Why America Tuned Out the President on 60 Minutes

President Obama gave an interview on 60 Minutes this past weekend.  It seems that few people were watching.

Deadline Hollywood, self-described as “[t]he definitive choice for industry insiders,” noted that 60 Minutes ratings were “off by 69% from last Sunday, when it directly followed the game.”  Meaning that an NFL game preceding 60 Minutes is responsible for the show’s typically strong ratings.  Specifically, 60 Minutes had 17.9 million viewers on September 21 but only 9.7 million viewers the following week on September 28, when Steve Kroft interviewed the president.

The LA Times wrote about overall TV ratings of all shows the night of the Obama interview.  In the last paragraph of the article, they finally note, "60 Minutes didn't fare as well…down 69% from last week's season premiere.”  They did not, however, blame the lousy ratings on the absence of a preceding football game.  And they did not mention the interviewee, the star attraction for that evening’s episode.

Many other publications, as compiled by The Gateway Pundit, also neglected to mention President Obama in connection with the dismal ratings.  Those that did blamed the poor viewership on the football game issue.

Last year’s NFL season ended with the Super Bowl on February 2.  Let’s look at 60 Minutes ratings over the next several months, specifically from February 9 through June 1, 2014, where ratings numbers are available.  During this four-month period, there were no football games on Sunday afternoon ahead of the 60 Minutes broadcast.  If the media is correct, the ratings for these shows should all be in the toilet, especially when stacked up against an episode of the president discussing ISIS and terrorism.

Of the fifteen broadcasts of 60 Minutes during that four-month period, over half of the shows had more viewers than this week’s show featuring President Obama discussing terrorism.  How can this be?  The media is famous for this type of pretzel logic, similar to blaming record cold temperatures on global warming.  Instead of postulating the potential unpopularity of the president, they blame the poor viewership on football.  In reality, football may be a factor, but as spring viewership demonstrates, it is hardly a significant factor.

The media continues to spin and obfuscate the obvious, treating viewers as idiots for recognizing the difference between reality and fantasy.  How ironic that Once Upon a Time had more viewers last Sunday evening than did 60 Minutes interviewing the president.  Seems that fairy tales are less of a fantasy than the president’s war against Isis.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS, a Denver-based physician, is an advocate of smaller, more efficient government.  Twitter @retinaldoctor.

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