With ‘Bogeyman’ Trump Gone, CNN, MSNBC Ratings Sink: ‘Serious Credibility Problem’ 

With 'Bogeyman' Trump Gone, CNN, MSNBC Ratings Sink: 'Serious Credibility Problem'

On Tuesday, Fox News reported the ratings for CNN and MSNBC collapsed in the second quarter of this year due to a “serious credibility problem” with viewers.

Experts who spoke to Fox say the exit of former President Donald Trump has been a major factor.

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Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson told Fox News, “CNN and MSNBC were one-trick ponies, and that trick was bashing Trump.”

“Now that Trump no longer is president, they have tried to keep up the mania, but it’s hard,” Jacobson added.

He continued, “The audience has disappeared because it never was loyal to CNN and MSNBC hosts, it was loyal to Trump hatred.”

Jacobson said he believes the heads of these historically powerful cable news outlets might secretly want to see another Trump presidential campaign.

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“It’s not hard to imagine executives at CNN and MSNBC saying nightly prayers that Trump runs for president in 2024.” he said.

The two left-leaning networks still regularly feature Trump coverage six months into the Biden administration.

The report compared MSNBC and CNN’s numbers to what Fox News drew during the same time period.

“MSNBC averaged only 847,000 viewers during the second quarter and CNN settled for a dismal 654,000,” Fox News reported.

The report continued, “By comparison, Fox News averaged 1.2 million during the same time period to finish No. 1 in all of basic cable.”

Credibility Problem

“CNN failed to crack the one-million viewer threshold during the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. ET, while MSNBC lost to CNN among the key demographic of adults age 25-54,” the story noted.

Spectacles like CNN’s Chris Cuomo covering his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, during the COVID-19 crisis were cited as factors in audiences potentially moving on from these left-leaning cable outlets.

Other examples included CNN pundit Jeffrey Toobin being allowed back on television after an incident in which he masturbated during a video call, and MSNBC’s Joy Reid referring to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “Uncle Clarence” for his conservative views.

Progressive journalist and consistent critic of CNN and MSNBC’s Trump fear mongering, Glenn Greenwald, tweeted on Monday, “However shockingly tiny and miniscule you think MSNBC and CNN‘s audience size is, it’s way smaller than even that.”

“MSNBC barely has an audience on the weekends. I’m concerned their ratings are going to fall into negatives, which shouldn’t be possible!” Greenwald added.

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Will Ratings Sink Lower?

Fox News put the ratings into perspective with the following, “CNN’s most popular program was ‘Cuomo Prime Time,’ which finished as the No. 22 weekday show on cable news by averaging 1.2 million viewers.”

“While the scandal-plagued Chris Cuomo had the most-watched show on CNN, it finished behind 14 different Fox News shows and seven MSNBC offerings,” the report noted.

Some predicted the ratings will go even lower for these outlets in the third quarter of 2021. Time – and perhaps increasing lack of credibility – will tell.



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is a professional writer and editor with over 15 years of experience in conservative media and Republican politics. He... More about John Hanson

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