Tucker Carlson’s Weekly TV Ratings Rise Despite Boycotts

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Last week, there were calls to fire Tucker Carlson from Fox News after old audio resurfaced of the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host making crude remarks about women and statutory rape on a shock-jock radio show. Also last week, Carlson’s Nielsen ratings rose 8 percent.

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 3 million total viewers last week, with 517,000 of them coming from the key adults 15-54 demographic. Those Nielsen numbers were up 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively, from the prior week  — and they also easily beat MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” (1.8 million and 298,000) and CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” (1 million and 269,000).

In the demo, Carlson’s week was down 2019-to-date and versus the same week in 2018.

Also Read: Tucker Carlson’s Ratings Dip in 1st Show Since Resurfaced Comments About Rape, Women

As a whole, Fox News had another big week in terms of viewership. Across primetime, which for Fox is a Carlson/Sean Hannity/Laura Ingraham lineup, FNC averaged 2.387 million total viewers, with 401,000 in the 25-54 demo. March 11 through March 17 marked nine straight weeks for Fox as the No. 1 cable network.

Below are channels ranking 2 through 5 in primetime-audience averages:
2.    ESPN (1,935,000)
3.    MSNBC (1,868,000)
4.    HGTV (1,283,000)
5.    History (1,180,000)

CNN checked in at eleventh in primetime, averaging 939,000 total viewers for the important day part.

Also Read: American Muslim Group Calls for Advertisers to Drop Fox News Unless Jeanine Pirro, Tucker Carlson Are Fired

The latest outcry again Carlson arose after liberal watchdog group Media Matters dropped a compilation of years’ worth of audio that documented Carlson’s regular appearances on the the radio show of Bubba the Love Sponge between 2006 and 2011. In the recordings, Carlson made disparaging remarks about women, including calling television host Alexis Stewart “c-ty.”

See how his advertisers responded here.

Back in December, Carlson lost sponsors after saying that immigrants made the United States a “poorer” and “dirtier” country. He subsequently shed some more advertisers after suggesting that high-earning women had become a cause for social ills in the U.S. and warned that men would not want to marry them.

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Why Does Media Matters Only Seem to Target Fox News Stars Like Tucker Carlson?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America, which burst back into the public eye this week with multiple reports highlighting embarrassing past public remarks by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, has long targeted conservative media and Fox News in particular — while giving a pass to liberals guilty of comparable misstatements.

The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, founded 15 years ago by conservative journalist turned progressive activist David Brock, has led pressure campaigns and advertiser boycotts against former Fox News stars Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly — as well as ongoing campaigns against Carlson and fellow Fox News primetime hosts Laura Ingraham. Each has lost dozens of sponsors.

But the organization has largely ignored embarrassing past comments made by the likes of civil rights leader turned CNN host Al Sharpton or MSNBC anchor Joy Reid, who once ran a blog (unearthed by Mediaite) that included remarks she herself described as “hateful.”

“In the end for progressive activist groups like Media Matters, Fox News is the biggest and most powerful and therefore the first and only elephant to bag,” Joe Concha, a media reporter for The Hill, told TheWrap. “It’s why those who part ways with the network are never targeted again. There’s a bigger mission here, and that is to weaken the network by removing its biggest stars.”

Also Read: Tucker Carlson’s Ratings Dip in 1st Show Since Resurfaced Comments About Rape, Women

A rep for Media Matters insisted that the group maintains a broad focus. “We don’t only watchdog Fox News. We put research resources and work into way more than Fox,” the individual said, without offering specifics. “There are other ways to push for change and accountability other than advertiser efforts.”

Though its mission statement on its website makes clear that its focus is on monitoring media “for conservative misinformation,” Media Matters has largely bypassed other increasingly ascendant players in right-wing media, including local news giant Sinclair and David Pecker’s American Media — producing few articles and launching no boycotts against other outlets’ prominent personalities and sponsors.

