Despite facing backlash from both sides of the aisle for the disastrous performance of CNN moderator Kaitlan Collins, CNN saw a major spike in ratings during the Wednesday night town hall event with former President Donald Trump.
CNN is currently getting condemnation from both sides of the aisle over the event but for different reasons. Leftists are outraged that the network even allowed Trump to speak and have claimed that Collins did not do a good enough job at censoring the former president to “protect democracy” — while also condemning CNN for allowing Trump supporters into the town hall audience.
"That is not American!"
Joy Behar RAGES at CNN for having Republican voters at their Trump town hall, served them Kool-Aid.
"What I didn't know was that the audience would be filled with his cult!"
"Why would CNN put only Republicans and people who love me in the audience?!" pic.twitter.com/uW06fJP0ER
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) May 11, 2023
Conservatives, on the other hand, believe that the CNN moderator interjected opinions and outright false “fact checks” while being overly combative.
Meanwhile, CNN actually saw some of their best primetime ratings in weeks during the town hall. According to The Blaze, the left-wing network beat “both Fox News and MSNBC in raw numbers and in the key 25-54 age-range demographic.”
Citing Nielsen Fast National data, Mediaite reported that CNN had a staggering 3.12 million total viewers during the Trump town hall — 703,000 of which were in the target demographic, ages 25 to 54.
In the key 25- to 54-year-old demo, the town hall averaged 703,000, about five times higher than CNN's typical performance at 8pm.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 11, 2023
In comparison, during that same 8 p.m. primetime slot, CNN has averaged just 500,000 viewers in the last several weeks — even after Fox News fired their 8 p.m. anchor, Tucker Carlson, prompting a significant number of viewers to look elsewhere for their news.
While Fox News primetime used to receive double or even triple the number of viewers of CNN and MSNBC in the same time slot, its viewership has tanked since Carlson’s ouster — dropping lower than CNN. During the Trump town hall, Fox News barely beat far-left MSNBC in total viewers, receiving 1.412 million viewers compared to MSNBC’s 1.372 million. However, Fox News did end up losing to MSNBC in the key demographic — 125,000 to 155,000.
CNN may have actually done even better during the town hall, as initial data did not include their live streams of the event on both CNN.com and its apps.
Trump celebrated the ratings for his town hall in a post on his social media platform, Truth Social.
“People are criticizing CNN for giving me a Forum to tell the TRUTH. I believe it was a very smart thing that they did, with Sky High Ratings that they haven’t seen in a very long time,” he wrote in the post. “It was by far the biggest Show of the night, the week, and the month!”
“The Radical Left screamed, ‘Take it down, take it down,’ during the Show, because they saw that I was making so many important points on the Border, Energy Independence, the Afghanistan Catastrophe, Inflation, the Economy, Russia/Ukraine, and so much more,” Trump added. “Many minds were changed on Wednesday night by listening to Common Sense, and sheer ‘Brilliance.’”