Washington

‘Right-leaning’ news audience thrives


One America News, a conservative cable channel, is now enjoying a huge leap in viewership — up 148% in the past year, according to SimilarWeb, a New York-based industry source that tracks online traffic and determines the “fastest growing digital brands” around the nation. OAN is one of them.

The network is doing very well, as are two other “right-leaning” news sources of interest to conservatives and Republicans.

“A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic combined with a presidential election led to unprecedented levels of traffic to news websites in 2020, with traffic leaders like The New York Times and CNN experiencing 68% and 40% increases in traffic year over year, respectively,” SimilarWeb said in the rationale for the ranking, which was released Wednesday.

“Right-leaning newcomers began to expand their audiences, and outlets frequently cited by former President Donald Trump like OAN, Newsmax and The Gateway Pundit experienced triple digit growth year over year,” the organization said.

Indeed. Newsmax grew by 141%, while Gateway leaped by 109% according to the new findings. In addition, The Epoch Times enjoyed an increase of 95% while The Federalist weighed in with a 79% gain.

The ranking was based on visitor traffic, time spent on the site itself and other factors. Though left-leaning sites had more traffic, the right-leaning sites grew three times as fast — their visitors described as “much more engaged” then those of the liberal persuasion.

THE LIMBAUGH HEADLINES

The passing of talk-radio master and conservative thought-leader Rush Limbaugh brought out some ill-mannered comments on social media from well-known people after the very sad and disconcerting news of his death broke on Wednesday. Let’s walk right past all of that tasteless garbage, shall we? Such a rude response is predictable, though. Fox News founder Roger Ailes had a similar treatment following his death in 2017.

There was, however, some straightforward news coverage of Mr. Limbaugh which for the most part did not sully his name. Though there are a few snippy references in the mix, here’s how a few news organizations characterized him in their leading headlines:

“Conservative media icon” (CNN); “Conservative radio provocateur and cultural phenomenon” (The Washington Post); “Incendiary radio talk show host” (CNBC); “Conservative talk radio pioneer who helped shape modern-day GOP” (Fox News); “The human megaphone who hijacked the GOP” (the Daily Beast); “Wildly controversial and wildly popular radio host” (People); “Talk radio legend” (Newsmax); “Conservative radio titan” (National Public Radio, USA Today); “Voice of American conservatism” (The Associated Press); “Conservative radio personality” (NBC); “Talk radio legend” (Breitbart News); and “Kathryn Limbaugh: Our beloved Rush, my wonderful husband, passed away this morning” (CNSNews.com).

MEDIA CATCHES BLAME FOR CAPITOL RIOT

Causes and motivations are still being sorted out almost six weeks after the U.S. Capitol riot. That includes determining who is to “blame” for the series of violent events that day. A new Politico Morning Consult voter survey released Wednesday does just that in a multiquestion survey which included the opinions of 85 demographic groups.

So who was to blame for the violence on Jan. 6?

A sampling of the results reveals that 87% of U.S. voters overall blame the mayhem on “the people who broke into the Capitol” while 64% blame former President Donald Trump.

Another 58% overall blame social media companies, 54% blame “Republicans in Congress” while 30% blame their Democratic counterparts. Another 39% fault Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, while a quarter of the respondents blame President Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence.

Then we come to the news media. Surprisingly enough, half of the public — 49% — blame the media for the violence at the Capitol.

And here’s the deep demographic breakdown: 73% of Republicans, 50% of independents and 36% of Democrats fault the media, along with 71% of conservatives, 48% of moderates and 36% of liberals. So do 54% of men, 46% of women. 33% of Blacks, 53% of Whites and 45% of Hispanics.

The findings do not reflect well on the press. In an ideal world, no one cite the news media as a source of violence. Yes, well. Simply put, news coverage of civil and social unrest should be fact-based and unbiased — rather than being cited by a sizable portion of the public as “a cause” of such events.

FOXIFIED

Those Fox News viewers who can’t get enough of prime-time host and ratings kingpin Tucker Carlson are in luck. His realm is expanding. Fox Nation, the network’s on-demand subscription-based streaming service, has signed a new, multiyear deal with Mr. Carlson to provide “flagship content” for the digital platform, says Jason Klarman, president of Fox Nation.

In addition to his weeknight duties, Mr. Carlson will offer a new video podcast, plus in-depth specials titled “Tucker Carlson Originals.” The new material debuts in April. Please see trailer at try.nation.foxnews.com/tuckercarlson.

Fox News, meanwhile, drew 2.6 million viewers to its prime-time hours during the week of Feb. 8-14 according to Nielsen Media Research, The aforementioned Mr. Carlson does indeed remain the ratings kingpin, garnering an audience of 3.3 million, with fellow prime-time host Sean Hannity and “The Five” right behind him, each with 2.9 million viewers.

POLL DU JOUR

59% of Republican voters say former President Donald Trump should “play a major role in the Republican Party“; 19% of independent voters and 7% of Democratic voters agree.

18% of Republican voters say Mr. Trump should “play a minor role” in the party; 7% of independent voters and 6% of Democratic voters agree.

17% of Republicans voters say Mr. Trump should “no longer play a role” in the party; 53% of independent voters and 77% of Democratic voters agree.

6% of Republican voters don’t know or have no opinion on whether Mr. Trump should play a role; 21% of independents and 10% of Democratic voters agree.

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,984 registered U.S. voters conducted Feb. 14-15.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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