President Joe Biden had arguably his worst Monday as president this week, as the news media was saturated with coverage of a humiliating Taliban coup in Afghanistan.
Biden’s woe was good news for Fox News, which, according to Mediaite, scored its best ratings day yet of the Biden era.
Fox nails ratings
Fox was put over the top by a speech that Biden delivered Monday afternoon on the Afghanistan crisis, in which Biden said the “buck stops with me” even as he blamed Donald Trump and the Afghan people for the chaos in Kabul that the world saw unfolding on television.
Biden’s speech gave Neil Cavuto the kind of ratings typically enjoyed only by primetime hosts like Tucker Carlson. Some 3.8 million viewers and 705,000 adults in the key 25-54 demographic tuned in to see the president’s remarks.
Through the day Monday, Fox averaged 2.21 million total viewers and 415,000 in the 25-54 demographic, making Monday the network’s best day yet since Biden was inaugurated.
MSNBC had only 961,000 total viewers and CNN had 938,000. Fox News’ hit show The Five had the highest ratings of the day, with 4.15 million viewers, thanks to a Pentagon briefing.
Tucker Carlson had the best ratings in the 25-to-54 demo, with 786,000, and he easily dominated primetime with more than 4 million viewers.
Biden has hellish week
Wall-to-wall news coverage, most of it negative — including from Biden’s usually friendly media allies — of America’s frantic evacuation from Afghanistan, a country the U.S. occupied for 20 years, gave Biden one hellish week.
The news has been filled with devastating scenes at Kabul’s airport, as Fox News reported, where desperate Afghans were seen clinging to American military planes and falling to their deaths.
As of Wednesday, thousands of Americans remained stranded in Afghanistan as the Biden administration struggled to account for a debacle that has drawn widespread comparisons to the end of the Vietnam War.
In his latest comments, Biden, who has stood by the withdrawal, told ABC News that the disaster was unavoidable. “The idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens,” Biden said.
America’s longest war was a national tragedy. While its horrific final chapter is difficult to watch, it is a momentous event — and history is always compelling television.