Given that President Donald Trump’s entire public persona is largely predicated on the fact that he was at one time a successful television personality, you’d think that Tuesday’s televised Oval Office address—the first of his presidency—would have raked in more viewers than anything else that night, right? Wrong.
In fact, in what is one of the more delicious humiliations faced by the White House in recent weeks, the 15 minutes after Trump spoke—which included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s rebuttal to Trump’s pointless speech—handily beat the president when it came to combined TV ratings for the evening, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Citing preliminary ratings figures, the Reporter calculated (emphasis mine):
The quarter hour (9-9:15 p.m. ET) containing the president’s speech drew a combined 28.1 household rating in metered markets on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, Fox News and NBC. The following 15 minutes, including analysis and the Pelosi-Schumer rebuttal, averaged 29.3 across those same networks, a bump of about 4 percent.
The humiliation is even more satisfying when you drill down into those numbers, network by network. According to Deadline.com, Pelosi and Schumer’s rebuttal earned a whopping 26 percent more viewers on CNN than Trump’s mealy mouth speech. On MSNBC that number was 15 percent, and even on Fox News, the two ran dead even.
It’s days like this where I start to miss former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and what would surely have been his hilariously angry press conference insisting that the president’s speech got more views than all 52 Super Bowls combined. Oh well.