CNN’s hour-long interview with former President Barack Obama last Monday night pumped much-needed life into the network’s flagging ratings — but he still drew only half as many viewers as Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s average show.
Tucker Carlson also trounced Obama among young viewers between the ages of 25 and 54.
While the Obama interview earned approximately 500,000 extra viewers for “Anderson Cooper 360” one night this week, only 1.4 million people watched the show. The same night, Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” won 2.97 million viewers.
Carlson beat Obama among those in the coveted 25-54 demographic, winning 506,000 younger viewers, compared with 279,00 for Obama’s interview. CNN had previously denounced Fox News’ “core audience” as “old, white conservatives” attracted to FNC’s “archaic, Mad Men-era view of the world.”
Carlson spent much of the week featuring the emotional testimony of parents at school board meetings nationwide, opposing the teaching of critical theory in the nation’s elementary schools. Meanwhile, Obama snarked, “lo and behold, the single most important issue to [Republicans] currently, right now, is critical race theory. Who knew that that was the threat to our republic?”
He also said he never expected President Donald Trump to be so successful in imposing his conservative agenda, because “I thought that there were enough guardrails institutionally that, even after Trump was elected that you would have the so-called Republican Establishment” oppose him from within.
And Obama lamented the availability of a broad and diverse range of views in the media. “You don’t have just Walter Cronkite delivering the news, but you have 1,000 different venues. All that has contributed to that sense that we don’t have anything in common,” he said.
Ultimately, the American people preferred to tune in to another one of those 1,000 different venues than watch the former president.
Obama’s ratings flop came as Fox News continued its streak as the nation’s most-watched cable news network for the 16th week in a row, according to Nielsen ratings.
“Monday marked CNN’s first time exceeding 1 million viewers so far in the month of June,” reported Fox News. “In May, CNN failed to reach a seven-digit audience 13 out of the 31 days, roughly 42% of the month.”
CNN crashed out of the top five cable news networks in May.
CNN actually fell out of the top 10 networks on cable during the week of May 31, finishing 12th, behind TNT, Fox News, MSNBC, HGTV, ESPN, TBS, NBC Sports, Hallmark, TLC, Discovery, and the History Channel.
Still, the former president’s interview powered CNN to a rare second-place victory over MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes.”
Fox News enjoyed a highly successful week, debuting two new weekend shows: “Unfiltered” starring FNC contributor and talk radio host Dan Bongino, and “Sunday Night in America” with former Congressman Trey Gowdy. Both shows won their respective time slots this weekend.
Perhaps having his own ratings failure in view, Obama blasted “certain right-wing media venues, for example, that monetize and capitalize on stoking the fear and resentment of a White population that is witnessing a changing America and seeing demographic changes, and do everything they can to give people a sense that their way of life is threatened and that people are trying to take advantage of them. And you’re seeing it right now.”
As it turned out, more Americans were eager to tune in the venues Obama insulted than to watch the former president deliver another condescending lecture.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.