CNN personalities are getting defensive after former President Trump mocked the liberal network’s dramatic ratings free fall.
Trump issued a statement on Tuesday taking aim at some of his media adversaries, singling out TV hosts like CNN anchor Jake Tapper, and pointing out how CNN’s ratings “are down 70%,” calling it a “wonderful thing to see!”
Tapper, who is widely regarded as CNN’s most professional journalist, retaliated with a swipe against the former president.
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“If I had incited and inspired a deadly insurrection and attempt to undo American democracy I might not be out there bragging about how many viewers it had. On any channel. But maybe that’s just me, I’m a different breed of cat,” Tapper wrote.
Matt Dornic, CNN’s head of strategic communications, went even further, appearing to celebrate President Biden’s administration.
“Imagine that. People are vaccinated, no longer terrified, and out enjoying their lives. If the trade-off is that every news net’s ratings are down, I’ll take it,” Dornic tweeted.
CNN anchor Don Lemon expressed a similar sentiment back in April when he was asked during an interview if he was “worried about the viewership fizzle.”
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“No. I’m not worried about it,” Lemon responded. “The reason I’m not worried about it is because it beats the alternative. The alternative of him being in there and us having to figure out how we deal with lies, and bigotry, and hate, and the toxicity that was the Trump administration. Which has nothing for me to do with my ideology or politics because people have accused me of being conservative. It has nothing to do with politics.”
“Trump was a horrible person. And he was terrible for the country. And it is better for all — for the world that he is no longer the President of the United States,” Lemon continued. “So if that means that cable news ratings go down? Aww. So I’m not really that concerned about it. I would prefer that my ratings go down and Trump not be in office than my ratings be sky-high and him be there. That’s the honest truth.”
CNN’s senior media reporter Oliver Darcy went to bat for not only his own network but MSNBC as well by comparing Fox News’ year-to-year ratings, which is nowhere near CNN’s staggering losses.
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“The point is when you see Trump, Fox, and others mocking other networks for ratings declines, it is not happening in a vacuum. Context is key here. The news has slowed, prompting declines across the entire landscape. Fox is not immune,” Darcy wrote.
CNN’s leftwing media guru Brian Stelter shared Darcy’s thread, calling it “TV ratings reality.”
CNN averaged a dismal 654,000 viewers during the second quarter. By comparison, Fox News averaged 1.2 million during the same time period to finish No. 1 in all of basic cable. CNN failed to crack the one-million viewer threshold during the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. ET.
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CNN’s most popular program was “Cuomo Prime Time,” which finished as the No. 22 weekday show on cable news by averaging 1.2 million viewers. While the scandal-plagued Chris Cuomo had the most-watched show on CNN, it finished behind 14 different Fox News shows and seven MSNBC offerings.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.