Trump’s administration has already delivered a barefaced lie about the physical attendance at his inauguration, and now he’s attempting to twist the facts on his television ratings – twisted. which we all know is pretty much what Trump cares the most about in this world.
Having spent his entire campaign boasting about his ability to drawn in huge crowds through his presence alone, Donald Trump is now refusing to face the fact that his inauguration didn’t draw in the level of viewers he would have hoped for.
Wall-to-wall coverage of Friday’s event drew in an average of 30.6 million total viewers across the 12 broadcast and cable networks that provided live coverage for the day (via The Hollywood Reporter), which is 18 percent down from the nearly 38 million viewers who tuned in to watch Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.
Fox proved the leading network in terms of ratings, being the only channel which actually saw viewership rise from 2009; with NBC finishing in second place, topping all of the broadcast set. The rise of streaming should be taken into account when comparing the drop between 2009 and 2017, but it can hardly compensate for such a dramatic difference in viewership.
Yet, Trump’s tweet about the television ratings decided to ignore this, favouring instead the fact that the ratings were higher than Obama’s second-term inauguration in 2013, which saw an average of 20.6 million viewers; despite the fact that second-term inaugurations, unsurprisingly, historically draw dramatically lower ratings – though Obama still drew more than Clinton’s second swearing in in 1997.
Wow, television ratings just out: 31 million people watched the Inauguration, 11 million more than the very good ratings from 4 years ago!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2017
The overall record is still currently held by Ronald Reagan, whose inauguration saw a whopping 41.8 million viewers tune in; George W. Bush’s 2001 inauguration averaged 29 million viewers, Bill Clinton’s in 1993 saw 29.7 million viewers, George W.H. Bush’s saw a modest 23.3 million viewers in 1989, and Jimmy Carter reached 34 million viewers.
Though Trump heads into office with historically low approval ratings, just 40 percent in favour, approval doesn’t have as much correlation with inauguration television ratings as might be believed; record-setter Reagan’s inauguration actually saw him enter the White House on relatively low approval ratings, marked as favourable by just 58 percent of Americans.