In a piece published earlier today, Big Journalism made note of the fact that, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, ratings confirm that CNN has now lost its “Big News” ratings dominance to Fox News.
For over a decade, whenever major news broke, Americans were simply expected to abandon their regular news source to tune in to CNN. What we’ve seen lately, though, and without a doubt during the Boston Marathon terror attack, is that this is no longer the case. Fox News is now, if you will pardon the expression, “The Most Trusted Name In News.”
While CNN is beating MSNBC this week, Fox is now crushing both, and doing so during the seismic news event involving the first successful terrorist attack directed at civilians on American soil since 2001. This kind of story used to be CNN’s bread and butter.
This ratings dynamic isn’t likely to change anytime soon, either. Since the debacle that occurred on CNN Monday afternoon with the dramatic misreporting that arrests in the Boston bombings had been made, CNN’s “Big News” brand has only been further tarnished. Between blowing the ObamaCare ruling and being caught red-handed pushing for stricter gun control, CNN is now something of a laughingstock on the right and the left.
Throughout the week, in fact, thanks to a countless number of small blunders, CNN has been facing the kind of ridicule media watchers used to reserve for Fox.
As far as MSNBC being able to handle the kind of hard news that comes with a terror attack, other than Chuck Todd, almost all of the left-wing network’s usual anchors — Toure, Alex Wagner, Martin Bashir, Chris Matthews, Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow, etc. — have seemed way over their heads this week. The only time the network has avoided an unsettling Bugsy Malone vibe is when NBC reporters like Pete Williams stop by.
Right now MSNBC’s ratings are the disaster they deserve to be.
Fox News, on the other hand, is doing spectacular work. Though they also misreported the arrests-that-never-were on Monday, anchor Megyn Kelly was much more careful in her reporting than either CNN or the AP. Otherwise, FNC’s coverage has been uniformly sober, smart, informative, and remarkably free from the kind of drama, errors, and speculation that has so plagued its competition.
Because of the left-wing bias that stunts the worldview of most media-watchers, FNC is unlikely to get the praise it deserves for its fine work this week. But make no mistake, FNC’s straight-news coverage of this straight-news event has been exemplary.
And according to the ratings, the only “media-watchers” who matter — the customers — seem to agree.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC