Did America really tune into Pelosi’s primetime production? Nope!
If you were to have tuned into MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” you would have seen the Joe, Mika and the panel of parroting pundits spend the first half hour talking about the GREAT viewership for Pelosi’s primetime Select Committee production. They noted that some 20 million viewers were watching the proceedings with intense attention. Not sure how they knew the intensity, but panelist Mike Barnicle assured us that they were glued to the screen, as they say.
They compared the 20 million viewers to the ratings for a baseball championship game (about 4 million viewers) and even Trump’s old “Celebrity Apprentice” show (about 7.6 million viewers).
What you really saw was how political propaganda is produced. Their presentation gives credence to the old saying that figures do not lie – but liars do figure. Let’s take a look at a real in-depth analysis of the ratings for a better understanding of the scoop of MSNBC’s deception.
Following Pelosi & Co.’s primetime prosecutorial presentation – not a hearing – there was a lot of reporting on the size of the audience. The left-wing media – not just MSNBC — gloated that the show garnered 20 million viewers while FOX News – which did not provide gavel-to-gavel coverage — had three million viewers in comparison.
That sounds impressive if you do not properly analyze or understand television ratings. In a previous commentary, I had predicted that Pelosi’s one-sided Select Committee would get high ratings on the first night – although the numbers fell far short of my expectation.
There are some practical reasons why the Committee garnered 20 million voters. First of all, it was one of the most promoted media events in television history. There were repeated promises of new information and explosive revelations. While there were a few new facts, it was mostly a repetition of what had been reported repeatedly in the news for the past year and a half.
We already knew that former Attorney General William Barr had told President Trump that there was no evidence of sufficient vote fraud to flip the election. We knew that police were injured. We knew the Proud Boys were on the scene. We had already heard the false claim that multiple officers died in conjunction with the riot.
As far as the videos were concerned, we saw new footage that looked a lot like the footage that we had seen virtually every day for the past year and a half. The “new” footage was a distinction without a difference. What America saw was the best effort by a prosecutorial team to lay out a series of allegations without rebuttal or cross-examination. The entire production was a one-sided re-run.
According to reports, many of the 20 million viewers were disappointed. The show did not live up to the pre-show hype.
Another thing that contributed to the 20 million viewers was the fact that more than 20 television outlets had preempted their normal programming featuring their most popular shows. The opportunities for alternative viewing were drastically limited. It had the feel of the kind of “state television” event we usually associate with countries like Russia, China, and North Korea. Democrats and the media allies could not block all alternative broadcasting, but you had the distinct impression that they would have if they could have. They even suggested that FOX be removed from the White House press corps.
Now, let’s look at the numbers in context.
The 20 million reported viewers is a rather mediocre number by televisions standards – especially for a highly promoted special stand-alone event. What Joe Scarborough & Co. did not tell viewers is that eleven Super Bowl broadcasts exceeded 100 million viewers – more than five times the Democrat dog-and-pony show. The last show of M.A.S.H. got more than 100 million viewers – and since the aforementioned were aired on only one network, they had less exposure and a lot of competition. The 2016 presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was viewed by 84 million Americans – four times the Select Committee production.
Embarrassingly for Pelosi, the “Beverly Hillbillies” was the first to break the 20 million household mark in 1963 – when there were a lot fewer Americans and a lot fewer television sets. By the 1970s, a number of primetime shows were garnering more than 20 million households … routinely. That included “All in the Family,” “Happy Days,” “Laverne and Shirley,” and “Marcus Welby.” By the 1980s, all the major network top shows had ratings in excess of 20 million – with “The Bill Cosby Show” breaking into the 30 million household category.
NOW HERE IS A VERY IMPORTANT FACT. The ratings in the early days were based on “households.” That evolved to actual “viewers” in the 1990s by the rating industry based on new technologies. If you compare apples to apples, the 20 million VIEWERS reported for the Select Committee performance is … well … rather anemic. One might even say pitiful.
Yes, Pelosi’s multi-channel production did better than FOX News in those time slots, but the real story is the number of Americans who simply tuned out – turned off their televisions and spent time with the kids.
For a television special with such hype, the Pelosi political circus was a bust. I am sure that Madam Speaker and Democrat strategists see past their superficial claims and understand that the ratings are not good news for their primary mission. That was to break through to the American public with a political infomercial (negative political advertising) – and a primetime retrospective on their 18 months of obsessive reporting – in order to improve the Party’s chances in the 2022 midterm election. Unfortunately for the Democrats, America essentially tuned out.
If Democrats had hoped that this political kangaroo Committee was going the take the Party out of the political doldrums ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, they will be sorely disappointed.
Yes, the “Morning Joe” clan can create a propagandized analysis to give heart to the left-wing base, but it does not change reality – and reality is what Democrats will have to deal with in November.
So, there ‘tis.