For some reason, the White House thought it would be a good idea to schedule President Joe Biden's town hall when millions of Americans were watching sports, including postseason baseball. Sure enough, the CNN town hall performed terribly in the ratings, according to Joe Concha.
The White House scheduled Biden’s town hall during tonight’s “sports equinox,” when millions of Americans will be watching MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, and college football.— GOP (@GOP) October 21, 2021
Biden doesn’t want to answer the hard questions.
From 8-9pm on Thursday night:— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) October 22, 2021
FNC/Tucker: 2.9 million total viewers
CNN/Biden town hall: 1.16 million total viewers
Context: Biden's town hall on CNN in July drew 1.46 million viewers.
More context: Biden's town hall on CNN in Feb. drew 3.4M viewers.https://t.co/3tiHTFTaQn
As Concha laid out in his column for The Hill:
According to early numbers from Nielsen Media Research, the Biden town hall from Baltimore, which was moderated by Anderson Cooper, delivered just 1.2 million viewers from 8 p.m. ET to 9:30 p.m. In the younger demographic (25 to 54-year-olds) that advertisers covet most, the commander in chief commanded a paltry 271,000 viewers.
For context in the cable news race, an average of 2.83 million viewers watched Fox News’s Tucker Carlson (8 p.m.) and the first half of Sean Hannity (9 p.m.). That's more than 1.6 million more viewers. Meanwhile, MSNBC's Chris Hayes (8 p.m.) and Rachel Maddow (9 p.m.) attracted an average of 1.39 million viewers in taking second place.
Besides containing tidbits even CNN had to fact-check, the town hall further revealed a lack of willingness from the administration to expand its horizons. As was also highlighted, Biden has done a select amount of interviews an appearances, limited to certain networks. Those the president did take questions from on Thursday were mostly Democrats.
Number of Anderson Cooper town halls as President: 2— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) October 18, 2021
Number of sit downs w/ WSJ, NYT, or Wapo reporters (not columnists): 0
Then that's the most Republicans who have been on air at CNN in a decade. https://t.co/iYRQYPKmbR— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 22, 2021
Biden not only trailed the competition on Thursday night, but his own previous town halls, and then Republican primary candidate, Donald Trump:
For even more context, Biden drew 3.4 million viewers during his first town hall as president on CNN in February. Thursday night's audience, marking more than a 60 percent drop. For more context, the last town hall Donald Trump did with CNN occurred when he wasn't even the Republican nominee in March 2016, when the first-time candidate captured 3.26 million viewers.
Earlier this month, as I covered, Biden had only done 10 interviews in his time so far in office. By this point in his presidency Barack Obama had given more than 113, and Trump had given more than 50.