MSNBC scrambled Thursday to find speech watchers of President Joe Biden’s address to Congress as event ratings tanked.
“I’ve got to tell you, most of the folks that I’ve spoken to here did not actually watch Joe Biden’s address last night,” reporter Priscilla Thompson explained in Atlanta Thursday morning.
“I’ve spoken to around a dozen folks and only two of them watched and listened to what he had to say last night,” she added.
Ellison Barber, reporting from Coral Gables, Florida, was next asked by Anchor Hallie Jackson what people in Florida were saying about the speech.
“So Ellison, you know we love to talk about sort of the voice, the perspective of voters here on this show….you’re hearing what people there are thinking of the President’s speech. What’s up?” she asked.
Barber remarked that the individuals she spoke with did not watch the speech.
“Yeah, we’re seeing some of what Priscilla touched on there, about two-thirds of the people who we have tried to talk to here said they did not watch the President’s address,” she divulged.
“Not necessarily because they were boycotting it or intentionally not watching it, they just went to bed. They had to work, they had other things. This wasn’t top of their to-do list,” she revealed.
MSNBC’s antidotal observations were proven correct by ratings.
Nearly 56 percent fewer Americans watched President Joe Biden’s speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday compared to former President Trump’s first address in 2017. According to Nielsen rating data, about 26.9 million viewers watched Wednesday night.
By comparison, the lowest audience viewership President Donald Trump had for a congressional speech was 37.2 million in 2020:
TV Ratings of Trump’s Addresses to Congress:
2017: 48 million
2018: 46 million
2019: 46.8 million
2020: 37.2 million
2021: 26.9 million
— Wendell Husebø (@WendellHusebo) April 30, 2021
Biden’s speech seemed to be overshadowed by Sen. Tim Scott’s rebuttal, garnering a lot of media attention. CNN anchor Jake Tapper called Scott’s speech “inspiring and hopeful.”
“You heard there an inspiring and hopeful and at times even religious message from the man perceived to be a rising star in his party,” Tapper acknowledged: