Monday’s cable news cycle included two huge ratings events: a rare cross-country total eclipse of the sun, and an equally historic Donald Trump total walk-back on his position about American involvement in Afghanistan.
Given President Donald Trump’s obsession with TV ratings and winning, we’re happy to report Trump obliterated the sun. No competition.
On the cable news networks, the sun scored its biggest crowd on Fox News Channel, whose wildly enthusiastic Shep Smith snagged a much deserved 2.1 million viewers from 1-3 PM. CNN followed with 1.7 million viewers, and MSNBC logged another 1.2 million. In total, the sun tallied 5.1 million U.S. viewers by TV. Happily for Trump, the millions more people who went out of doors to see the eclipse for themselves, hopefully all wearing protective glasses, do not count toward the sun’s tally.
On those same cable news networks later that day, 10.3 million viewers saw Trump’s stunning 180 spin on Afghanistan.
“Our troops will fight to win,” Trump vowed. “From now on, victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over the country and stopping mass terror attacks against Americans before they emerge.”
This seismic shift rocked longtime Trump supporters. Since Donald Trump’s early years as a reality TV star, he steadfastly opposed American involvement in Afghanistan when the Celebrity Apprentice star got asked about the matter, for reasons we cannot explain. Trump clung to that popular position as a candidate for the White House. In his speech Monday night, Trump explained that position had been his instinct and he likes to go with his instinct, but on this he ignored his instinct because he had been told the view looks different from the Oval Office.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.