for instance.
For months leading up to the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report last month she kept primer her viewers with the pledge that soon, very soon, Mueller will reveal all of the ‘crimes’ committed by POTUS Donald Trump. And then…then, just wait for “The Impeachment Show!”
But of course Mueller’s entire ‘investigation’ wasn’t an investigation at all, but a witch hunt — as POTUS repeatedly said it was — to find something, anything, that could justify charging the president and overturning the results of the 2016 election.
After Mueller turned in his garbage report and ‘officially’ declared that POTUS had not ‘colluded’ with Mother Russia to ‘steal the election’ from Hillary Clinton and that there was no evidence to bring “obstruction” charges, Maddow’s ratings tanked as well, with hundreds of thousands of disillusioned viewers turning her off and tuning out.
There is an axiom in the news business that says if you lie to your core audience, that core audience will abandon you once the truth is revealed — and the truth is always revealed.
It’s an axiom that MSNBC should have heeded.
For most of a year, the network’s ratings have been steadily improving with one of its hosts, Rachel Maddow, garnering double-digit increases to become MSNBC‘s prime-time behemoth, surpassing, on some nights, Fox News rival Sean Hannity.
And for that same period, Maddow and the rest of the network’s ‘talent’ line-up pushed the Russian collusion hoax to viewers. Night after night, they told their audiences that, any day now, that fine, upstanding, paragon of virtue, Robert Mueller, was going to deliver the goods on POTUS Donald Trump, which would lead invariably to impeachment and, for good measure, post-White House financial ruin and even jail time.
But then the bottom fell out of the narrative on Friday when the special counsel delivered his mandated report to the Justice Department declaring that, after months and months of searching, no evidence of “collusion” with Russia to “steal the election from Hillary Clinton” could be found.
As The Daily Beast added:
Maddow, who has consistently vied for the first or second top-rated cable news program, was sixth on Monday evening, down almost 500,000 total viewers from the previous Monday, as was MSNBC’s second top-rated program in primetime, The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.
Within MSNBC, there’s an acknowledgment that the Trump-Russia narrative on which the cable network—and especially its primetime star Maddow—built monster ratings has fizzled for the moment.
Live by the lie in the news biz, and you’ll die by it.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10