Well, the numbers are in, and I’m sure both The Donald and MSNBC would like a recount.
In the network’s attempt to counter-program CNN’s GOP Town Hall on Wednesday night, and hoping to actually come out ahead for the evening, MSNBC found themselves in third place when the ratings were announced for the Donald Trump town hall that was moderated by Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.
MSNBC decided to schedule Wednesday night’s Donald Trump infomercial to cut into CNN’s first town hall. (CNN will host another one Thursday night with Trump, Jeb Bush and John Kasich. MSNBC will counter with a Joe Biden interview and Democratic town hall.) Obviously, to make it more palatable to the celebrity billionaire, they let his buddies Joe and Mika lob him some softballs.
Well, even though Trumpy is supposed to bring all the ratings, the hour-long lovefest was soundly beaten in the 8 PM hour by Fox News The O’Reilly Factor (with a guest host, nonetheless) and CNN. Fox pulled in 2.3 million viewers, CNN grabbed 2.1 million and MSNBC trailed behind with 1.4 million.
CNN actually won the evening over Fox as the town hall event was three hours. For the whole broadcast, the network drew an average of 2.3 million viewers, besting Fox by a couple hundred thousand. MSNBC did 1.2 million over the three-hour span.
While the Trump program did better than All In with Chris Hayes normally would have in that slot, it still has to sting that this big move still resulted in a last-place finish. It also can’t sit well with Hayes that he got bumped for stunt programming, especially with another program’s hosts taking up his time. It has already been reported that employees at the network are unhappy with the Joe/Trump bromance. This can’t make things any better.
One would like to ask MSNBC execs this question: How does it feel to piss away the last little bit of your credibility for third place?