The danger of any major media outlet with a clear partisan lean is that when their party is in power, the best-case scenario is that they will be softer toward the people in power. The worst-case scenario is that they will become a press shop for the state.
Fox News has received a lot of criticism for how it’s handled the Trump presidency, and many of the outspoken commentators on the network have been blasted as mere propagandists for the Trump Administration. What you are not hearing from their critics is that, apparently, their coverage of the news is more appealing to the American public than the outlets that have set themselves up as the opposition – CNN and MSNBC.
Check out these numbers from Nielsen Media Research.
RATINGS FOR THE TOP FIVE PROGRAMS IN CABLE NEWS:
Total Viewers: Hannity (3,368,000), The Rachel Maddow Show (2,752,000), Tucker Carlson Tonight (2,697,000), The Ingraham Angle (2,654,000), The Five (2,233,000)
Adults 25-54: Hannity (685,000), The Rachel Maddow Show (559,000), The Ingraham Angle (544,000), Tucker Carlson Tonight (541,000), Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (419,000)
2Q’18 VS. 2Q’17 NIELSEN NUMBERS (seven day week, L+SD):
FNC: 1,409,000 total viewers – down 4% (286,000 in 25-54 – down 9%)
CNN: 658,000 total viewers – down 16% (202,000 in 25-54 – down 23%)
MSNBC: 930,000 total viewers – up 5% (196,000 in 25-54 – down 5%)
FNC: 2,447,000 total viewers – up 4% (480,000 in 25-54 – up 2%)
CNN: 929,000 total viewers – down 12% (302,000 in 25-54 – down 18%)
MSNBC: 1,736,000 total viewers – up 6% (346,000 in 25-54 – down 11%)
In particular, look at the most important numbers in media today: The Adults 25-54 numbers. Fox News is winning across the board in what is considered the most vital demographic in television, and that should be a warning flag for the other networks.
The indication here is that, of the people who watch cable news (an admittedly shrinking number), more people believe Fox News is more honest and fair and, therefore, they are going to present a better picture of how the world really is. Particularly in America. It’s likely that people are looking for the good in their country, and Fox News is the only one presenting it.
The American people are tired of the “If It Bleeds, It Leads” mentality of media. MSNBC and CNN both rely heavily on the negative in leading their headlines of the minute, and their obvious opposition to the Trump Administration and agenda is making their newscasts and commentary unwatchable.
That ultimately means that Fox News is more compelling and appealing to a wider array of people: Primarily, people in the heartland of America, who many liberals scoff at on a regular basis. These are the people who got Trump elected, and their input and impact on national politics are way more important than anyone fully realized.
It also shows that the Resistance, at times seemingly led by media figures, is nowhere near as motivated as social media might indicate. The 25-54-year-olds who watch cable news are choosing Fox over the others. That should be a warning sign, and perhaps some motivation for the other outlets to temper their coverage a bit, and stop focusing on the negative so much.