It appears Fox News’ decision to offer a two-hour special covering President Donald Trump’s “Salute to America” celebration on July 4 has apparently paid off, as evidenced by viewership breaking two network records and dominating the ratings.
What are the details?
Fox reported that during the president’s speech from 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET, the outlet averaged 4.6 million viewers — its largest ever July 4 prime-time audience — more than double the viewers of CNN and MSNBC’s coverage combined, at 1.5 million and a “dismal” 374,000, respectively.
The telecast was also the most-watched show of 2019 for Fox News’ “Special Report.”
Ahead of the Independence Day fanfare, major networks ABC, CBS, and NBC all announced they would not provide live television coverage of President Trump’s speech, opting instead to stick with regularly scheduled shows like “Jeopardy!” and “Inside Edition.”
According to The Hill, NBC did air live coverage of New York City’s prime-time fireworks show, but drew only 3.8 million viewers.
In more good news for Fox News, President Trump announced Monday that he plans to throw a similar Fourth of July party in 2020.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, the president said, “It was a wonderful day for all Americans and based on its tremendous success, we’re just making the decision and I think we can say we’ve made the decision to do it again next year. And maybe we can say for the foreseeable future.”
Although CNN did air the president’s “Salute to America” speech live, the network’s pundits have been criticized for their coverage of the event. Curtis Houck, managing editor of Media Research Center’s Newsbusters, wrote afterward that “CNN’s ‘The Situation Room’ put on one of the most disgraceful displays of liberal media bias, Trump hatred, and slights at America you’ll ever see.”
Houck noted, “A cast of CNN personalities bashed the Trump speech as a ‘rudimentary’ ‘eighth grade history’ report ripping off ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ and Wikipedia to create a work of ‘jingoism and militaristic virtue.'”