Tag Archives: TV ratings

SCOTUS pick fueled by ratings

Donald J. Trump just cannot shuck his past as a TV celebrity.

Thus, the president of the United States plans to announce his selection to the U.S. Supreme Court at 9 p.m. Monday.

That’s prime time, man!

Many millions of eyes will be on him when he trots out the next nominee to the court, the individual who is expected to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy, who’s retiring at the end of the month.

I won’t belabor the point, but it does seem cheesy and it seems to devalue the importance of the selection. I remain somewhat concerned that when Trump announces the name of the individual that he’s going to make this event more about him than about the person who’ll don the black robes and make critically important decisions that affect all Americans.

That’s the Trump way.

Yet another, um, ‘exaggeration’ from Trump

Is it an exaggeration or is it an outright lie?

Donald John Trump has declared, apparently without any proof, that his State of the Union speech was watched by the largest TV audience in the history of the broadcast medium.

The president’s declaration has been challenged, of course, by those who reminded him that other recent presidents spoke to larger audiences than he did. Some have reminded the president than an earlier speech he delivered, in 2017, to a joint congressional sessions was larger than the audience he drew for this week’s State of the Union.

It’s shades of the argument over the size of the Trump inaugural crowd all over again.

I guess we can expect this kind of foolishness from the president. The issue boils down to whether we believe it is (a) a mere exaggeration, (b) a misspoken statement or (c) an outright lie.

I am inclined to believe the third option. Why? Because the president knows — or he should know — the truth, but refuses deliberately to speak it.

Ratings tank for Democratic debate … who knew?

debate stage

Why is anyone surprised that the TV ratings for the Democratic Party presidential debate headed for the tank?

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley duked it out in Des Moines, Iowa. CBS carried it and by many accounts, the big winner of the event was John Dickerson, host of “Face the Nation” and the moderator of the debate.

I’ll offer a couple of theories on the ratings tumble.

First, the identity of the eventual Democratic nominee is pretty well known. It’s likely to be Clinton, the former first lady/U.S. senator/secretary of state. She stumbled a couple of times in Des Moines, but she did very little to harm her status as the prohibitive favorite to face whomever the Republicans nominate next summer.

Second, and this is probably the more telling reason, the debate was up against some late-night college football games.

I hate to acknowledge this, but a football game between two competitive teams is far more exciting than watching three politicians try to out-insult each other.

(A point of personal privilege here: I was in and out of the debate, tuning in finally to the final quarter of the Oregon-Stanford game that Fox was broadcasting. Oh yeah: the Ducks won it with a last-second defensive play in their own end zone. Go Ducks!)

Sure, the debate shed some light on important policy positions.

But there were no surprises. There was even less drama.

Hey, if it had been Republicans debating opposite those football games — even with their carnival atmosphere — I’m pretty sure football would have won those ratings, too.