It has been suggested that there’s is a “war” on against Fox News as the network completes critical personnel changes and launches new programming. Certainly critics hope viewers are under the impression that Fox is suffering in the ratings. But they are not, and this is indisputable. The network still rules. For the 22nd week in a row, Fox News remains the most-watched cable network of all, besting HGTV, USA and TBS, say the latest Nielsen Media Research findings. Additionally, Fox News programs made up 15 of the top 30 telecasts on basic cable.
And no matter what you might hear about ratings minutiae, Fox News outranked both MSNBC and CNN in prime time, drawing 2.2 million viewers compared to MSNBC’s 1.3 million and CNN’s 1.1 million. Fox also triumphed when breaking news about terrorist attacks in London terror emerged: Fox News was the No. 1 cable news network Saturday evening with 2.1 million viewers; CNN garnered 1.2 million and MSNBC a telling 628,000 viewers. And it has been ever thus, it seems. In brief, Fox News has been the No. 1 cable news channel for 15 years according to those Nielsen numbers.
“Fox News is still strong despite the turmoil,” says Jeff McCall, a DePauw University communications professor, in an op-ed for the Indianapolis Star. “For all the controversy surrounding Fox News Channel in recent months, one could conclude the channel is in ratings trouble. Surprisingly, however, the network’s prime time audience in May was 11 percent higher than for May 2016.
Mr. McCall continues, “MSNBC and CNN have seen even larger growth, but those gains have not come at the expense of Fox. MSNBC, in particular, has expanded its audience with a laserlike focus on the Trump administration’s daily dramas. The question for MSNBC now is whether the anti-Trump fervor that fueled its ratings gains has staying power.”
SAY AMEN, SOMEBODY
“A slim majority of Americans (55 percent) say religion can answer all or most of today’s problems. Although this percentage has declined substantially over time, it has been relatively stable over the past year and a half and is up from the all-time low of 51 percent in May 2015,” reports Gallup analyst Art Swift.
And the inevitable partisan divide: 71 percent of Republicans, 50 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats also agree that faith is still the answer. The strongest sentiment — 85 percent — was found among those who attend church weekly, the lowest — 9 percent — who had no religious preference.
“A slim majority of Americans believe religion can answer problems, a vast majority think that God played some part in the process of human creation, and most believe God also had a role in the contents of the Bible,” says Mr. Swift, summarizing multiple Gallup findings. “Religious fervor may be declining, but with these questions, Americans still assert religion and topics relating to religion as having relevance in 21st-century life.”
CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER
An event of note on Wednesday in the nation’s capital: Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao offers the keynote speech at the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Annual Dinner, staged at a sparkling hotel not all that far from the White House. Ms. Chao is likely to address regulatory reform and forward-thinking ideas about infrastructure and yes, the nation’s transportation.
The event has a unique theme, however: “Through the Looking Glass: Washington Gets Curiouser and Curiouser.” Few can argue with that idea. Guests will be treated to “enticing ‘Eat Me’ cookies,” these sweets borrowed from the children’s book itself. There will also be a “looking glass selfie mirror” and a karaoke room complete with a dramatic Red Queen theme.
MOORE OR LESS SECURE
The Trump resistance goes on. And on and on. Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has launched TrumpiLeaks a secure new extension of his personal website for those who believe they have something negative to share about President Trump — and are motivated to “protect the United States of America from tyranny.”
Or words to that effect.
Mr. Moore has provided four online encryption apps, plus email and regular mail contacts for interested parties; he’s looking for comments, photos, video and audio files. Will this fuel a future documentary? Hmmm.
“While no form of digital communication is 100 percent secure, the tools we’re using at TrumpiLeaks provide the most secure technology possible to protect your anonymity,” he advises future leakers. “I know this is risky. I knew we may get in trouble. But too much is at stake to play it safe. And along with the Founding Fathers, I’ve got your back.”
ABOUT THOSE SAFE SPACES
Safe spaces on college campuses have been all the rage for a few months. But what the young scholars may really want is, say, a better library, stadium or student union. Yes, there’s a poll.
A new survey finds that 35 percent of college student say the safe spaces are “absolutely necessary,” 37 percent say they are “completely out of touch with reality” and the rest — 25 percent — are indifferent to the whole thing.
“The most important thing to be taken from this survey is that students should be the ones deciding on whether or not a safe space will exist on their respective campus. If enough students want to form a safe space, then let them. If a vast majority of students at a school do not think a safe space is necessary, then do not form one,” notes the analysis from a LendEdu/Whatgoodly poll of 1,659 active U.S. college students conducted May 5-11 and released Monday.
Find the analysis here
POLL DU JOUR
• 85 percent of U.S. voters say the internet enables more political participation.
• 74 percent say such technological innovation makes them “optimistic about the future.”
• 67 percent say technology has a negative impact on social values; 52 percent say it makes the world “less harmonious.”
• 50 percent say technology can compromise personal privacy.
• 34 percent say they have less trust in technology-driven social media.
Source: A Harvard-Harris poll of 2,006 registered U.S. voters conducted May 18-20 and released Friday.
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