Who are we to begrudge a little competitive dunking between news outlets? Fox News isn’t exactly betraying industry secrets here, anyway. CNN couldn’t fill more than a third of the auditorium it used for Wednesday’s town-hall event with Joe Biden. Now it turns out that it couldn’t hold better than a third-place finish in the ratings either:
CNN’s heavily promoted town hall event with President Biden failed to resonate with Americans on Wednesday night, as it got thumped by Fox News and even finished with a smaller audience than MSNBC.
The CNN Biden town hall, moderated by Don Lemon, averaged only 1.5 million viewers from 8-9:30 p.m. ET, while Fox News averaged 2.7 million viewers during the same time period. MSNBC averaged 1.6 million sets of eyeballs, which pushed CNN’s chat with the president to last place among relevant cable news stations.
Fox News beat CNN by a staggering 83 percent during the Biden town hall with regular programing on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and a special edition of “Hannity” that featured Florida Republicans Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Maria Salazar and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.
Every Fox News town hall event over the past five years outdrew Wednesday’s CNN event with Biden.
Fox also adds this nasty zinger about Lemon:
While Biden failed to lift the struggling network from last place, it did helped Lemon surpass the one-million viewer threshold that he fails to meet on a regular basis.
Er … stay classy, Fox. Competitive dunking is one thing, but it doesn’t need to get personal.
Fox also points out that this town-hall event drew fewer viewers than any similar Fox event over the past five years. There’s a reason for that: most of those, if not all of them, featured Donald Trump. Trump is a bigger draw than Biden, and not just on the basis of political affiliation. Trump is far more extemporaneous than Biden, far more likely to surprise people, and that alone makes Trump more compelling on stage and television. People have seen Biden’s act for almost 50 years, and it hasn’t changed much at all.
In fact, the poor turnout and ratings underscore the real lesson of the 2020 election. People didn’t vote for Biden; they voted for the Not Trump. Biden has no real following or passionate base. He’s simply the alternative to the chaos agent that overplayed that hand in the middle of a deadly national crisis. Without Trump as the alternative, voters aren’t going to turn out to support Biden or his agenda, not in 2024 and certainly not in the midterms. Democrats who assume that Biden’s election provides a mandate for massive shifts in policy are setting themselves up to get burned badly next year.