Last week, for the first time in its 21-year history, MSNBC was the most-watched cable network in weekday primetime—considered the bread and butter of cable news.
Less than one year ago, it would have been unthinkable for MSNBC to beat perennial winner Fox News, let alone all other cable networks, as Fox News was not only the most-watched cable news network by over one million viewers, but MSNBC also sat behind CNN.
But today, after discovering the importance of fiction and outlandish conspiracy theories in a business that targets gullible, and ignorant Americans, MSNBC is sitting atop the ratings after beating out Fox who had been the unopposed king of that kingdom.
Rachel Maddow’s single minded attacks on reality with the “Russia did it” conspiracy theories has led the way, as she led the MSNBC charge with more viewers watching her show last Friday than watched Fox News’ “The Five” and CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” combined.
According to Nielsen ratings, MSNBC averaged 2.34 million viewers each night, ahead of Fox News’ 2.25 million, and ahead of the viewership for Disney, USA and HGTV. CNN didn’t make the list of top five networks in prime time for the week. Fox still won in total day, averaging 1.4 million viewers, while MSNBC averaged 1.1 million, but daytime hours tend to garner less money from advertisers.
It’s important to note, though, that MSNBC’s win happened last week: A week when there was controversy at the White House. The Republican healthcare overhaul collapsed in the Senate. On Thursday, rumor came out that Donald Trump’s lawyers were researching pardoning powers and that his aides were investigating Robert Mueller in hopes of undercutting the Russian probe.
The rumor about President Trump researching pardoning powers is the kind of story Rachel Maddow loves to tell these days because such stories give her free reign to stretch out her Russian conspiracy theories to her many ignoramus viewers. I don’t watch her, but I can bet she must have done quite a number on that rumor to boost her ratings.
While newspapers sent out breaking news alerts and MSNBC and CNN shifted programming to cover these issues, Fox News generally downplayed what was happening at the White House or ignored it, completely. That’s usually how it works in the propaganda business; you side with an administration that is your ideological match. MSNBC never saw anything wrong with the Obama administrations while Fox News never saw anything right with it. The roles have simply been reversed.
Of course, fake news with propaganda pays ratings dividends, especially when your audience is as ignorant as many Americans are proving to be. Fox News had been the pioneer who have been proving that fact for many years. MSNBC has finally decided to go in that direction and is proving that to be correct.
Also, MSNBC is now almost as conservative in their ideological leaning as Fox News is, so are also drawing Fox’s viewership from that angle. In the past one year alone, NBC and MSNBC have recruited two former Fox News anchors in Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, even though Greta’s show has been canceled because she was boring viewers to death. In fact, the network has turned so conservative that people feel that they would have hired Bill O’Reilly if it wasn’t for the scandal that led to his firing from Fox News.
CNN is not making any headway in the fight because they love to sit on the fence and not join fray. Americans don’t seem to like fence sitters very much which is why they seem to be ignoring CNN. Here, you’re either in it, or you’re out. CNN wants to be in between. Americans aren’t having any of that.
In a nutshell, MSNBC found that the only way to beat Fox was to be more Fox than Fox. They ended up literally out-Fox-ing Fox…..last week…we will see how long they last on top before Fox takes back what they know best how to do.