“Sinclair just isn’t important. You can find Sinclair if you are a hardcore boomer con passing around memes on Facebook but Fox is a brand,” said media critic Stephen L. Miller, a former Fox News contributor who is no relation to the White House official of the same name. “You can turn Fox on and watch it and everyone knows it. They have higher ratings than MSNBC and certainly higher than any show on CNN, which is what this is actually about.”

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Calls Iraqis ‘Semiliterate Primitive Monkeys’ In 2008 Interview (Audio)

Indeed, Media Matters president Angelo Carusone dismissed critics of MSNBC’s Joy Reid, calling attacks on the host “bulls—” and “right-wing chicanery” and said outrage over her past derogatory remarks about LGBT people was “not based on a pattern of behavior but on a random thing plucked from time and space.”

Carusone also shot down criticism of his own past comments after the Carlson-founded Daily Caller resurfaced 2005 blog posts in which he referred to “trannies” and “Jewish gold.” “That entire exercise on our website was a satirical parody of a right-wing blow hard,” Carusone told TheWrap. “I did it for two months and I stopped. It was a parody.”

For many media critics, Media Matters’ selective outrage over Fox News is a blind spot that reduces its overall credibility.

“It’s pretty simple: Media Matters is on record declaring the Joy Reid story wasn’t worth exploring at all because it didn’t reach its standards. The standard, of course, being that Reid works for MSNBC and is one of the network’s most beloved hosts.” Concha said. “To cover Reid would mean alienating its readers and defying its mission, and that just wasn’t going to happen.”

Radio host and The Federalist contributor Jesse Kelly added, “Media Matters gave Joy Reid a pass because she’s a lefty and Media Matters is only interested in the destruction and silencing of people on the right.”

Also Read: Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham Boycotts Have Cost Their Fox News Shows Millions, Data Shows (Exclusive)

Media Matters’ targeting of Fox News isn’t new. In a 2011 interview with Politico that noted that Media Matters had “all but abandoned its monitoring of newspapers and other television networks,” the group’s then-president Brock declared “war on Fox” and promised a campaign of “guerilla warfare and sabotage.”

The organization only began reporting on Carlson since he joined Fox News a decade ago. He actually worked for MSNBC from 2005 to 2008 — a period when Carlson made many of his most inflammatory comments on the Bubba the Love Sponge radio show. Media Matters did not surface the comments at the time and MSNBC is not known to have taken any disciplinary action against him. Reps for the network declined to comment for this story.

While Media Matters has not said that it wants to see Carlson removed from the air, the organization has pressured current and prospective advertisers to avoid the network. “It would be unfair of us to know all that we know about Fox News and its volatility and not share that when it would matter most to those brands,” Carusone told TheWrap.

On Wednesday, the channel held an event for prospective media buyers to win over new advertisers for the network’s less partisan news programming. Carusone told TheWrap the group’s releases of past Tucker comments were not intended to overshadow the gathering, but his organization staged a protest outside the network’s headquarters in New York City on the same day.

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Loses 2nd Advertiser Over Past Comments About Statutory Rape, Women

In a statement, Fox News said the advertiser showcase went swimmingly. “Today more than 100 advertisers attended Fox News Channel’s first ever upfront presentation which showcased our best in class journalism and opinion programming,” Marianne Gambelli, Fox News president for advertising sales, told TheWrap. “We were extremely proud to open our doors and introduce the media buying community to our America’s Watching campaign, incredible team of talent and new state of the art studios.”

So far, the channel has vowed to stand behind Carlson, a point he proudly stated in his opening monologue on Monday.

“Fox News is behind us, as they have been since the very first day. Toughness is a rare quality at a TV network, and we are grateful for that,” Carlson said. “We will never bow to the mob, ever, no matter what.” In recent months, the network has issued several statements of support for him and Ingraham — who is also facing a protracted advertiser boycott over remarks she made last year about Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg.

