Democrat-lead impeachment efforts have proved to be a ratings boom for cable news, and there’s no question which network is benefiting the most.
Fox News announced its success on Thursday, citing figures from Nielsen Media Research.
According to the article it ran, Fox News was by far the first choice among viewers in the 10AM to 4PM time slot, with some 2.9 million people tuning in to watch its coverage of House Intelligence Committee proceedings overall.
MSNBC resorts to OJ comparison and Game of Thrones analogy
That edged out MSNBC, whose hosts managed to attract some 2.7 million views. There, on-air personality Chris Matthews argued that the impeachment of President Trump would have more in common with the murder trial of O.J. Simpson than it would the Watergate investigation.
“I was just watching the vote in the House Judiciary Committee in the summer of 1974 where you saw six or more Republicans vote for that first article of impeachment,” he began.
“It’s much more tribal today. These hearings today are going to be much more like the O.J. trial, the great trial at the end of the 20th century, where people took sides very quickly. It wasn’t so much about the facts, it’s about your perspective, your history as a human being in this country.”
Matthews also suggested that Republicans would employ distraction tactics.
“I think they’re going to try to shift the attention from this simple matter of bribery, where the president, acting like a crooked local official, simply said, ‘Yeah, I’ll get you your foreign military assistance to fight off the Russian tanks, but first I want you to do me a favor, though,’” Matthews predicted.
“That’s what a local pol would do, a magistrate would do in the old days of Philadelphia, where, ‘Yeah, my drawer’s open, I need something here before we go on with this,” for a zoning variance or anything,” he insisted. “Total corrupt behavior.”
Fellow host Nicolle Wallace attempted to draw a parallel between the hearings and the Superbowl as well as the fantasy series Game of Thrones.
“This is what I keep thinking about,” she remarked. “Other than Super Bowl, a sporting event, maybe the finale of Game of Thrones, there are not that many things that everybody watches together on TV.”
For its part, CNN came last when it came to viewership, with a comparatively anemic 1.8 million viewers.