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Fox News Seriously Downplayed The James Comey News. It Backfired.

By in Huffington Post on May 17, 2017

By Michael Calderone

Fox News’ primetime hosts downplayed or dismissed the huge political fallout Tuesday night following reports that President Donald Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to stop his investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

And viewers tuned out.

MSNBC averaged the most total viewers from 8 to 11 p.m. Eastern time (2.481 million), while CNN ranked first in the 25-54 age demographic prized by advertisers (719,000). Fox News ranked second in total viewers Tuesday night and third in the 25-54 demo for the second night in a row.

Fox News, which dominated the cable news ratings for 15 years, has continued to lead the pack even after a sexual harassment scandal brought down Chairman Roger Ailes last summer and host Bill O’Reilly last month. The network is still ahead of MSNBC and CNN so far through May, with an average of 2.25 million total viewers in primetime and 455,000 in the demo.

But the ratings race has tightened amid the chaos of the Trump White House, with MSNBC’s progressive lineup drawing liberal viewers and CNN swarming the big news of the moment in addition to airing political events, such as this week’s town halls featuring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich.

What distinguished Fox News from its competitors on Tuesday night is that its pro-Trump primetime hosts at times seemed to be operating in an alternate reality, devoting airtime to Hillary Clinton and a fringe conspiracy theory while other networks were revealing information about the Comey memo.

Sean Hannity, the network’s biggest Trump booster, ghoulishly used […]    

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