President Joe Biden just gave his first address to a joint session of Congress, and it appears that nobody watched.
According to Breitbart, the television viewership numbers for Biden’s address are in, and the numbers are embarrassingly low.
The numbers, here, come from Nielsen’s initial ratings data. And, what that data indicates is that roughly 26.9 million people watched Biden’s address across 16 different television networks.
These networks are all networks that carried Biden speech live. They include Walt Disney Co’s ABC, Comcast Corp’s NBC and MSNBC, ViacomCBS Inc’s CBS and the Fox broadcast network and Fox News Channel, and AT&T Inc’s CNN.
To put Biden’s numbers into perspective, about 48 million people watched former President Donald Trump’s address in 2017, about 46 million watched it in 2018, about 46.8 million watched it in 2019, and about 37.2 million watched it in 2020.
In other words, Biden got nowhere near the viewership that Trump got. Biden, in fact, got nowhere near Trump’s worst viewership number.
And, what’s worse for Biden is that initial reports indicated that he only got about 11.6 million viewers. Subsequently, however, these reports increased that number to 26.9 million without explaining the jump.
What many are finding curious is the fact that President Biden received such low viewership, considering that he received the most popular votes in U.S. history during the recent 2020 election. Surely, a few more of his voters could have tuned in.
Some mainstream media outlets are already attempting to explain away the numbers.
Reuters, for example, reports: “The figures include people who watched via traditional television as well as some who streamed the speech via internet-connected TVs, but they do not capture all online viewership.”
The outlet adds, “television audiences for live events have fallen sharply in the past year as audiences have gravitated to on-demand streaming services.”
Indeed, television audiences have fallen sharply in the past year in everything from sports to awards ceremonies, such as the recent Oscars. But, that this dropoff is the result of a gravitation to online streaming services, has not been sufficiently demonstrated. There is just as much proof, if not more, that the dropoff could just have to do with people not liking what they are seeing.