Leftmedia Struggling Sans Trump
When pushing propaganda rather than hard news becomes your brand, viewership will fall when the mission is accomplished.
Many folks believe that the best thing to happen to the U.S. in the last six years was the election of Donald Trump. Indeed, that old meme of the former president asking “Do you miss me yet?” certainly rings true for many Americans given Joe Biden’s abysmal leadership. But it also rings true for some of Trump’s biggest enemies — Leftmedia organizations that publicly dropped any pretenses of holding to journalistic integrity when embracing and promulgating the narrative of “orange man bad.”
Yet how they do miss that orange man.
CNN, which of all major media outlets arguably most lost its head in joining “The Resistance,” is currently on course to have its biggest profit decline since before Trump took office. The Leftmedia cable outfit is projected to bring in $956.8 million this year, the first time since 2016 the news organization has failed to top $1 billion in profits.
Much of this is due to severely declining viewership numbers. CNN has seen a 31% drop in its primetime numbers in the much-coveted 25 to 54 demographic. MSNBC has likewise experienced a shrinking number of viewers and is down 40% in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Fox News has seen a slight dip of just 2% over the same time span.
The situation has gotten so bad that new CNN news chief Chris Licht is calling for a return to hard news and a distancing from partisan news takes.
In print media, The New York Times recently celebrated increasing its online subscribers by 180,000, which on the surface would seem to indicate the Gray Lady’s descent into passing off hard-left opinion as news is working. However, a closer look at the Times’s subscription package deal may reveal that the growing numbers have more to do with the other parts of the package, which includes access to games, cooking, The Atlantic, and product review site Wirecutter.
To bring it all back to the real issue at hand, while there certainly is a market for partisan political takes on the news (such as those we in our humble shop provide without apology), organizations that claim to be hard news sites while clearly peddling biased narratives are going to lose out with a public that wants honest and objective news. CNN’s claim to be seeking to return to hard news reporting is a recognition of this reality. But the question remains: Will it actually move to balanced, non-agenda-laced reporting, or will it just say it is while doing little to change its ways? Is CNN secretly hoping for another term of Trump? If it’s all about the bottom line, it very well may be pining for it.
Finally, it is indeed telling that the media outlet that gets most criticized for its bias, Fox News, is the one outfit that has seen very little drop in viewership numbers. With or without Trump, Fox News continues to dominate the cable news market, which ought to say something for the consistency and quality of its reporting.
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