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Tipsheet

CNN Explains Why Fox News Had Much Better Ratings This Week in Wake of Mueller

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The bombshell that special counsel Robert Mueller and his team found no collusion between President Trump and Russia was a boost for cable news. Well, one network that is. Fox News crushed the competition from Sunday through Tuesday. Check out the numbers from Tuesday, the third straight day of Mueller coverage.

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Primetime

FNC: 3,341,000 in P2+ (585,000 in 25-54)

CNN: 798,000 in P2+ (220,000 in 25-54)

MSNBC: 1,824,000 in P2+ (271,000 in 25-54)

Rachel Maddow's ratings especially tanked, as it turns out viewers aren't all that interested in her archeological dig of the Mueller report. The Daily Beast amusingly mused that, "it's possible that the Mueller disappointment drove loyal viewers away in much the same way that people avoid looking at their 401(k)s when the stock market is down."

The MSNBC host had lost almost 500,000 total viewers from the previous Monday. Fox News's Sean Hannity, on the other hand, who shares Maddow's time slot, saw a major audience boost. He gained 1,000,000 viewers from the week before Mueller's investigation ended or Attorney General William Barr released his four-page summary for Congress.

In Brian Stelter's ratings analysis, he acknowledged that yes, they're trailing Fox. But that's because after the Mueller news the rest of the week was pretty much a snore. 

It's true that Fox's prime time ratings have popped this week while CNN and MSNBC's ratings have been below average. That makes sense: On the right, the Barr letter is being celebrated like a sequel to election night. Since the letter's release on Sunday, there hasn't been much news. So I'm not surprised by the ebb and flow, but I'm keeping an eye on it...

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Some people immediately reminded Stelter of some of the major headlines he apparently missed.

No offense to Mr. Stelter, but perhaps a more plausible explanation for why their audience stopped showing up is because their Russian collusion narrative has been upended. Brit Hume spoke for many Americans when heh gave a frustrated summary of the media's years-long obsession, which President Trump retweeted.

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