The August ratings are in, and they appear to show that, for the 200th month in a row, Fox News is king of cable news.
It’s not terribly surprising when you think of it. Fox News has not changed. It has been consistent in its coverage of Republicans from a Republican point of view. It has given a large platform to conservatives on television as a means of counter-balancing the left-leaning tilt of other cable networks. Fox’s consistency led to a 4 percent increase in audience for the month of August.
MSNBC, to its credit, hasn’t changed either. It is exactly what it’s always been, and as a result, it has managed to grow its audience by 1 percent.
CNN, however, has not been consistent. As a network, and from an editorial perspective, it has become erratic. Jim Acosta grabs the spotlight to make a story about himself time and again. Brian Stelter has taken to blaming everyone but himself and the journalism industry for the overall declining trust in media. Chris Cuomo spends many mornings losing his mind over things in dramatic fashion.
And, of course, there is this.
This is disgusting. He was asked to come on to remember his friend and then treated like shit for disagreeing with their editorial decisions https://t.co/9fPFTFtaal
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) August 28, 2018
You have Chris Cillizza saying that “conservatives lost” in Arizona last night, which simply isn’t the case.
Hi Chris, conservatives in Arizona voted for the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat & first woman to command a fighter squadron in combat to Congress
Why isn’t that your or CNN’s headline ? https://t.co/r9znlSQyau
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) August 29, 2018
CNN has one bright spot, and the ratings show that people care about presentation when it comes to news. Character and personality matter, and so CNN won the 4 p.m. spot.
Ratings go up and down and @TeamCavuto and @NicolleDWallace are able competitors and gifted broadcasters. But in August, @TheLeadCNN was the No. 1 cable news program in the 4 p.m. timeslot among adults 25-54. Thank you! 🙏 https://t.co/xPUuJx4JFJ
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 28, 2018
But, CNN is more than just Tapper – unfortunately. The editorial direction of the network, both online and on television, has led to a major distrust of their brand. The ratings, despite Tapper’s success, showed a 12 percent decline in audience.
That isn’t a bad month. That’s a fireable offense in most other businesses. Someone (or more than one someone) should lose their job over how poorly the network is performing.
One thing I’ve tried to start doing is keep my criticisms professional and directed at the offender. That’s why I can appreciate Tapper’s work while staring in absolute bewilderment at the clips and statements of others who work there. But, there is a clear editorial problem with CNN right now. I don’t think they have an actual, real direction to go in, and the entire business model right now is “OPPOSE TRUMP.”
It isn’t working.
Take into account yesterday’s insane story about Lanny Davis and CNN. In a blockbuster story about Michael Cohen knowing Trump knew about the Russia meeting, CNN had anonymous sources confirming it as fact. Lanny Davis, Cohen’s lawyer, said on the record in the story that he knew nothing about it.
Yesterday, in a Buzzfeed News story, Davis admitted he was the source.
So, CNN allowed Davis to say something on the record that contradicted what he said off the record. At best, that is journalistic malpractice. Other news outlets – CBS, Washington Post, and others – retracted the story in part or in full because of the admission.
CNN is sticking to it, claiming the journalistic process is what matters and not what one source says.
Whether or not Cohen knows that Trump knew is not important. What is important is that people see others retracting a story CNN won’t retract despite the obvious and glaring error. That’s just insane, and it’s more evidence that the network on an editorial level is losing its mind.
When you see a network like CNN, whose name was synonymous with news at one point in its storied legacy, losing 12 percent of their audience in a month, you need to take a look at the practices there and avoid integrating them into your own business model, because it’s clear