Fox News and CNN did well in the ratings for May, a reflection of a month full of breaking news. MSNBC? Not so much.
MSNBC decreased 9 percent in total viewers and 19 percent in the 25- to 54-year-old demo compared to last year, for about 301,000 total viewers and 83,000 in the demo. In Monday through Sunday prime time, MSNBC lost 14 percent in total viewers and 18 percent in the demo. HLN performed better than MSNBC in total day demo, getting 109,000 viewers.
MSNBC has a big problem, y’all. As Tom Petty would say, they’re “freeeeeeeeeeee fallin’.” The continued decline in their programming is making them even less watched than HLN, and I don’t know anyone who watches HLN except for the people who eat at the Pizza Hut in Abbeville, Louisiana, because it’s always on the television sets in there for some reason. There are two problems here, each of the boding ill for liberalism in media in general.
The first is that, while MSNBC is a news network, it is also an entertainment network, and it is simply not entertaining. If the past reports are true, a lot of the blame there can be placed on Rachel Maddow, who allegedly has a ton of pull there. She’s responsible for the young, intellectual faces of the network (like Chris Hayes, who himself is not a terrible host other than his ideologies). In doing so, the network has pushed the more blue-collar appealing guys like Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz into a bit more obscurity. Al Sharpton, when he’s not waging war against teleprompters, is also one who should be appealing to a good demographic for the network, but can’t reach them.
This move toward the intellectualism of liberalism is just not appealing to the working class liberal that MSNBC should be targeting. They don’t feel a connection like they did when the (sorry social justice warriors) older, white, blue collar guys were there. They have shifted over to CNN and other left-leaning, but more appealing stations.
The other problem is that intellectual liberalism is, at best, whiny liberalism that talks about how unfair everything is and how they are being targeted by the evil guys. There is nothing entertaining about that. When you listen or watch the guys in news opinion (whether on television or radio), they talk about ideas and creating change, not whining, but more than that, they would be sure to entertain you while they tell you how the world is going to hell. Keith Olbermann, for all his faults, is at least entertaining at times. His segments knew how to reach their audience and make them laugh and connect with the host. Rachel Maddow can’t do that, because the world is too big, too evil, and too awful for her to find any joy, apparently. So long as there is a single Republican pushing a Republican policy, you will always get a Rachel Maddow who is devoted to talking about how it is unfair, and people are tired of the whining.
There is very little that is appealing in what MSNBC provides, and their ratings show it. CNN has a reputation of being an all-news network (realities at times be damned). Fox News is centered around appealing to that flyover country demographic and right-leaning viewers. Headline News is centered around people who hatewatch Nancy Grace. MSNBC has become the home of whiny, intellectual liberalism, of which I’m genuinely surprised there are 109,000 out there who aren’t in university classrooms during the day.