By Peter Barry Chowka
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 6½ hour-long testimony in the House on Wednesday was expected to be a big ratings win for the three cable news and three broadcast television channels, all of which covered it wall to wall. Not only did the event under-perform, but so did President Trump’s key media nemesis, CNN, which came in dead last at #6.
The red hot competition for viewers apparently led MSNBC and CNN to add a new level of fakery – both before and after Mueller’s testimony. MSNBC contributed to the “conspiracy theory” that Fox News was planning to black out live coverage of Mueller, while CNN obfuscated its poor showing in a post-Mueller hearing TV ratings analysis.
Conventional wisdom has it that when the news is perceived to be bad for President Trump, Resistance outlets MSNBC and CNN get a boost in viewership. Mueller’s long-awaited testimony was expected to turbo charge the Resistance and re-ignite talk of impeaching the president, although his performance clearly underwhelmed. Still, Fox News, the channel perceived as the most friendly to the president, won both the day of coverage (by its news anchors and reporters) and prime time, when opinion shows are programmed on all three cable “news” channels.
According to Nielsen Media Research, as reported by Forbes on Thursday:
Fox News drew a total audience of more than 3 million viewers between 8:15 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. ET, leading all broadcast and cable competition. MSNBC finished second with 2.4 million total viewers, followed by ABC (2.12 million), NBC (1.99 million), CBS (1.91 million) and CNN (1.5 million). CBS, it should be noted, is currently dark in 10 million American households because of an AT&T dispute with DirecTV, Nexstar and other carriers, which may have dampened its overall ratings.
Among viewers 25-54, the demographic group most valued by advertisers, NBC-TV finished first, with 536,000 viewers. ABC was second, with 489,000 viewers, followed by Fox News Channel (441,000 viewers), CBS (406,000), CNN (365,000) and MSNBC (347,000).
The weekend before Mueller’s testimony, a widespread “conspiracy theory” emerged – with the assistance of MSNBC – claiming incorrectly that Fox News would not broadcast the hearings live because they were expected to embarrass President Trump. In fact, Fox News had been running prominent on air promos for weeks advertising its plans to cover the hearings live, initially on Wednesday July 17 and then a week later when the Mueller show was re-scheduled.
The details of this hanky-panky suggest a new, down low strategy on the part of a cable news channel to try to depress the ratings of a competitor. On Sunday, frequent MSNBC contributor Joyce Vance tweeted her 337,000 followers the false information that Fox News would not cover the hearings. After criticism on social media, she deleted the tweet, claiming it was a sarcastic joke – but not before author and Resistance keyboard warrior Stephen King tweeted the fake news about Fox’s plans to his 5.33 million Twitter followers.
On Monday, as Brian Flood reported in an article at Fox News dot com on Tuesday, Vance’s claim had “morphed into a full-blown conspiracy theory – and anti-Trump liberals don’t seem to care.” In fact, on Monday, MSNBC guest Rick Wilson spread the fake news during an appearance on the channel and was not corrected.
Wilson appeared on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” and apparently missed the memo that Vance deleted her inaccurate tweet prior to his segment.
“Now Fox isn’t covering the hearings,” Wilson said during a discussion about the upcoming Mueller testimony.
[MSNBC host Nicole] Wallace didn’t correct him and responded, “Really?”
“They’re apparently not going to take them live. Everybody else is taking them live,” Wilson said, misinforming MSNBC viewers in the process.
“TV viewership for Mueller hearings falls flat,” an article on Thursday about the Mueller hearing ratings by Brian Stelter, CNN’s chronic Trump nemesis, significantly failed to note that CNN came in last. Instead, Stelter contrasted the total ratings for Mueller’s testimony with the numbers for James Comey, Michael Cohen, and Bret Kavanaugh when each of them testified before Congress. Stelter:
If Democrats were banking on massive viewership of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s televised testimony, they’re feeling broke today.
The Mueller hearings had a loyal audience, but they didn’t break any ratings records. Not by a long shot.
Preliminary Nielsen ratings totals — which are subject to adjustment — show an average of 13 million viewers across six major networks Wednesday.
