The decision by ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC not to provide live coverage of President Donald Trump‘s Fourth of July “Salute to America” speech gave Fox News Channel a record-breaking ratings bonanza.
Citing Nielsen Media Research statistics, Fox News announced that it was the top-rated network for special coverage of Trump’s Independence Day speech, drawing 4.6 million total viewers and 793,000 in the 25-54 demographic from 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET.
Fox News said the ratings are the “highest July 4th ever” in prime time in both total viewers and the coveted 25-54 demographic. The network also said “Special Report,” which led into the president’s speech, delivered its highest telecast of the year in both categories.
After drawing a record audience, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott may be tempted to send the networks that did not cover President Trump’s address a thank you card.
And what a treat the viewers were in for, as Trump delivered a rousing statesman-like speech on the greatness of America and the might of the U.S. military, rising above the politics and self-promotion his critics insisted would be his focus.
First lady Melania Trump joined her husband, as did Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence.
Acting Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were also on hand as Trump paid tribute to the men and women of the armed forces.
“Today, we come together as one nation with this very special Salute to America,” he told a huge crowd. “We celebrate our history, our people, and the heroes who proudly defend our flag — the brave men and women of the United States military.”
CNN did cover the “Salute to America” speech and did its best to pan it, but only averaged 1.5 million viewers and 353,000 in the demo, according to a statement from Katie V. Cwayna, Fox News Director, Media Relations.
Fox News Channel’s 7 p.m. ET hour beat NBC’s Fourth of July primetime fireworks show at 10 p.m. by 1 million viewers, 4.8 million to NBC’s 3.8 million.
A huge crowd turned out for the event, despite rainy weather, and touting the day’s success, President Trump announced Monday that he plans to hold a similar 4th of July event in 2020, The Hill reported.
“It was a wonderful day for all Americans and based on its tremendous success, we’re just making the decision and I think we can say we’ve made the decision to do it again next year. And maybe we can say for the foreseeable future,” Trump said at the White House.
What are the odds that ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC sit out next year’s celebration?
While MSNBC didn’t cover his speech, the network did hyperventilate over plans to display a few tanks in designated areas.
Critics accuse him of “militarizing” the event, with “Hardball” host Chris Matthews declaring this “is not a democratic display of our values… but of dictatorships.”
But MSNBC’s Joy Reid took the cake when she accused Trump of using the tanks as a “threat” to his fellow Americans — such irresponsible rhetoric clearly allowed on the network.
“The message is a threat,” Reid said. “But it’s always a threat when you roll out your military — but it’s to whom is the threat, and I suspect that the threat is to his fellow Americans. And I hate to say that, but I think that Donald Trump styles himself a tyrant, not a defeater of tyrants.”
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