Supposedly, Donald Trump’s return to CNN was going to be a massive ratings win for the perennially third-place news network, and while Wednesday night’s town hall with the criminally indicted sex offender did indeed manage to lift CNN to first place in the timeslot, the overall numbers were significantly lower than an average night of primetime programming on Fox News and also much lower than the ratings CNN achieved when it featured Trump in 2016.
Former CNN media analyst Brian Stelter reported the results of the overnight ratings.
“Just in: CNN’s town hall with Donald Trump averaged 3.1 million total viewers. The event outrated Fox and MSNBC, as expected, but these are not 2015/16 level numbers for Trump — not even close.”
“In the key 25- to 54-year-old demo, the town hall averaged 703,000, about five times higher than CNN’s typical performance at 8pm.”
Here’s a comparison of the 3.1 million viewers CNN managed to draw last night in comparison to other Trump appearances on the network:
Considering that a verdict in the defamation lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll had been handed down just a day before the town hall on CNN, the network was projected to clean up in the ratings. Instead, they managed to draw less than what Tucker Carlson used to garner on an average primetime broadcast.
The vast majority of the American viewing public is sick and tired of Donald Trump, his lies, and his vitriol. That doesn’t exactly bode well for him as he heads into the 2024 election with numerous legal problems hanging over him.
April 24, 2023 will go down as a very dark day for bigots, conservatives, and right-wing a-holes because it’s the day that Fox News officially said they were done with host Tucker Carlson, who had been at the network since 2009.
Reportedly, in his most recent contract with Fox, Carlson pulled down $8 million a year.
But to read the wailing and gnashing of teeth on Twitter, you’d have thought it was the end of American civilization and a harbinger of the Apocalypse.
Take a look at some of the online overreaction:
Here’s something for those bemoaning Carlson’s departure, direct from the mouth of Eric Cartman:
Now that a judge has decided a jury will be empaneled to hear the case of Dominion Voting Systems v. Fox News, the conservative network is about to face a monumental task of defending itself from a $1.6 billion lawsuit without several crucial defense arguments.
That was the topic of discussion Sunday on MSNBC when host Katie Phang spoke with Jeremy Peters of The New York Times.
Peters concurred with Phang, adding, “When the jury gets the case several of Fox’s key arguments will not be available for its lawyers to make.”
The Times reporter then elaborated:
“Several of these will have already been decided in Dominion’s favor because of the judge’s decision on Friday. So what this does is it significantly limits Fox’s ability to mount a defense and leaves for the jury the key question of whether or not there is enough evidence to show that Fox hosts, producers and executives knew what they were putting on the air was false or at least recklessly disregarded information showing that it was false.”
Fox is also facing a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Smartmatic, an election and software technology company.
The first line of that lawsuit lays out exactly how both Smartmatic and Dominion plan to win their cases against Fox:
“The Earth is round. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States. The election was not stolen, rigged, or fixed. These are facts. They are demonstrable and irrefutable.”
None of those facts are up for debate. And they could wind up bankrupting Fox.
On his show Wednesday evening, Fox News host Tucker Carlson went on an extended rant about TV hosts who tell “lies” in order to “keep their stupid TV jobs.”
Amazingly, he did so while keeping a straight face.
Attacking a new United Nations report that shows the planet is reaching a dangerous and possibly irreversible temperature threshold, Carlson suggested that the concept of climate change is “coordinated effort by the government of China to hobble the U.S. and the West and take its place as the leader of the world.”
Carlson also accused American reporters of repeating the Chinese lies for a selfish reasons.
Keep in mind this is the very same Tucker Carlson who has always been happy to laud former president Donald Trump and defend even his most dangerous ideas. And yet we know that behind the scenes Carlson admitted, “I hate him passionately” in text messages that have come to light as part of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought against Fox by Dominion Voting Systems.
So, who wants to tell Tucker that he just owned himself so epically he should be ashamed to show his face in public? Twitter users took turns doing exactly that.
With Fox News facing the prospect of having to pay billions for lies their hosts told about the 2020 presidential election, one host in particular is on the verge of destroying the network’s already flimsy defense and also winding up being unemployable on any platform.
Maria Bartiromo is most often seen on Fox Business, but also does a Sunday program that appears on Fox News, “Sunday Morning Futures.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that testimony Bartiromo gave as part of the ongoing $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems is damning for Bartriromo and Fox.
Attorneys for Fox have repeatedly asserted that hosts such as Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Ingraham were merely offering their opinions on the 2020 election and never intended them to be statements of fact that require proof.
“In released court documents and deposition testimony connected to the case, Bartiromo is cited throughout for allowing former President Trump’s false claims about 2020 election fraud to air on the network in an effort to stop angry viewers from abandoning the network. Court testimony shows that in the days leading up to and following the 2020 election, colleagues and executives raised questions about Bartiromo’s online activity and expressed concerns that she was influenced by right-wing conspiracy theorists.”
Why is that a problem? Because Bartiromo herself said under oath that she’s a journalist who reports facts, not opinions.
And therein lies the rub:
Even worse for Fox is that Bartiromo also testified “that no one in management did anything to stop her or force her to correct the record.”
“Bartiromo herself made misstatements, such as repeating inaccurate claims that Dominion was owned by voting software company Smartmatic, which is also suing Fox News and other conservative networks for defamation … several Fox News executives in their testimony concurred with Dominion’s assertions that Bartiromo did not challenge any of [Sidney] Powell’s false statements when she appeared on ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’ Bartiromo also admitted that she never presented any evidence to counter Powell’s claims, even though she was provided with correct information provided by Dominion and other Fox News journalists.”
Bartiromo had the facts and the pushback from Dominion, but she chose to believe bullshit conspiracy theories. How’s that for a “straight news” anchor?
Fox is going to lose the Dominion lawsuit. They will likely lose the one filed by Smartmatic, which is for $2.7 billion, too. Punitive damages in both of those suits would bankrupt Fox News. It would also all but guarantee that Maria Bartriomo never works in the media for as long as she walks the face of the planet.