Leftist MSNBC being rejected by viewers

There is no denying that the progressive cable news channel MSNBC is in trouble, its viewership in such serous decline that it has slipped past lame CNN into third place in the ratings, light years behind Fox News. But in an account of this situation for the leftist New York Times, TV critic Bill Carter doesn’t even consider the possibility that the public’s discovery that the left wing policies of President Obama have produced disaster might affect the popularity of the left wing cable news channel. That might cause uncomfortable comparisons to the lagging popularity of the Times itself, I suppose.

Some startling ratings data, drawn from Carter’s article:

Rachel Maddow, the biggest star on the MSNBC cable network, just posted her lowest quarterly ratings results ever.

“Morning Joe,” MSNBC’s signature morning program, scored its second-lowest quarterly ratings, reaching an average of just 87,000 viewers in the key news demographic group.

And “Ronan Farrow Daily,” the network’s heavily promoted new afternoon show, which stars a 26-year-old Rhodes Scholar with a high-profile Hollywood lineage, has been largely a dud. (snip)

In the first quarter of 2009, MSNBC averaged 392,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic for its weeknight lineup. In the third quarter of this year, the number was down to 125,000. [Wow!]

The network’s newest prime-time host, Chris Hayes, also hit a low in the third quarter, averaging 129,000 viewers in the 25-54 category, his worst since his show began in the second quarter of 2013. (snip)

On Monday and Friday of last week, only one MSNBC show all day, “Hardball” with Chris Matthews, even topped 100,000 viewers in that 25-54 group. And the daytime numbers are much worse. Mr. Farrow’s show averaged just 45,000 viewers in the preferred group, down 51 percent from other programming in the same slot last year.

Nowhere is there any consideration given to MSNBC’s politics accounting for its poor performance. Instead, an overall decline in interest in cable news is posited. But Fox News has recently recorded a major triumph. Deadline.com:

Fox News Channel finished No. 1 in primetime among all cable networks for  the third quarter — the first time it has done so since the Iraq war in the first quarter of ’03.

In FNC’s so-called “extended” primetime, 7-11 PM, the cable news network finished first in a quarter for the first time ever — besting ESPN, USA and TNT, though those networks don’t typically extend their primetime to 7 PM. FNC finished No. 3 for the quarter among cable networks for total day viewing, beat [sic] by Nickelodeon and Adult Swim.

Another clue whose significance is overlooked by Carter:

CNN has responded with a new strategy that mixes its traditional hard news approach with a regular lineup of pre-produced original series. It had a major success last week with the latest of them, “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” with Mike Rowe.

Although not explicitly a political conservative, Mike Rowe celebrates hard work, and has done the nation a great service by consistently emphasizing the need and opportunity for people to enter the skilled trades, as opposed to indebting themselves to the higher education industry, perhaps the strongest bastion of leftism in America, only to find work as a barista or book store clerk. In my book, those are values that are conservative, even if (quite appropriately) Mike Rowe prefers to stay above politics.

The country’s sensible middle is rejecting left wing fantasies, and those, like MSNBC and the New York Times, that hitched their fate to progressivism are being rejected by the sensible. Also quite appropriately.

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