Newsmax is hitting out at the so-called purveyors of “fake news” who are spreading reports that the channel’s moment in the spotlight is over.
Oddly enough, even Bill O’Reilly, the former king of cable news, is on the other end of the feud. Speaking Wednesday, Newsmax contributor Andrew Giuliani accused the former Fox News titan of highlighting “cherrypicked” data about a ratings drop for the right-leaning network.
O’Reilly, who launched his own show after leaving Fox News in 2017, reacted to reports this week that ratings for Newsmax fell sharply — by “50%” — in February.
“Now we learn that Newsmax, the surging conservative cable channel, which added viewers because they disputed the election in Donald Trump’s favor, has lost 50% of its audience in February, last month — 50%,” O’Reilly said this week on his show No Spin News.
The reported decline comes after Newsmax saw its ratings soar in November, prompting buzz about a David v. Goliath contest between Newsmax and Fox as anger flared over the election and the latter’s coverage of it. Former President Donald Trump himself even called on supporters to abandon Fox News for its smaller competitor.
Now, Newsmax (somewhat bizarrely) has accused Mediaite and CNN of peddling misleading Nielsen data “quietly pushed” to them by Fox News to conceal what contributor Andrew Giuliani claimed was a “meteoric rise” in viewership that has continued since November.
Speaking on John Bachman Now, Giuliani pointed out that Newsmax saw its total day viewership go up 24% between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.
Giuliani also insisted that the putative drop was based on a “cherrypicked” comparison between November highs and February lows that is reflected across all of cable.
“It’s just cherrypicked numbers from just a few days after the election, when of course most people are turning in to cable news, to the end of February, when there is going to be a small ratings fall — which you have seen across all news networks,” he said, according to Newsmax.
Newsmax’s growth definitely slowed between the end of 2020 and the start of 2021, however: its viewership leaped by 800% between the third quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarter, according to Nielsen.
For what it’s worth, Newsmax is correct that all of cable is hurting; CNN has suffered a grievous 50% fall since Trump left the White House, according to reports, so it looks like Newsmax isn’t doing much worse in that regard.
“Bill used to probably be the best at this; unfortunately, even the best pitchers lose their fastball,” Giuliani said, according to Newsmax.