President Joe Biden joined Anderson Cooper on CNN for another one of those gimmicky town halls on Thursday night, and it turns out only a few people watched.
The Biden town hall reportedly drew only 1.2 million viewers, with a meager 271,000 in the key 25 to 54-year-old advertisement demographic — so I guess it was more than a few, but not many more. For comparison, an average 2.83 million people watched Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity on Fox News during the same time slot, more than double the president’s audience. MSNBC’s 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows drew an average of 1.39 million. And it was a huge drop from his first presidential town hall on CNN in February, when he drew 3.4 million viewers. In March 2016, before Donald Trump was even the Republican presidential nominee, 3.26 million people watched Trump’s CNN town hall.
When you subtract all the journalists and PR folks who were required to watch for work on Thursday night, plus all the airport and restaurant TVs playing CNN nonstop and indiscriminately on mute in the background, that leaves only a few people watching.
Perhaps that’s because Americans don’t want to watch Biden on cable TV; they want to watch him undo the catastrophic policies that upended their lives. After all, these would-be viewers are the people whose kids are still suffering under COVID theater at school, who have lost their jobs due to private medical decisions, who can’t get packages shipped in time for Christmas, and who might be investigated for domestic terrorism if they show up to a school board meeting.
More than anything, these would-be viewers are suffering in Biden’s economy, paying through the nose at the gas pump and grocery store (if the items they need are still in stock). For months, Americans have experienced a record-high producer price index and inflation. Meanwhile, a labor shortage, worsened by fat government handouts under the guise of COVID, has resulted in desperate employers jacking up wages and passing that cost off to consumers in the form of higher prices. This is all occurring as shelves go bare amid a supply-chain crisis (which Biden’s chief of staff thinks is a “high-class problem“). Many Americans are sick of it.
Don’t take my word for it. Look at the polls. While Biden gets up on the CNN platform and bloviates about how people are still terrified to go back to work “because COVID,” Americans are shouting out that the economy is their No. 1 concern.
A new Quinnipiac poll, the same one that revealed Biden’s approval rating is at an abysmal 37 percent, asked respondents, “What is the most urgent issue facing the country today[?]” and the plurality responded that it’s the economy (19 percent), not COVID-19 (16 percent).
Close behind is immigration at 14 percent, and did you hear Biden’s town hall response to that? When Cooper asked him whether he has “plans to visit the southern border,” Biden said “I’ve been there before,” which evidence suggests is actually a lie unless he’s talking about once when he drove through El Paso.
Then he said this: “And I haven’t — I mean, I know it well. I guess I should go down. But the — but the whole point of it is: I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down. I’ve been spending time going around looking at the $900 billion worth of damage done by — by hurricanes and floods and — and weather, and traveling around the world.”
This is a lie too, of course, from the man who flies home to Delaware almost every weekend, dodging visitor logs and other presidential responsibilities, and who has called lids many a time throughout his short tenure. Americans would love to see this administration take steps to contain the border crisis, where the 2021 fiscal year just ended with the number of Customs and Border Protection arrests reaching 1.73 million — the most on record ever.
There are a lot of other things Americans would like to see right now too, but Biden on CNN isn’t one of them.