‘CNN dominates MSNBC during 45th presidential inauguration’ is CNN’s headline, a desperate attempt at spin without doubt. The blog post goes on to proudly proclaim that CNN came in second with almost a full third of Fox News viewers with 3.4 million viewers. They even manage to be proud of their highest rated year ever with a whopping 2 million average prime time viewership.
The numbers are nothing compared to new media juggernauts. Paul Joseph Watson’s latest rant about leftist protestors at the inauguration of President Trump managed a combined 3.5 million views (2.5 million on facebook, 1 million on youtube). Tomi Lahren’s ‘Final Thoughts’ posted yesterday has a whopping 8.8 million views on facebook (they don’t bother updating youtube any more but that’s another story) almost twice what Fox News managed for the week.
Comedy Central, home of the leftist pulpit The Daily Show, managed a pathetic 500,000 viewers, but added 2.2 million on their facebook page. The Daily Show averages around a million views which obliterates CNN politics’ views of at best 100,000, but falls well behind The Blaze which regularly scores 10 million+. Trevor Noah’s December 2nd interview of Tomi Lahren was a ratings boost for The Daily Show but well below average for Lahren herself.
This idea that Tomi Lahren and Paul Joseph Watson represent a fringe group in society is not based in fact. And if it’s reasonable to assume that old people are more likely to be watching television while young people are more likely to watch online videos, then the idea that these new media titans are a purely reactionary phenomena also does not withstand scrutiny. This is something new.
Lahren and Watson are working on shoestring budgets, in small studios, without corporate sponsors, and in Paul’s case doing much of the production work himself. There are no cross promotional deals with other shows, no 30 second ads on daytime television, no lead-ins from more popular shows. Where The Daily Show and CNN have marketing budgets in the millions, Lahren and Watson have only their content to attract subscribers and encourage views.
The left might like us to think that they are the mainstream, and that their only competitor is Fox News monopolizing the right wing press, in reality they preach to a bubble and that bubble is small.
Jim Acosta demanding a question at a Trump press conference, shouting over a Breitbart reporter, is living in a fantasy world in which he is important. The numbers don’t show that. The numbers show that CNN’s press credentials, in fact CNN’s very existence hangs by a thread.