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Tucker Carlson Defended Statutory Rape as Recently as 2015 (Video)

Tucker Carlson Continues to Deliver Massive Ratings to Fox News – Despite the Boycotts

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Despite the renewed calls to #FireTuckerCarlson over his inflammatory comments in recently resurfaced old interviews, the Fox News host remains very popular among cable news viewers.

So far in 2019, Carlson’s 8 p.m. program on the Fox News Channel is averaging 2.9 million total viewers per episode, which is 41 percent more than Chris Hayes on MSNBC and a whopping 122 percent more than CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

In the key ratings demographic, which for primetime news programming is adults ages 25-54, Carlson averages 525,000 viewers, per Nielsen. That’s 37 percent more than Cooper and 46 percent more than Hayes.

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Calls CNN’s Brian Stelter a ‘Eunuch,’ Ana Navarro a ‘Ubiquitous Windbag’ (Video)

Carlson’s audience this year is not only larger than his direct competition’s, it is larger than anything in the 8 p.m. hour on all of cable. Yes, that includes ESPN, HGTV and everything else.

The viewership continues despite an outcry over a December episode in which he said that immigrants made the United States a “poorer” and “dirtier” country — a comment that led at least two dozen sponsors to pull ads from the show.

He subsequently lost more advertisers after suggesting that high-earning women had become a cause for social ills in the U.S. and warned that men would not want to marry them.

The latest outcry arose after liberal watchdog group Media Matters on Sunday dropped a compilation of years’ worth of audio that documented Carlson’s regular appearances on the the radio show of Florida shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge between 2006 and 2011. In the recordings, Carlson made disparaging remarks about women, including calling television host Alexis Stewart “c–ty.”

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Called Out Samantha Bee for Saying ‘Actually Degrading’ Word ‘C-t’ That He Also Used on Air

Carlson addressed the audio on Sunday evening, telling critics they were welcome to come on his show and take issue with him directly. He did not apologize.

“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago,” Carlson said, sidestepping the fact that some clips were as recent as 2011. “Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

Carlson will appear as scheduled on his show tonight, according to Fox News.

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Al Sharpton Calls for ‘Accountability’ After DA Declines to Charge Officers in Stephon Clark Killing

Read on: Deadline.

Rev. Al Sharpton called for police to be held accountable Saturday on his MSNBC show Politics Nation, after prosecutors in Sacramento announced they would not charge the officers who fatally shot Stephon Clark, an unarmed African-American man.

To Plot Mass Killing, Coast Guard Lt. Paul Hasson Studied a Mass Killer’s Manifesto, Prosecutors Say

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Prosecutors say Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson studied a manifesto by far-right Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik as he plotted the murders of prominent journalists and politicians — an especially alarming accusation because Breivik murdered 77 people in two attacks in Norway in 2011.

The Breivik attack shook the European continent, where mass shootings are rare. Breivik was sentenced to only 21 years in prison, the maximum allowable under Norwegian law. He will be eligible for release in 2033, when he will be 53, the New York Times reports.

“From early 2017 through the date of his arrest, the defendant routinely perused portions of the Breivik manifesto that instruct a prospective assailant to amass appropriate firearms, food, disguises, and survival supplies,” prosecutors said in a court filing. “Consistent with the Breivik manifesto, the defendant performed thousands of visits to websites selling firearms and tactical gear. The defendant also researched United States military technical manuals or improvised munitions and tactical handbooks.”

Also Read: Prosecutors: Coast Guard Lieutenant Planned to Kill CNN and MSNBC Hosts, Prominent Democrats

“The manifesto also provides detailed instructions for everything from making a bomb to raising funds to preparing physically and mentally for what the author describes as a coming three-stage ‘civil war’ between patriotic nationalists and ‘multiculturalists’ who are, wittingly or not, destroying European civilization,” Blake Hounshell reported for Foreign Policy at the time.

