NEWS AND OPINION:
The past year has not been the easiest for Fox News, what with the departures of top stars and top brass, some pending lawsuits and a great deal of gleeful, often speculative coverage from the left-leaning media. But such is life in the broadcast world, a workplace where change and uncertainty is a constant. This is also an industry that rewards stalwarts who are consistent with their products and know their audience. Innovators with a vision tend to rule the ratings. Such is the case for Fox News, which now is marking 184 consecutive months as the No. 1 cable news network.
That means that Fox News has been top dog for more than 15 years.
The network is dominating the entire cable realm, however. Fox News continued to earn ratings glory, according to new numbers from Nielsen Media Research released Tuesday. For the 10th consecutive month, Fox News has also been No. 1 across all basic cable programming throughout the day, and during the all-important prime-time hours, besting such non-news rivals as ESPN and HGTV.
While journalists and assorted pundits continue to look on and criticize the network for a variety of reasons, the numbers tell a straightforward tale of success. Compared to this time last year, Fox News ratings are up by 36 percent among viewers throughout the day, logging an average audience of 1.5 million viewers. MSNBC drew 823,000, CNN 748,000. In the prime-time hours, Fox News ratings were up 28 percent; the network garnered 2.4 million viewers compared to 1.5 million for MSNBC and 998,000 for CNN.
DELUSIONS OF THE SMUG LIBERALS
“The only people who can’t recognize that our nation has a ‘smug liberal’ problem are smug liberals,” says David French, a senior writer for National Review who explores the greater cultural implications of this demographic, even as the Democrats continue to ponder why they lost the 2016 election.
“You don’t win converts with mockery. You can sometimes win grudging compliance, but you mainly make enemies — especially when your mockery reveals your own ignorance and inconsistency. But as we know, the smug liberal doesn’t care. They want to make enemies. After all, how do they measure their own virtue? When the right rages, they rejoice,” Mr. French notes.
FOR THE LEXICON
— New Twitter hashtag that emerged Tuesday following CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert‘s remarks about President Trump during an opening monologue Monday night. The comedian punctuated his act with a roll of toilet paper.
“The hashtag #FireColbert began spreading around Twitter, along with calls for people to boycott sponsors of the late-night show,” wrote Joe Otterson, TV reporter for Variety, explaining that some audience members deemed specific portions of Mr. Colbert’s monologue to be “homophobic.”
A FAUX PRESIDENT RETURNS
President Frank Underwood is ready to rumble once again. Netflix has announced that “House of Cards” — the stylish, award-winning saga of a fictional president and his diabolical quest for power — returns to the airways on May 30.
“The American people don’t know what’s best for them. I do. I know exactly who they need. They’re like little children. We have to hold their sticky fingers and wipe their filthy mouths, teach them right from wrong, tell them what to think and how to feel, and what to want. Lucky for them they have me,” intones actor Kevin Spacey in a dramatic preview trailer.
He has played the character of Frank Underwood for the past four seasons, bolstered by a public relations outreach that has included fake political campaigns, complete with official websites and bumper stickers.
“Underwood — 2016, 2020, 2024, 2028, 2032, 2036. One nation — Underwood,” the character advises in the preview, which has much to say about the first couple — Mr. Spacey and co-star Robin Wright, who portrays his wife, Claire.
“Their thirst for power is unquenchable. Crafting fake narratives and throwing away longtime allies are all part of the game for the Underwoods,” the producers advise.
The fiction here gets mixed up with politics, though.
“Frank Underwood sounds scarier than Trump,” advises The Huffington Post.
REMEMBERING TONY BLANKLEY
An event of note on Wednesday: The Steamboat Institute, a Colorado-based nonprofit promoting founding values and liberty, hosts a gathering in the nation’s capital to celebrate the arrival of a new $100,000 pledge to fund the annual Tony Blankley Chair for Public Policy and American Exceptionalism, which provides a $10,000 stipend, travel expenses, speaking engagements and networking opportunities for a deserving young conservative.
The late Tony Blankley was a thoughtful, cheerful, immensely influential gent who served in the Reagan administration, was a devoted family man and served as editorial page editor for The Washington Times for several years.
The place for the event is The Heritage Foundation near the U.S. Capitol; guests include Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, and Reagan-era stalwart Ed Meese, among others. The style is pure Colorado. A source tells Inside the Beltway that western attire is welcome. The menu includes Colorado-style chili, savory lamb chops and “other delicious heavy appetizers” — plus Colorado beer and “Coyote Gold Margaritas” specially flown in from Fort Collins in the north-central part of the Centennial State.
Organizers also are looking for the next Tony Blankley fellow; applications are due by June 30. Find the details at SteamboatInstitute.org.
POLL DU JOUR
• 51 percent of Americans say the “national political media” is out of touch with everyday Americans; 67 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 36 percent of Democrats agree.
• 69 percent of voters who supported President Trump and 34 percent of those who supported Hillary Clinton also agree.
• 28 percent overall say the national political media understands issues everyday Americans face; 19 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats agree.
• 19 percent of Trump voters and 49 percent of Clinton voters also agree.
• 21 percent overall don’t know or have no opinion on what the media understands; 14 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats agree.
• 12 percent of Trump voters and 17 percent of Clinton voters also agree.
Source: A Morning Consult poll of 2,006 U.S. adults conducted April 25-26.
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