Something historical recently took place in cable news.
The Daily Wire reports that Fox News, for the first time in two decades, found itself in early January towards the back of the pack in terms of television viewership.
Those who keep an eye on such things will know that the Fox News Channel, more or less, always leads the way on cable television: it always finishes ahead of its competitors, particularly CNN and MSNBC. To drive the point home, Fox was 2020’s most-watched network on basic cable, an honor that it achieved for the fifth straight year.
This was not the case, however, for the week of January 4th through the 10th. The cable news viewership numbers for that week were recently released, and, believe it or not, Fox finished behind both CNN and MSNBC.
During that week, Fox managed about 1.7 million viewers per day with about 3.2 million viewers during the primetime hours. MSNBC, however, drew 2.3 million viewers per day, with 3.8 million during primetime. And, CNN, of all networks, led the way with 2.8 million viewers per day and 4.2 million viewers during the primetime hours.
This was the first time since 2000 that MSNBC and CNN beat Fox in terms of viewership.
What’s going on?
With such things, it is hard to put one’s finger on one particular cause. More likely is that several causes contributed to Fox’s poor performance.
The Daily Wire, for example, suggests that CNN and MSNBC’s viewership was probably up because during that week both the Senate runoffs and the Capitol riot took place. There is little doubt that there is likely some truth in this. But, this alone probably wasn’t enough to do it.
Another likely cause is that conservatives are no longer relying on Fox anymore like they used to. In fact, many conservatives have decided to boycott the network altogether, and for good reason.
Breitbart’s John Nolte has provided a nonexhaustive run down of the ways that Fox has betrayed its conservative base just in recent months. Nolte writes:
Just for starters…
The disgraced Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace rigged the first debate between President Trump and His Fraudulency. The disgraced Fox News Channel lied about rigging the debate, lied about Trump not denouncing racism. The disgraced Fox News Channel laughs at their own viewers when it thinks we’re not looking. The disgraced Fox News Channel rigged Election Night. The disgraced Fox News Channel blacklisted President Trump. The disgraced Fox News Channel released one rigged poll after another.
Nolte documented each one of these points for those who may think that he is either lying or bending the truth. As a result of these actions, conservatives have been getting their news elsewhere, including Newsmax, a much smaller conservative network whose ratings have been steadily going up in recent months.
To make a long story short, both the viewership of CNN and MSNBC had to go up and the viewership of Fox had to go down for these left-leaning networks to beat out Fox. And, that appears to be what happened. What can we say other than Fox deserves it.