A legal filing by prosecutors contained background on Breivik.

“Breivik believed immigration of Muslim individuals was a threat to European countries, and he believed this wave of immigration was being facilitated by Cultural Marxism and political correctness,” they wrote. “Breivik posited that unbridled Muslim immigration would bring the collapse of Western culture and European Civil War. Therefore, in order to curtail Muslim immigration, Breivik advocated for violent action that would serve as a catalyst for the downfall of Cultural Marxist governments.”

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Hasson’s plans were first uncovered after he was busted by the Coast Guard for looking at extremist websites on work computers, NBC reported. In addition to targeting Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker, Reps. Beto O’Rourke and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and journalists Chris Hayes and Don Lemon, Hasson also mulled the possibility of committing mass murder — potentially by using a biological agent, prosecutors said.

“I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth,” Hasson said in a draft email uncovered from his computer after his home was raided, according to prosecutors.”I think a plague would be most successful but how do I acquire the needed/ Spanish flu, botulism, anthrax not sure yet but will find something.”‘

Law enforcement officials said they also found a cache of weapons and over a thousand rounds of ammunition at his home.

“The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” warned prosecutors, who urged that he be detained until his trial.

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Prosecutors: Coast Guard Lieutenant Planned to Kill CNN and MSNBC Hosts, Prominent Democrats

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

In court papers filed in the U.S. District Court of Maryland, federal prosecutors said that a Coast Guard lieutenant arrested last week is a “domestic terrorist” who intended to kill “prominent Democratic congressional leaders” and “MSNBC and CNN media personalities” among others.

According to the filing, Christopher Paul Hasson was arrested Feb. 15 on gun-and-drug-related charges. The motion asks that he be detained pending trial because “the defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.”

Prosecutors say Hasson’s targets included Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters, MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Joe Scarborough, and CNN hosts Chris Cuomo and Van Jones. The hit list was complied in a Microsoft spreadsheet included in the filing.

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Hasson, the filing says, is an “obvious danger to the community” with a years-long record of expressing extremist views, which were discovered in several emails and email drafts obtained by law enforcement. Among these, the filing cites a June, 2017 email draft in which Hasson said he was “dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth,” as well as a September, 2017 email Hasson sent to himself “which he apparently wrote to a known American neo-Nazi leader” espousing a desire for a “white homeland.”

The filing also cites google searches conducted by Hasson for terms including “what if trump [sic] is illegally impeached,” and “where in dc to [sic] congress live.”

Hasson also frequently read a manifesto written by Norwegian white supremacist terrorist Anders Breivik, and appeared to follow Breivik’s instructions for amassing supplies and weapons, according to the filing. Law enforcement agents, prosecutors say, found fifteen firearms and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition and other supplies, including steroids, when executing a search warrant.

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According to the filing, Hasson’s hit list was consistent with the kinds of people identified by Breivik as “traitors.”

Hasson is set to appear in court Thursday afternoon.

The court filing was first reported by Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.

CNN and MSNBC did not immediately respond to requests for comment from TheWrap.

Amy Klobuchar Presidents’ Day Town Hall On CNN Thumped By MSNBC, FNC In Ratings

Read on: Deadline.

CNN’s Don Lemon-hosted town hall with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar came in third on President’s Day to MSNBC and FNC, both in total viewers and in the news demo.
CNN’s 10-11:15 PM sit-down with the Dem presidential candidate clocked 1.139M viewers. Onl…

Al Sharpton Says Jussie Smollett Should ‘Face Accountability to the Maximum’ If Attack Was Staged

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Al Sharpton said that “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett should face severe consequences if the truth ultimately shows he fabricated or staged the hate crime assault he says occurred in Chicago last month.

“If it is found that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetrate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum,” the MSNBC host and civil rights leader said during a Sunday airing of his program “Politics Nation.”