Stelter’s closing comments ironically give one some hope that viewer interest in taking President Trump down is finally waning:
When the final Nielsen ratings come in, the Mueller hearings are likely to be in line with Michael Cohen’s testimony back in February.
In a possible sign of Trump-related fatigue, neither the Mueller or Cohen hearings were as highly-rated as former FBI Director James Comey’s explosive day of testimony in June 2017, which drew about 20 million viewers.
Peter Barry Chowka writes about politics, media, popular culture, and health care for American Thinker and other publications. Peter’s website is http://peter.media. Follow him on Twitter at @pchowka.
By Douglas J. Hagmann
Robert Mueller was precisely the right person for the job of Special Counsel. Just as his appointment was not by accident, neither was his selection. It was necessary and calculated, but for all of the wrong reasons. His task was not to investigate but to obfuscate. His job was to deflect and divert American’s attention away from the actual criminals and criminality of not just the last eight years, but for the previous generation.
Moreover, he had the entire resources of the federal government at his disposal and used them with ruthless efficiency as he had done throughout his career.
A stroke of his pen could upend and potentially destroy the lives of anyone in his sights. Just ask my friend Dr. Jerome Corsi, or Roger Stone, with whom I’ve been acquainted and worked or General Michael Flynn. Their lives have been forever changed by his insidious and unnecessary tactics of Deep State sanctioned terrorism under the guise of a legitimate investigation.
It was never a legitimate investigation. It was political payback and harassment in spades ordered by the upper echelon of a rogue “permanent state.” Robert Mueller was just their errand boy.
I don’t recall exactly how I became acquainted with Louisiana State Senator John Milkovich, but the more I got to know him the more I liked him, despite us never meeting face to face. I found myself agreeing with his well-researched positions on numerous Constitutional issues, from the positions of our Founding Fathers to the creation of this massive surveillance state under which we now live. The fingerprints of Robert Mueller can be found all over the unconstitutional attacks on our personal freedoms if only people will do the research as John Milkovich has done.
Even more interesting is that John Milkovich is a registered Democrat holding the 38th Congressional seat in his home state of Louisiana. Meanwhile, I’m a registered Republican with a general disdain of all politicians of all stripes. As we’ve seen for some time now, however, the Republican-Democrat designation is itself a false and misleading paradigm.
It is at this juncture that I suspect I connected with John Milkovich, as he understands that truth is not necessarily subjective to political party affiliations or designations on political forms. We’ve seen countless examples of this by members of both political parties. Despite the opposing political labels, I suspect that my idea for America is much more aligned with Senator Milkovich than Paul Ryan, for example. So too is our quest to seek the truth of a matter.
There is an epic disconnect between the Robert Mueller described by the Mass Media and Officialdom as a model of public propriety, and the Robert Mueller documented by independent researchers; a chronic Collaborator, with a career characterized by cover-ups, corruption and unconscionable conduct – an ever-willing instrument of Deep State dissimulation.” – John Milkovich, Louisiana State Senator; Robert Mueller, Errand Boy For The New World Order
Although the final report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller has not been made publicly available, Attorney General William Barr provided a concise four-page summary of its contents to members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on March 24, 2019. On its face, this executive summary is sufficient to conclude that neither President Trump nor any member of his staff were compromised by any foreign powers before, during or after the 2016 US Presidential election.
It should be therefore a natural reaction, particularly for those who put their full faith and confidence in Robert Mueller’s credibility, integrity and investigative abilities to breathe a sigh of relief upon learning of his findings. Instead, we are witnessing the exact opposite reaction from the Democratic Socialists. In a convoluted twist of logic, they are actually upset by the results that our President is indeed loyal to the United States and our best interests.
Regardless of the report itself, there is something much deeper and far more profound that must be addressed. It exists at the very heart of a considerably greater issue that few are discussing, which is the impetus for the creation of the Special Counsel investigation and the selection of Robert Mueller. It is here where we will find the answers to questions that need to be asked and answers that must be provided and memorialized.
Understanding the role of Robert Mueller in his position as Special Counsel must be viewed through the investigative lens of John Milkovich. Senator Milkovich provides the vital background information necessary to understand why Robert Mueller was selected for this position.
For those reasons, it was an honor to have Senator John Milkovich join The Hagmann Report on Friday, March 29, 2019.