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Fox News Becomes Most-Watched Channel in the Fractured Cable Universe

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I don't know if you've heard this or not, but last week, Fox News became the most-watched cable channel of all of them throughout all of last week, including the USA Network.  In fact, Fox was the number one, most viewed cable network of all them, throughout all of last week -- not just cable news.  All of cable.  During the Boston bombings and the subsequent manhunt, Fox averaged 2.874 million viewers during primetime, 1.77 million in total day. 

Now, is that not fascinating?  To become number one in all of cable you don't even need three million viewers, that's how fractured it is.  That's how many cable networks there are divvying up the American audience, 2.874 million, and 1.77 million in total day.  CNN was in third place, 1.985 million in primetime, 1.3 million in the daytime.  MSNBC dropped off the radar.  They ended up in 19th place, fewer than one million viewers tuned in in primetime.  Fewer than 600,000 in total day. 

Now, this is big for one reason.  CNN used to be it.  Now, CNN benefited from being the only cable news network for a while.  As recently as 1988, when this program started, the only cable news network was CNN.  That was it, CNN plus the networks and newspapers, that was it, when this program started.  Fox didn't come along until 1996.  CNN used to be the go-to network when any disaster or major breaking news occurred.  And even as Fox has overtaken CNN in recent years, that dynamic not all that long ago still held when there were major breaking news, like the war, CNN would get the viewers.  They don't anymore. 

Left-wing liberal cable news networks are dying, and how are they dealing with it?  Becoming more left-wing and liberal.  They're becoming more radical, and they're becoming -- I'll tell you, folks, it dovetails with my often recently expressed theory that there isn't any news anymore, that every time you turn on cable TV, all you're getting is the Democrat Party agenda.  You know what the primary focus of MSNBC and CNN is?  In addition to promoting and expanding the Obama agenda, which happens to be the Democrat Party agenda, but believe me, it's Obama driving it with these networks, the reason they exist and the narrative of every story they put out is how conservatives are wrong and how Republicans are wrong, how you can't agree with them and how they're bad, how they're rotten.  Those are the two narratives that make up CNN and MSNBC.  And the cable viewing public, well, all of cable, but the news viewing public is not interested. 

largeNow, some people are hearing this and are saying, "Well, Rush, it ain't all that hot because Fox ain't all that conservative anymore."  And I understand that.  People remark to me, "You know, it's not what it was."  And they give me examples, all the liberal commentators that happen to show up there and people say, "The only real conservative on that network anymore is Hannity."  Which, in a strict sense, may be true.  But the one thing still that Fox does, Fox reports news.  During the day, Fox reports news.  Now, at night Fox News is talk radio on television, but during the day they report news.  And they cover things the other networks don't cover. 

If you're at CNN today and you see this or you're at MSNBC, what's the reaction, what do these people do?  They're gonna double down with more liberalism.  They're gonna double down with more radicalism.  They're gonna tell people the audience is stupid. They're gonna tell themselves that the audience doesn't understand them, that they're not sophisticated enough.  And they're gonna wear this low ratings, no ratings, as a badge of honor. 

At the White House Correspondents Dinner, I guarantee you, which is Saturday night, at the White House Correspondents Dinner, CNN and MSNBC will be praised and called out and singled out for the great work that they're doing.  Fox News will be laughed at, impugned, made fun of, while Fox News executives and staff are there.  That's why I don't go to the thing anymore.  You know, politics is show biz for the ugly, and I gave up on this thing 20 years ago, maybe even longer.  Why go sit in a room of 3,000 people that don't like you? 

(interruption)

It wouldn't put it in their face if I showed up.  At any rate, I just wanted to point this out.  But stop and think here, folks, 2.8 million viewers primetime wins over every cable network: HBO, USA, Food Network, E! Entertainment, TMZ, you name it. 

(interruption)

Well, I'm just sitting here thinking about that, but I don't want to go there.  Because people would then say that I'm bragging, that I bring it up for that.  I'm not gonna compare my audience ratings to this.  It's two different things, two different balls of wax.  Anyway, congratulations to the people at Fox.  It's a big deal because the really important thing about this is what they have done with CNN.  Folks, CNN used to own it.  A story like last week, they used to own it, but now CNN -- John King is apologizing.  John King said it was embarrassing what happened last week 'cause they ran with whatever stuff they were told. They ran with all this stuff that turned out not to be true.  Well, let me find the number here.  Hang on just a second.  It's audio sound bite number 17.  John King, and this was on the radio in Washington this morning.  Here's what he said.

KING:  When you do something like this, it's embarrassing.  One thing you do have to do is look straight in the camera and say, "We were wrong."  In this case we had two reputable sourses, one of mine and one of a colleagues of mine who have been reliable in the past and who simply had bad information.  And we went with it, and we had to correct it.  The best way to deal with it is to look people in the eye and say, "We make a mistake, here's how we make the mistake," and then move on.

RUSH:  Right. Now, if last week was embarrassing, then every week must be, because last week was not that out of the ordinary.  I mean, last week might have been a little different in the focused importance of the news, but getting things wrong?  Go back to Newtown, go back to Columbine. I mean, these people, after the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting, what did they do?  Tea Party.  They are alienating statistically half of the country that's a potential viewing audience, they're alienating.  And apologizing, I don't know that that's gonna count. 

Anyway, it isn't news anymore and that's where this is all falling apart.  And I tell you, what I take from this, we have not reached the tipping point where the vast majority of people in this country are liberal.  We've not reached it.  We are still being governed by a minority, and I think it's a pretty small minority, actually, in real terms.  And it's governing against the will of the people in this country.  The percentage of thinking in this country, the radically left liberal, is not the majority.  It's made to look that way.  It's made to appear that way.  But these audience numbers blow that to smithereens. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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