Sharpton did not define what he meant by “maximum,” but filing a false policy report is a felony in Illinois and punishable by up to three years in prison, “GMA” reported earlier on Monday.

Also Read: BBC Cameraman Attacked During Trump Rally in El Paso, Network Says (Video)

The MSNBC host however clearly stated that he was waiting for all the facts to come in and that whoever was at fault should face justice.

“I among many others when hearing of the reports said the reports were horrific and that we should come with all that we can come with in law enforcement to find out what happened and the guilty should suffer the maximum. I still maintain that,” he said. “Let’s not act like this is some left wing hoax that some are saying on social media. President Trump called this horrible and he’s certainly not a left winger.”

Also Read: Police Think Jussie Smollett Paid Men to Attack Him, CNN Reports; Star’s Attorneys Deny It Was a ‘Hoax’

On Jan. 29, Smollett first reported the attack to police saying that two men in MAGA hats and ski masks attacked him early in the morning near a Subway sandwich shop, shouting racial slurs and the line, “This is MAGA country.” For weeks, however, cops struggled to crack the case. Two persons of interest identified and arrested by the police were later released.

Also Read: ‘Empire’ Showrunner Still Stands by Jussie Smollett Despite New Evidence: ‘Keep Your Head Up’

New reporting from CNN and local Chicago news sources later have said Smollett staged the attack with two person’s of interest — one of whom is known to have appeared in Empire as an extra. Reps for the Chicago PD told TheWrap Monday that they were “not in a position to confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what’s been unofficially released.”

In a weekend statement, attorneys for the actor, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, strongly denied the reporting from CNN and elsewhere saying Smollett “has been further victimized” by the claims.

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NBC News To Host First Democratic Debate Of 2020 Election Cycle; CNN Gets Second One

Read on: Deadline.

NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo will host the first debate of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates in June, the Democratic National Committee said today. CNN is set for the second one in July.
Both debates will be held over two consecutive nights, giv…

Trump Thanks MSNBC for Report That Senate Committee Has Found No Evidence of Collusion

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

President Trump took a victory lap on Twitter on Tuesday after news emerged that the Senate Intelligence committee had found no evidence of collusion between Russia and his 2016 presidential campaign.

When the news was reported on MSNBC, the billionaire publicly thanked the network.

“Thank you to MSNBC,” Trump said. The network has long been hostile territory for the president, with their primetime hosts regularly lacing into him and his administration policies. Trump’s praise stands in stark contrast to the usual criticism he levies at MSNBC — much of which is reserved for their a.m. show, “Morning Joe.”

The news was first reported on the channel by correspondent Ken Dilanian. A representative for MSNBC declined TheWrap’s request for comment.

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“After two years and interviewing more than 200 witnesses, the Senate Intelligence committee has not uncovered any direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia,” Dilanian said. “That’s according to sources on both the Republican and Democratic side of the aisle.”

“This is a bipartisan investigation and what I found is that the Democrats don’t dispute that characterization,” Dilanian added, citing Democratic “sources” in Congress.

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There remains debate about whether the news constitutes the committee “clearing” Trump, with MSNBC also reporting on air Tuesday that different senators (depending on their party) took different interpretations away from the results.

Both the Senate and House investigations into collusion have been broadly overshadowed by the Special Counsel investigation led by former FBI director Robert Mueller. The probe, now nearly two years old, has already resulted in several indictments of high profile Trump officials including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and longtime Trump’s adviser Roger Stone.

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Trump’s 2nd State of the Union Address Lands 46.8 Million Viewers Across TV, Up 3 Percent From 2018

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Donald Trump’s second State of the Union Address drew 46.8 million total viewers across 12 TV channels, according to Nielsen.

That’s up 2.6 percent from his 2018 speech, which drew 45.6 million viewers across that same number of channels. This one was delayed a week due to the federal government shutdown.

Read Tuesday’s earliest-available SOTU ratings — the household numbers for the English-language broadcast nets — here. And see how the rest of broadcast TV fared in fast-affiliate ratings here. Both sets of data have their own limitations.

