Fox News accused of throwing up a smokescreen to hide their plummeting post-Trump ratings
Composite image of Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson

According to a report from the Daily Beast's Justin Baragona, the great majority of cable news shows have taken a hit in the ratings now that Donald Trump is not providing daily fodder for their hosts, and Fox News is going out of the way to point out the viewership decline of their liberal competitors in an effort to hide their own plummeting numbers.

While it has previously been reported that Fox saw a drop in viewers after Trump railed at the conservative network for being the first to report that he lost Arizona in the 2020 election -- a vote total the ex-president is still contesting over six months after the election -- the Beast notes things have gone from bad to worse for Fox.

"If you've been on Fox News' digital news site or bouncing around the right-wing media ecosphere in recent weeks, you've no doubt come across an article or three about the recent collapse in viewership at CNN and MSNBC. And the tanking ratings have largely been tied to the 'credibility' issues the two networks supposedly have in covering President Joe Biden's administration following Donald Trump's exit from the White House," Baragona wrote. "Lost in all this coverage, however, is one stubborn fact: Fox News has also suffered a precipitous drop in its viewership."

Admitting the overall drop since last year for Fox's competitors, the columnist noted that Fox's numbers are part of a downward trend that dates back even further.

"One noticeable thing, however, about the large audiences that CNN and MSNBC pulled in during that month is the massive growth it experienced from the same time the previous year. Fox News, on the other hand, actually suffered a year-to-year drop in viewership, despite the historic news cycle," he explained before adding, "The shocking third-place finish by Fox News in January and the erosion of its audience was largely chalked up to disgruntled Trump supporters who not only felt Fox News wasn't sufficiently loyal to the soon-to-be ex-president but also blamed the conservative network for Trump's electoral loss."

Baragona went on to point out, "After this year's second-quarter ratings were released this week, Fox's media division devoted no less than five articles in the span of a single day to CNN's struggling viewership. Two pieces were merely based around how Trump and a Trump loyalist congresswoman mocked CNN anchor Jake Tapper over a different Fox News article hitting Tapper on his ratings drop. The centerpiece of this coverage, however, was an analysis piece citing 'experts' claiming CNN and MSNBC ratings drops are due to a 'serious credibility problem' with viewers. Among the experts for such unscientific media analysis were a conservative law blogger, Fox News contributor Joe Concha, a conservative comedian, and the vice president of a conservative anti-media organization."

Unnoted was the in-house problems of Fox News.

"Notably, throughout these pieces, little to no mention is made of Fox's own ratings plummet compared to both January of this year and June and second quarter of last year. But, of course, that did not stop the narrative from dutifully being spread across the right-wing media ecosystem," Baragona wrote before accusing, "It's a given that Fox News would push a negative narrative about its competitors, and of course the broader media context is lost on the right-wing outlets that boost it. But the reality is that all of cable news is slumping—and ultimately Fox may want to avoid talking about anyone else's 'credibility gap.'"

You can read more details here.