The ratings are in and the Fox News Channel destroyed CNN and MSNBC last night.
According to Nielsen estimates for roughly 9:14-10:20 p.m. ET, Fox News Channel averaged 4,718,853 viewers — more than double MSNBC (2,292,169) and CNN (2,081,431). FNC held a sizable advantage in the key news demo of adults 25-54 as well (1,197,554), with CNN ranking second by this measure (762,450) and MSNBC third (752,054).
From 9 to 11 p.m., FNC, whose coverage was anchored by Bret Baier, averaged 4.51 million viewers, followed by 2.17 million for MSNBC and 1.88 million for CNN.
Fox’s performance actually improved over last year’s SOTU, while its competitors lost ground.
I could go into the obvious reasons why Fox is winning. First, it presents an opposition point of view at a time when President Obama and his policies are increasingly unpopular. Fox also credibly presents views from both sides. Bob Beckel, Kirsten Powers and others are allowed to speak their minds on Fox, alongside conservatives like Andrea Tantaros and libertarians like Greg Gutfeld. The Five has become such a success because, while the liberal is always outnumbered, they’re never silenced. The fact that the show’s female stars are also its most conservative make it less predictable than anything on any of the other networks.
MSNBC is reflexively leftwing, reactionary and dogmatic about all of its coverage, all of the time. It’s a one-note network. It’s a religious channel, on which the almighty State always gets its worship. If you’re not a hard left progressive faithful, you really only have one reason to watch MSNBC — to laugh at it. MSNBC doesn’t present facts that counter its viewpoint, and to be honest, most of hosts aren’t exactly cut out for primetime television. The product often comes off as amateurish and poorly thought through.
As Ace points out, CNN’s problem is different. It offers a more pedestrian version of leftwing swill, only dressed up less honestly. MSNBC flies its leftwing freak flag proudly. CNN pretends that it’s not leftwing, when it obviously is. Plus, who would you rather watch, Wolf Blitzer or Megyn Kelly?