Also Read: Trump’s 2nd State of Union Grows Double Digits From His First in Early Broadcast Ratings

Here is how the three main cable news channels and Big 4 broadcast networks stacked up last night for Trump’s SOTU, in terms of total viewers from 9-10:30 p.m. ET:
FNC delivered 11.1 million P2+ and 2.8 million A25-54
NBC delivered 7.1 million P2+ and 2.6 million A25-54
CBS delivered 6.7 million P2+ and 1.9 million A25-54
ABC delivered 5.9 million P2+ and 1.8 million A25-54
FOX delivered 4.2 million P2+ and 1.7 million A25-54
MSNBC delivered 3.8 million P2+ and 798K A25-54
CNN delivered 3.4 million P2+ and 1.2 million A25-54

And here is how many eyeballs the Democratic response — delivered by Stacey Abrams — attracted from 10:45-11 p.m. ET:
FNC: 6.4 million P2+ and 1.6 million A25-54
CNN: 3.3 million P2+ and 1.2 million A25-54
MSNBC: 4.7 million P2+ and 1.1 million A25-54
ABC: 4.6 million P2+ and 1.4 million A25-54
NBC: 5.4 million P2+ and 2.1 million A25-54
CBS: 4.7 million P2+ and 1.4 million A25-54

Yes, Fox News dominated all of television, again.

Also Read: ‘No Plans’ for Fox News Programming on Broadcast, Charlie Collier Says

For reference, this is what Trump’s 2018 address pulled in:
Fox News Channel: 11.5 million total viewers
NBC: 7.1 million
CBS: 7 million
ABC: 5.4 million
Fox (Broadcast): 3.6 million
CNN: 3.1 million
MSNBC: 2.7 million

For what it’s worth, Barack Obama’s second SOTU got 48 million viewers, which was down from the 52.4 million his first had in 2009. The recorded-history record still belongs to Bill Clinton, who addressed 66.9 million people back in 1993.

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How to Stream MSNBC and NBC News’ Coverage of Trump’s State of the Union Address Live Online

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

During the lengthy government shutdown, it didn’t look like Donald Trump would get to make his second State of the Union address. But with the government re-opened now, Trump’s speech will go on as planned Tuesday night, with just a week’s delay.

There will be no shortage of coverage options with pretty much everyone covering the speech. All the major broadcast networks and cable news networks will be carrying Trump’s speech, and all of them will have an option for online streaming. And that includes both MSNBC and NBC News

MSNBC will be no exception, with its wall-to-wall coverage of the State of the Union, as well as the speech itself, being available for viewing on MSNBC’s streaming app and on its website. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, with Rachel Maddow and Brian Williams hosting, with input from Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, Nicolle Wallace, Joy Reid and Eugene Robinson as well as the night goes on.

Also Read: How to Stream Fox News’ Coverage of Trump’s 2019 State of the Union Address Live Online

After the address, MSNBC will cover both the Democratic and Republican responses to Trump’s State of the Union, with reporters on the scene from Washington, D.C.

From there, live analysis and discussion will continue into the early morning with Chris Matthews anchoring coverage starting at midnight ET, and Ari Melber at 1 a.m.

In order to stream MSNBC’s coverage, you’ll need a login from a valid TV provider. Once you have that, you can watch live on MSNBC.com right here, as well as MSNBC’s mobile app for smart devices and streaming boxes like Apple TV and Roku. MSNBC is also available on streaming TV services like Sling and DirecTV Now, which offer free trials for new users.

Over on NBC, meanwhile, coverage will begin at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT, with Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd headlining an NBC News special report. This segment will broadcast the speech itself as well as the responses from both parties, with the standard reporting and analysis sprinkled in.

The NBC News special report will be available to stream for free on NBCNews.com right here, as well as on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the NBC News app.

