Thursday night’s primetime rollout of the massively hyped select committee on the events of January 6, 2021, failed to capture the attention of the nation as much as Democrats hoped, posting lackluster ratings despite wall-to-wall coverage on every major network with the exception of Fox News.
According to the early ratings figures from Nielsen Media Research, nearly 20 million viewers tuned in to see the Nancy Pelosi’s hand-picked kangaroo court conduct its trial of former President Donald J. Trump in absentia, a number that is being touted as a smashing success by media outlets that are in the bag for the Democratic Party, but when given some context isn’t nearly as impressive as it seems.
For example, the three major television networks, ABC, NBC and CBS, all of which pre-empted their regular schedule in order to feature the big event drew around 11 million viewers combined, far fewer than would normally tune in for their nightly newscasts.
Fox News contributor Joe Concha took to Twitter to put the numbers in perspective. “Context: The evening newscasts on CBS, NBC & ABC average anywhere from 18 to 20 million viewers combined on a typical night. Those newscasts do not air in primetime. The January 6 hearings airing in primetime Thursday took in just 11+ million viewers on those three same networks,” he tweeted.
Context: The evening newscasts on CBS, NBC & ABC average anywhere from 18 to 20 million viewers combined on a typical night. Those newscasts do not air in primetime. The January 6 hearings airing in primetime Thursday took in just 11+ million viewers on those three same networks. https://t.co/KcdsM5sx3Z
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) June 10, 2022
With cable news networks, MSNBC and its audience of rabid Trump haters led its competitors, averaging nearly 4 million viewers and CNN drew 2.7 million to its coverage of the hearings, the first of six expected installments.
Fox News, which declined to feature the ultra-partisan spectacle in favor of counterprogramming featuring Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity averaged 3 million viewers.
“It’s deranged, and we’re not playing along,” Carlson said of the J6 hearings. “This is the only hour on an American news channel that will not be carrying their propaganda live. They are lying, and we are not going to help them do it. What we will do instead is to try to tell you the truth.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 10, 2022
The New York Times put a positive spin on ratings that fell far short of what was desired.
“Though the Thursday night figure pales next to presidential debates (63 million to 73 million) or this year’s State of the Union address (38 million), it’s still much larger than the audience that would normally watch a daytime congressional hearing. And it’s in the ballpark of television events like a big “Sunday Night Football” game or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” the paper reported.
On the bright side, the J6 committee’s primetime premiere did manage to draw higher ratings than the left’s other big production, thumping the Academy Awards which clocked in at 16.6 million viewers this year, an Oscars that will forever be remembered for Will Smith’s melting down and slapping emcee Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
The numbers for PBS, another outlet with a heavily liberal audience weren’t included in the 20 million total.
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