One reason Sean Hannity may be so hell-bent on undermining the Russia investigation and protecting Donald Trump no matter how horribly he betrays the U.S. is because when the Russia investigation heats up, Hannity tends to lose his ratings dominance.
On Thursday, the day we learned that Michael Cohen had tried to cover up and minimize Donald Trump’s efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow while he was a presidential candidate, Rachel Maddow and, to a lesser extent, her nighttime colleagues creamed Fox News.
Mediaite noted that on Thursday night, The Rachel Maddow Show was the most-watched in all of cable. Right behind Maddow was colleague Lawrence O’Donnell’s The Last Word. Tucker Carlson Tonight came in third, Hannity fourth, MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes was fifth and The Ingraham Angle tenth. But that was merely the icing on the cake:
It marks a strong showing for Maddow this week. She was number one in total viewers and the demo on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week as well. Other MSNBC shows, like Nicolle Wallace‘s Deadline: White House at 4 p.m., also leapfrogged Fox News.
It was generally a bad week for Trump. Besides the Cohen bombshell, it was revealed that Paul Manafort had breached his plea agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller by lying to prosecutors and that Manafort's lawyer had briefed Trump’s lawyers on developments in the case and what he (Manafort) had told the Mueller team.
To be sure, Hannity and Carlson led Fox to a big ratings victory in November. But the danger signs are there: CNN and MSNBC had bigger gains compared to November 2017 than Fox did (+31, +9, +6, respectively). Also, TVNewser reported that Maddow came in second for the month behind Carlson in adults 25-54, and behind Hannity in total viewers. That’s especially impressive TVNewser pointed out, given that both Hannity and Carlson “have lead-in audiences that usually dwarf Maddow’s lead-in audience, yet her show still regularly finishes in either first or second place in those notable measurements.”
(Hannity image via screen grab)