The president recently went on a Twitter tear about the so-called mainstream media. His frustration about the barrage of negative coverage is evident. So why on earth don’t those brilliant minds in the White House Communications Office upload a new media world for the president to peruse every morning? It’s out there. You just need to know where to look.
Old Habits Die Hard
The only way to stop a fire is to remove the oxygen from it. By continuing to watch and respond to advocacy media, President Trump breathes life into them. The former titans of the news industry – the big three: ABC, NBC, and CBS – are gasping for air, and, oddly enough, the president may be sending a breeze stiff enough to keep them afloat. Left to their own devices, these O&Os (owned and operated networks) might run aground on the rocky shoals, never to be seen again.
At 73, Trump is a captive of the mainstream news institutions primarily because of his age. In line with the “old habits die hard” adage, it is easy to understand why he picks up the TV remote every morning.
Pew Research did a comprehensive study on various pathways to news consumption. The 2016 report showed that 85% of those 65 and older get their news from the television, and 48% of this demographic group read the newspaper. While older people take outdated avenues to obtain their news fix, those in the 18-29 and 30-49 demographics tune in to the internet, radio, and alternative television. The upshot is that “about four-in-ten Americans often get [their] news online.” Oddly, Pew found that Americans are very loyal news consumers, an observation that might explain why President Trump goes back to the same news sources only to get beaten over the head.
The reality is that cable and broadcast television outlets are not the only game in town. Their power and influence are shrinking right before our very eyes. The only outlier is Fox News (FNC), which posted its largest-ever quarter audience in prime time in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Nielsen ratings. Here is a snapshot of the Nielsen ratings for cable news in 2020 thus far:
- FNC 3.387M viewers
- MSNBC 1.928M viewers
- CNN 1.427M viewers
Here are the ratings for the third quarter of 2019 for the big three network news programs:
- ABC 8.1M viewers
- NBC 7.2M viewers
- CBS 5.0M viewers
It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Not so fast. A Pew Research Center analysis found that the total network evening news ratings have been cratering since 1980. Shown in light pink at the top of the graph, total viewership went from 42.3M people in 1980 to 18.9M for the calendar year 2005.
Holy Moley – Look What Else Is Out There
In an ironic twist, YouTube, which is owned by Google – not the most conservative platform on earth – provides conservative alternatives to the old boy networks as outlined in the list below. (Except for CNSnews.com, this is not a blanket endorsement of these sites.)
- CNSNews – 2.33K subscribers with video views of 3,468,680
- Steven Crowder – 4.41M subscribers with video views of 1,044,486,409
- PragerU – 2.47M subscribers with video views of 973,759,160
- Mark Dice – 1.55M subscribers with a total viewership of 325,207,286
- The Next News Network – 1.54M subscribers with a total viewership of 1,051,925,159
But numbers don’t tell the whole story. There are newcomers like SomeBlackGuy, Conservative Citizen, and, of course, Liberty Nation, which has just begun a new endeavor with our own ROKU channel. Without a doubt, the YouTube channels are hit and miss – a bit of the Wild West – but they provide a solid choice for the president’s viewing.
These alternative television offerings also exist under duress. Active suppression efforts threaten to limit their availability, not to mention their money-making opportunities. Most are not funded with gobs of money and must work like dogs to keep pumping out content.
President Trump has proven that, despite his age, he can put new digital platforms to good use. Twitter is a classic example. But he need not stop there. Perhaps someone in the White House Communications Office could introduce the president to the growing number of trustworthy news and analysis channels out there. Millions of conservatives tune in to these up-and-coming alternative media sources every day. The president should not only know about them but also dial in and sample. Maybe outside the box he will find some relief from his mainstream media frustration.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.
For home study students and young people, Liberty Nation recommends…
All About Freedom of the Press
High School: First Amendment: Empowering the Press
Middle School: First Amendment: Protecting a Free Press
Elementary School: First Amendment: Freedom of the Press
Freedom and the Coronavirus
High School: Coronavirus Lockdown Meets Growing Protest
Middle School: Lockdown Protests in States Across America
Elementary School: Americans Protest Coronavirus Lockdown
Liberty Nation Today: A Sneak Peek
Ukraine Today – Photos and Facts - The latest news and pictures from the Ukrainian front. - Read Now!
Biden Likes Venezuelan Oil – Just Not American Oil - Major US oil company gets the green light to drill but not in the United States. - Read Now!
Will Asian Voters Decide Critical Senate Runoff in Georgia? - Warnock and Walker wooing Asians for the ballot box. - Read Now!
Incoming – A Lame Duck President – LN Radio Videocast - A pen and a phone might not cut it for Joe Biden. - Watch Now!
National Security at Risk as China Covets US Lithium - Beijing is investing heavily in mining lithium in the United States. - Read Now!