CNN’s Don Lemon and CNN’s Chris Cuomo engaged in some mean-spirited banter about Fox’s Tucker Carlson during a recent televised spot, showing in 42 short seconds just why they’re the worst of the worst — why nobody with an ounce of intellect takes the mainstream media serious any more.
CNN: Painful to watch TV. This is how supposed highly esteemed newsmen behave?
The spot began when Cuomo tried turning his show over to “D Lemon,” and Lemon started squinting maniacally, to the point where Cuomo finally asked, “You OK?”
Read on, keeping in mind as you do that these are two highly paid news hosts-slash-commentators — these are two of the left’s media heroes.
Lemon: “What are you talking about Chris, you’re unhinged?”
Cuomo: “Oh, yeah. I don’t even know what that word means. I only apply it to dorks.”
Lemon: “Surely, you’re smarter than that. It’s dumb. Don’t be dumb. It’s stupid.”
Cuomo: “I love that. You’re trying to do the puppy dog puss. You can’t pull it off. You need the bangs. You don’t have the bangs.”
Lemon: “Oh I don’t even pay attention to it. It’s just really funny. Not to make fun of anyone. It’s just so absurd.”
Cuomo: “I’m making fun of him, but you have to because if you take it seriously, it’s a lot more scary. Hopefully, it’s just done for effect.”
Lemon: “Yeah, but it’s dangerous, you know, because people actually believe it. Some people actually believe it so it’s — it’s just dangerous. I don’t know, I sleep well at night. I’m not sure about those guys.”
For those who don’t watch Carlson’s “Tonight” show on Fox, the bit was aimed directly at him, at his style of questioning, at his tone and tenor.
It was a grade school schtick; something you’d expect to hear from kids in middle school, trying to pretend like they didn’t want to be in the popular crowd by poking fun at the popular kids. And no doubt, jealousy and fear were the driving motivations behind Lemon’s and Cuomo’s on-air gibes.
From Forbes in September: “Is Fox’s Tucker Carlson Destined To Dominate Cable News?”
The piece goes on to note: “[Fox’s] Hannity is averaging 3.3 million viewers a night, making its host the most-watched host on cable news … [and] the most-watched man on all of cable TV. … MSNBC’s star prime time host Rachel Maddow is third on that list … but Maddow’s in a tight race with FNC’s Tucker Carlson, whose Tucker Carlson Tonight has a year-to-date average audience of 2.8 million viewers.”
What’s interesting, too, is that Carlson’s show is fairly new, debuting in November of 2016.
And more, from TVNewser, in August: “Another month, another ratings win for Fox News Channel. The network marked a significant milestone in August 2018: 200 consecutive months as the most watched cable news network in both prime time and total day in total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. … FNC’s prime time programs Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight, and The Ingraham Angle were among the top 5 programs in both total views and in the 25-54 demographic.”
Where’s CNN in the ratings?
“Fox News ratings beat MSNBC, CNN for 200th consecutive month,” The Hill’s Joe Concha wrote in August.
Cuomo’s show, meanwhile, “Cuomo Prime Time,” drew 1.052 million viewers in August, making it CNN’s top-rated show — but that figure “was still down 12 percent when compared to last year,” Concha’s Hill piece continued.
And as TVNewser found in October, “CNN is down year-over-year in all relevant measurements. The numbers don’t lie.”
No, the numbers do not lie. And what the numbers are suggesting is that Cuomo and Lemon are on their way down; Carlson, on the other hand, is on his way up.
Cuomo and Lemon may talk trash all they want about Carlson — poke fun and mock and so forth and so on. But Carlson is having the last word in the ratings, with the numbers, where it counts.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.