This afternoon, during CNN’s convention-hall skybox navel-lint-gazing walking up to Donald Trump’s RNC Victory Lap speech tonight, Trump himself began to speak sternly to anchor Anderson Cooper, through his CNN surrogate/medium Jeffrey Lord:
“Anderson, I’ve just heard from Donald Trump himself,” Lord began, looking straight at Cooper.
The other panelists shut up, which is no small feat in some CNN scrums.
“He thinks that this convention has been a tremendous convention. He has a message for you, Anderson:
“He is not pleased. He thinks that we’re not accurately representing this convention. He feels it’s been a stupendous success. He knew that Ted Cruz was going to say what he said. He thinks Ted Cruz has damaged himself by doing this. He beat all of these candidates to get here. These people here are totally in support of him. He feels that he’s going to go out of here with an energized convention, etc. He specifically said to say that your ratings, our ratings at CNN here are up because of his presence in this convention. And I think I’ve more or less delivered the message.
“There’s no doubt about Donald Trump’s impact on ratings,” Cooper said, sounding a bit taken aback. “I haven’t looked at the ratings. It’s amazing Donald Trump has looked at the ratings,” he added.
Trump’s right, with regard to ratings.
Comparing this RNC’s Tuesday and Wednesday night numbers (because the 2012 convention got blown out of the water, literally, on that Monday night, owing to a hurricane, and convention action didn’t really get underway until Tuesday in ’12) CNN has clocked a primetime average of about 2.9 million viewers. That’s compared to 1.16M in ’12 – up about 1.7M viewers.
MSNBC also is up, but by smaller numbers: 1.6M compared to 1.3M.
Fox News Channel, meanwhile, is flat-ish, averaging 5.3M viewers in primetime on those two days of this convention, compared to 5.5M in 2012.
Back to CNN’s panel:
Cooper marveled at Trump’s awareness of stagecraft. Others on the panel chimed in.
Only Amanda Cooper, Ted Cruz’s former communications director, dissented:
“If he’s so into micro-managing the media’s interpretation of how the events have gone that he’s calling into shows at this moment in time — this convention has been bungled almost every single day.
“He needs to focus on his speech, his message,” she said. “I’m worried, quite frankly, it’s not Reagan(esque), it’s going to be Nixonian, it’s going to be doom and fear, and gloom. That’s not a uniting message.”