I cannot fathom why CNN, the most trusted name in news, would not be attracting viewers.
For the last week, CNN has been unable to break one million viewers for any of their shows. This includes their primetime centerpiece, Chris Cuomo, who frankly should not even be on the air but nonetheless couldn’t even break that milestone with everyone in America aware of how much trouble his brother is in.
But it appears that their freefall continues, as the Nielsen ratings for July 28 to August 3 show, none of the network’s shows are generating much buzz. Cuomo was able to pick up around 930,000 viewers during his program on the same day the New York attorney general dropped her report on his big brother.
Overall, the network’s primetime lineup averaged just over 850,000 viewers. If that holds, it means CNN has lost about three-quarters of its audience since Donald Trump left office.
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What could possibly have happened?
Perhaps the “most trusted name in news” is not so trusted. Their focus since Trump left office has been… well… Trump. On the off-chance they aren’t covering the former President as though he were the current President in a given moment, they are busy reporting the scariest possible information on COVID-19 — some of which isn’t entirely accurate, given the CDC’s horrendous messaging.
Maybe they are not as liked as they once were now that their anchors are fully committed to preaching rather than informing. When you have guys like Brian Stelter, Cuomo, Jim Acosta, and Don Lemon constantly telling the audience what to think rather than simply reporting on the news, most people tend to turn the TV off and go elsewhere for their information.
I think the problem, when you really look at it, is that the American public doesn’t like being lied to. With Fox News (who CNN simply can’t stop talking about) and MSNBC, you know upfront what you’re getting: Partisan talking points. The opinion shows on those networks are doing reasonably well (Fox more so than MSNBC).
But CNN has spent years telling its audience it is objective, fair, and in it to report the news. It routinely displays partisanship with the Democrats, and people are either realizing it’s not what they believe or they can get it done better from MSNBC. So they are leaving.
No amount of harping on Trump or January 6 will make them stay. No amount of fear porn about the next deadly COVID variant will convince them to get their news from CNN. And when they don’t hold their compromised anchors accountable for their actions (like, say, if one of their anchors give their famous politician sibling talking points to smooth over a sexual harassment scandal), they don’t see why they should trust a network like that.
If you want Democratic talking points, go watch MSNBC. If you want straight news, read your local paper or watch the local news at 5. CNN isn’t what you’re looking for, and given their ratings, the rest of America knows that, too.