So Nielsen tells us that the TV ratings for this year's State of the Union address were down. As Entertainment Weekly notes:
President Obama's State of the Union Address drew the fewest viewers of his presidency Tuesday night. In fact, the annual live prime-time speech was the least-watched SOTU by any president since Bill Clinton’s final address in 2000.The right-wing schadenfreude is palpable. Newt Gingrich tweets:
Obama's speech to the nation was seen by 33.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
A dramatic drop-52.4 to 48.0 to 42.8 to 37.8 to 33.5 to 33.3 millions watching Obama State of the union. A 19.1 million decline in interest— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) January 29, 2014
Gingrich is now the co-host of CNN's Crossfire. The State of The Union address had 33.3 million viewers. Know how many viewers Crossfire had on Tuesday, a few hours before the State of the Union?
Um ... 264,000.
Gateway Pundit's headline is "NO ONE IS LISTENING... Nielson [sic] Ratings for Obama's SOTU LOWEST IN 20 YEARS." This from a blogger who boasted a few years ago about getting 1,266,001 blog visits -- in a month. (About 28 months of readership at that rate would add up to the State of the Union's viewership.) Even more amusing: this headline from the blog of Doug Ross, which used to be known as Director Blue: "I GUESS WHINY, DEPRESSING LIARS AREN'T GOOD FOR RATINGS: State of the Union Nielsens Lowest Ever." This from a guy who averages about 5,000 visits a day.
Before the State of the Union, a lot of Republicans were posing with one of the stars of Duck Dynasty, which is one of the top-rated shows on cable. Know how many viewers watch Duck Dynasty? Well, the most recent episode had 6.6 million viewers -- one-fifth the State of the Union's ratings.
And we know Fox is the top-rated news channel on cable. Know how many people watch its top-rated show, The O'Reilly Factor? 2,720,000 in January -- less than one-tenth of the State of the Union's viewership.
Yes, the State of the Union address has been a much bigger draw in the recent past. Yes, its ratings dropped even though it's on multiple channels. But in a way, it's amazing anyone watches the damn thing -- why watch a president list for an hour all the things he wants to do that Republicans will block by any means necessary?
The point is, in a thousand-channel, streaming-video, game-console world, this year's State of the Union address still had a huge viewership -- a bigger audience than the average episode of NCIS or American Idol or Sunday Night Football. As a niche blogger myself, I say niche media types would kill for an audience the size of Obama's.