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MSNBC tanking, but brags about having the most black viewers


MSNBC President Phil Griffin

MSNBC is dive-bombing in total number of viewers.  However, the network is touting a silver lining. MSNBC president Phil Griffin boasted that the network has the most black viewers.

MSNBC is the network that put Rachel Maddow, a lesbian that many viewers mistake for a man, on Prime Time. The network that gave black militant Al Sharpton, who openly supports the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party, his own show. The network that openly encouraged black on white violence by calling on black to “go to white safe havens” and “make them feel uncomfortable.”

From Mediate…

In the same memo, Griffin conveniently discovers the 25-54 demo, as he notes the network won the race for most Hispanic viewers in cable news in that category. But in the same vein of checking off boxes, the network president boasts, “Our African-American audience is double that of CNN’s and more than seven times that of Fox News.”

And spiking of the ball on that point sums up much of MSNBC’s problem: Always seeing the world through the prism of race. Remember, this is the home of dog whistles, where the words “golf”, “Chicago”, “lazy” and “IRS” are all deemed racist. So while we’re at it, perhaps some metrics around how many Irish or Italians or Asians or Persians are watching are in order as well.

Does ABC note in its press releases how many blacks watch Modern Family? Does HBO report how many blacks watch Girls? Nielsen tracks these numbers, yes, but does any other network even report these kind of numbers? Why does everything — even Nielsen ratings — have to be broken down along racial lines? Unless, of course, a distraction from a bigger issue that can’t be spun is needed.

Overall, despite Griffin’s optimism, the network will unfortunately continue to tumble in 2015. Why? For starters, there’s no election this year for the self-described place for politics, and look how poorly the network performed in 2014 during an actual election year. The speculation over 2016 won’t be much help, as most viewers — the kind of politically casual ones that help move the needle — won’t be truly engaged until 2016. And as we’ve seen, Hillary Clinton — who will get major love at MSNBC over the next 22 months — isn’t a compelling figure who sells very many books, nor rates very well on television(mainly because since she’s been in the public eye for well over two decades, there’s isn’t anything necessarily new and exciting about her story which hasn’t already been told). If Hillary is thought as MSNBC’s savior in the same way an electric Barack Obama was ’08, the cable arm at 30 Rock is in deeper trouble than it knows.

In the meantime, MSNBC needs to find its next Maddow in primetime the way Fox made a big bet on Megyn Kelly that has paid off beyond expectations a little over a year ago. Sticking with the same squad and strategy in 2015 is the very definition of insanity of doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.