Why Former CNN White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin Chose Instagram Over Another Broadcast Job

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Instagram usually isn’t the first app that comes to mind when people think about breaking news coverage. The platform is known more for selfies, memes and lifestyle posts. But where some see an inhabitable environment for thoughtful breaking, former CNN White House correspondent Jessica Yellin sees an untapped audience.

In less than seven months, Yellin says her news-focused Instagram page has attracted more than 125,000 followers, up from just 1,000 in July. Her secret?  “Explain the news in a way the viewers understand,” she said — and on a platform they understand.

“I found that during my career, I was constantly on camera having conversations that I thought left the audience out,” said Yellin, who covered the White House for CNN from 2011 to 2014. “It’s like you’ve walked into a conversation 10 minutes after it’s begun in cable news. It’s a lot of jargon.”

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In addition to the jargon, she said that most news coverage alienates female viewers. “I was always told that news is meant to appeal to the demo, which is men ages 18 to 34,” she said. “And that’s why we have to report it like ESPN competition, ‘Who’s up, who’s down,’ and it was my instinct that this is leaving out women.”

It was these two factors that led Yellin’s decision to build her “News Not Noise” brand on Instagram, which is typically used more by women than men, when she returned to journalism following a break to work as a fellow at USC’s Annenberg Center and write a novel, “Savage News,” out this April.

She now spends two to four hours a day posting and updating her content on the platform. Her posts typically consist of an animated title and a 200- to 350-word caption explaining the current news topic. The posts are followed up with multiple 15-second videos posted via Stories throughout the day.

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Now her content competes with the digital divisions of broadcasters like ABC and MSNBC where she once worked. Both ABC and CNN have Instagram pages with followers in the millions with a dedicated team running their social accounts.

Despite attracting smaller audiences than traditional media companies, independent journalists and news enthusiasts are finding sizable and loyal followings across social media. News-oriented YouTubers such as Philip DeFranco, Steven Crowder, and Dave Rubin have followings in the millions. The three have been successful at monetizing their content via a mix of donations, ads and subscription fees.

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As of now, Yellin isn’t monetizing any of her Instagram content. At this stage, she is primarily focused on building an audience and learning who that audience is and what they want. She plans to eventually expand past Instagram to different platforms and formats, such as podcasts and higher quality video projects that can be shared outside of Instagram.

Yellin’s push into new media comes at a time when more Americans are turning to social platforms like Facebook and Snapchat for their daily news intake. According Pew Research data, two-thirds of Americans rely on social media to stay current on the news.

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Former Congressman Trey Gowdy Joins Fox News as Ranks of Cable-News Contributors Swell

Read on: Variety.

Former Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy has joined Fox News Channel as a contributor, the latest recently-departed politician to take to the TV-news ranks as the networks seek out fresh faces to keep viewers intrigued by their broadcasts. Gowdy, who r…

Donald Trump Tweets “Left” Unhinged As Giuliani Moves Collusion Goalpost Again

Read on: Deadline.

President Rudy Giuliani changed Thursday morning news programs’ plans after previous night he appeared on CNN to, once again, move the collusion goalpost, insisting to Chris Cuomo that he never said there was no collusion between Trump’s ca…

John Kasich Debuts As CNN Commentator Hours After Claire McCaskill Joins MSNBC

Read on: Deadline.

Former Ohio Governor John Kasich will make his debut as CNN’s newest political commentator, Tuesday night on Cuomo Prime Time.
CNN has been on a former-lawmaker spending spree, having previous week signed former Republican Rep. Mia Love and Dem R…

Nancy Pelosi Tops Donald Trump’s Oval Office Speech Debut In Ratings

Read on: Deadline.

The New Year is kicking off pretty well for Nancy Pelosi as the past and current Speaker of the House of Representatives just hit Donald Trump where it hurts the former Celebrity Apprentice host the most – in the ratings.
With a 29.3/47 in metere…