- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The nation’s top cable news network is reaching even greater heights as Americans confront both the coronavirus pandemic and the presidential election. It is also enjoying a late-night ratings upset.

First things first, though: Fox News has bested both MSNBC and CNN in the ratings and remained the No. 1 cable news outlet for over 18 consecutive years. (Yes — 18.) Fox News garnered an average of 3.7 million prime-time viewers during the month, compared to 2 million of MSNBC and 1.3 million for CNN.

But wait, there’s more — Fox News has also remained the most-watched network in the entire cable realm for 46 consecutive months as well. And the channel is enjoying historic ratings as well, finishing the month of April with the largest audience in its history, according to Nielsen Media Research.

“Special Report with Bret Baier” dominated the ratings, drawing 5.3 million viewers, followed by “The Five” with 4.7 million.

The ratings also revealed a significant finding: So much for the popularity of the often politically biased group of broadcast network folks who entertain during later hours.



“The Greg Gutfeld Show was the most-watched late night program in all of television in total viewership with 2.9 million total viewers, topping all broadcast and cable comedy programs, including CBS’ Late Show with Stephen Colbert, NBC’s The Tonight Show and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the network said, noting that Mr. Gutfeld garnered 2.9 million viewers each night.

JOE WHO?

The news media continues to skim over a report that suggests presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden was guilty of sexual misconduct with an female aide when he was still serving as U.S. senator from Delaware. Now there are numbers.

“It’s been more than a month since ex-staffer Tara Reade publicly accused Joe Biden of sexual assault, but you probably would have no idea if you relied on ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC or PBS for your news. Since March 25, those networks either completely ignored or barely mentioned the scandal,” reports Scott Whitlock, a senior analyst for the Media Research Center, a conservative press watchdog which recently discovered and released a 1993 video which appears to corroborate Ms. Reade’s accusations.

“Even the liberal New York Times and Washington Post have published lengthy stories investigating the charges, yet ABC and NBC haven’t spent even a single second on the story. CBS has devoted a paltry 63 seconds, while PBS gave it a mere seven minutes. The all-day news networks CNN and MSNBC should have posted significantly higher totals, but they haven’t: MSNBC managed only four and a half minutes in mid-April,” Mr. Whitlock said.

CNN only emerged from a complete blackout of the story until the video evidence went public.

ABC, NBC, CNN and MSNBC each hosted Mr. Biden in recent weeks; they asked Mr. Biden 77 questions. But not one covered the misconduct accusations, Mr. Whitlock said.

“ABC and NBC have still refused to cover the story. CNN, which had been conducting a similar blackout, finally gave in and reported on it Saturday.

“The mantra of the many in the #MeToo movement is to ‘believe all women.’ Journalists, at the very least, should give a fair hearing to serious accusations against any major public figure. With the case of Tara Reade, the press has failed. Instead of listening to women, they have ignored one raising inconvenient accusations against the Democratic Party’s hope to defeat Donald Trump,” Mr. Whitlock concludes.

INCOMING: MAGA MAYDAY

“Re-open America responsibly and safely. Protect our Constitutional rights. Make America independent again,” advise the organizers of MAGA MAYDAY, a series of upcoming events in California, Hawaii, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey and a host of other states which plan to drive the message home. Literally.

Participants will be in their personal vehicles, Women for America First — a non-profit group — is listed as the force behind the multiple events. More on this later.

WHEN TO DROP THE LOCKDOWN

A sizable disagreement is percolating over when to “open up” communities and end the national coronavirus quarantine.

“There’s a massive gulf between how Democrats and Republicans view the threat. Partisanship is the biggest driver of concerns about communities reopening prematurely,” reports Axios, which says that 74% of the nation worry about opening up neighborhoods too early.

In a new poll, the news organization found that 88% of Democrats say they’re concerned about the premature end to the national lockdown, compared with 56% of Republicans and 74% overall.

Another 88% of Hispanics and 85% of blacks — “clear majorities of whom identify as Democrats” — are concerned, compared with 67% of white respondents. The Axios/Ipsos Poll of 1,021 U.S. adults was conducted April 2427.

THE MASKED MARRIAGE

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, how far will the new safety-minded culture go?

“Will people at weddings be wearing face coverings? Going to sporting events, will people be in stadium seats with a face covering?” Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt asked White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx.

“We know that talking, singing, certainly sneezing and coughing can pass the virus on to others,” she replied. “If everybody wears a face mask then you’re protecting the other person,” the physician replied.

She means everybody.

“It’s really having the asymptomatic individuals wearing masks. Everyone needs to in those kind of social gathering situations, as long as there is virus still in the community.”

POLL DU JOUR

59% of U.S. adults approve of sports teams holding games with no fans present due to coronavirus.

55% say movies, concerts and other live events should not start again until a vaccine is available.

32% would wait for a vaccine before going back to such events.

27% will attend live entertainment events as soon as they re-open.

26% will attend sports events when a vaccine is available; 17% will attend sports events as soon as they re-open.

Source: A REUTERS/IPSOS poll of 4,429 U.S. adults conducted April 15-21 and released TUESDAY.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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