Tuesday night, President Donald Trump demanded the services of the media outlets he’s so often derided as fake news and the enemy of the people, addressing the United States from the Oval Office on the supposed crisis at the southern border. While many did tune in, it seems as though the evening didn’t turn out as much in his favor as he’d hoped — which considering his disconnect from reality, isn’t too much of a surprise. According to initial numbers, more people watched the Democratic response to his Oval Office address than watched the speech itself. Both segments were carried across both broadcast and cable networks.
Across ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, the 15 minute segment beginning at 9 EST Tuesday night that included the president’s speech garnered a rating of 28.1, which means that around that percentage of the total number of available households were tuned in. During the 15 minute segment immediately after the president’s speech, initial ratings estimates across the same networks spiked to 29.3.
Those ratings hovered around a numerical total of around 22 million broadcast network viewers, and it’s notable that it’s not as though Fox was an outlier and didn’t boast the same high ratings for Democrats’ comments.
‘That may be the very first time the usual afterthought of an opposition party response has beaten a sitting President’s address to the nation.’
Democratic leaders abruptly demanded an opportunity from broadcast and cable networks to respond to Trump after the administration announced that he’d be addressing the nation. Trump sought to defend his position on immigration policy, which has seen him holding the government hostage over his demand for billions of dollars for a border wall via refusing to approve any funding if he doesn’t get what he wants.
There remains no compelling reason to believe the Trump administration that there is an ongoing “crisis” at the southern border. Although there are crimes committed by undocumented immigrants just like any other group of people, to suggest that mandates walling them all off is ludicrous.
Besides, being an undocumented immigrant and seeking asylum as many of them have is not illegal, although the administration has sought to curtail the granting of asylum time and time again. They’ve attempted drawing back the kinds of violence permitted to be considered as warranting “credible fear” on the part of asylum seekers, and they’ve sought to deny asylum to anyone who crosses into the U.S. outside a designated port of entry. Both attempts have been shot down in court.
The Trump team still continues on with their anti-immigrant efforts anyway though. The government shutdown Trump has sparked by his refusals to approve funding is entering its third full week with basically no immediate sign of a break in the stalemate, with hundreds of thousands of workers across the government continuing to face indefinite periods of no pay. Trump has claimed that he can “relate” to the workers’ plight, but that’s little consolation when he’s the one responsible for it and hasn’t proven keen on prioritizing ending it.
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