Nine years ago, when FoxNews sprinted past CNN to become America's number one news network, I attributed its ratings gains to the election of George Bush and the triumph of Fox-watching conservatives. I figured conservatives would be savoring their victory while liberals were averting their eyes in disgust. For the next eight years, I measured political sentiment in the United States by comparing the size of the FoxNews audience with the combined size of the CNN/MSNBC audience. In this space, I even predicted, with reasonable accuracy, the percent by which Barack Obama won the election based on the split in the news audience.Got that? When ratings are down, blame President Bush. When ratings drop even more, blame ex-President Bush. Or Christians. Blame everything except the media's slanted suck-ups to the Obamessiah--journalists think that's their job.
Now, seven months after Barack Obama's victory, CNN's ratings have gone down the drain. From May of last year to May of this year, CNN lost 22% of its total primetime audience. MSNBC was down 2%, while FoxNews was up 24%. In the key advertising demographic (25-54), Fox was up 31%, CNN was down 37% and MSNBC was down 26%. In hard numbers, Fox had 109,000 more viewers than last year while CNN lost 113,000. CNN averaged fewer than 200,000 25-54 viewers in primetime. Even MSNBC averaged more viewers than that.
Total day was nearly as bad, with Fox up 24% and CNN down 7%. MSNBC was down 2% in total viewing. Fox is beating CNN almost two-to-one in most categories.
There's no need to throw any more numbers at you--Fox is gaining, CNN is wilting. Why is this happening when the country still seems about 58-42 in favor of Obama? My best guess is the passion of those who detest Democrats, liberals, and in particular, Barack Obama. . .
But, then again, maybe all of the above are wrong. Maybe it's simply the need for an enemy, the desire to detest is greater than the power to tolerate; maybe it's the need to blame somebody else for the bad things that are happening in our lives that drives viewers to Fox. Perhaps those viewers are the next generation of the rich socialites in the old New Yorker cartoon, who dressed up to go to the newsreel theatre and hiss FDR. Only now they can do it at home, watching FoxNews.
(via Don Surber)