Thursday, March 14, 2019

TV Ratings: Tucker Triumphs, Bubba Op-Eds

Embroiled in a firestorm of controversy over recently unearthed radio comments and seeing advertisers flee from his show, Fox News host Tucker Carlson anchored the top-rated program on cable news Tuesday night, leading across the board.

Devoting the top of his show to blasting Media Matters for publishing clips of him making a spate of racist and misogynistic remarks during appearances on shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show from 20016 to 2011, Carlson drew a total viewership of 3.086 million total viewers and 532,000 in the key 25-54 demographic during the 8 PM hour, according to

During the 8 PM time slot, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 pulled in 1.199 million total viewers and 330,000 in the key demo while MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes attracted a total audience of 1.605 million and 265,000 in the demo.

Carlson also saw increases in both his total viewership and demo audience from Monday night, when he drew 2.895 million and 495,000, respectively.

Meanwhile, in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Bubba Clem defended Carlson's comments from more than a decade ago:  "I host a comedy-driven radio show for guys. Until Sunday, no one confused it with something that should be taken seriously. Given my on-air name, 'Bubba the Love Sponge,' I assume most people get the joke. We are rude, sometimes profane.

"Tucker Carlson called into my satellite radio show regularly from 2006-11, and like all my guests, he adopted an edgy comic persona for the broadcast. He said really naughty things to make my audience laugh, and they did. The 100 or so shows we made with Mr. Carlson weren’t a secret.

"Mr. Carlson is being smeared by a new generation of speech police for a new crime—refusing to give in to a small group of political activists who love all forms of “diversity” except of political thought. They take his comic words of a decade ago, reframe them as hateful, and require adherence to their demands. They attack the advertisers that simply want a chance to sell things to his audience, and threaten them with reputational destruction by public shaming unless they repudiate him. In the marketplace of ideas, these guys are shoplifters.

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