NEW YORK, NEW YORK — The Nielsen Ratings company has been tracking what Americans watch and how many of them watch it for decades. There is probably no more trusted name in television ratings than Nielsen.
This week, Nielsen reported that Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House Oversight and Reform committee drew roughly 16 million viewers. President Trump’s inauguration, by comparison, drew about twice that many viewers, Nielsen estimated. A new comparative analysis of the ratings for Cohen’s testimony and Trump’s inauguration shows something quite striking, however.
“From what we can gather, there were more people watching Cohen’s testimony this week than actually wanted to watch President Trump being sworn in,” Karen McGaren of Nielsen Ratings told reporters at a press conference announcing their findings. “What we did is go back and call people who told us they watched Trump’s inauguration, and then we asked them if they really wanted to watch it.”
It turns out, that the majority of people watching Trump’s inauguration did not, in fact, want to be watching it.
“About half of them didn’t want him to be the one being sworn-in, about another quarter of them were hoping it was all just a dream,” McGaren explained, “and about five percent were wondering why The Price is Right was preempted.”
All told, while there millions of people watching the inauguration, and there were certainly millions of Trump supporters among them, the math of who wanted to be watching America’s first alleged billionaire president taking the oath of office broke down pretty much the way Trump’s approval ratings have.
“Have you driven by a train wreck or a car crash, or a geyser of steaming hot, molten diarrhea spewing into the air? Well, that’s what Trump is for a lot of people,” McGaren said. “You don’t want to look. You know you shouldn’t look. But you look anyway.”
The ratings for Trump’s inauguration were down 18% from Obama’s 2009 inauguration, McGaren said, and that was a good indicator for Nielsen in terms where this new analysis would lead them.
“From the very start, this has been a historically unpopular president. He was elected with the largest lopsided margin of defeat in the popular vote,” McGaren said. “His approval rating has never gone over 50% in polls that don’t just sample Republicans on landline phones. Dude is deeply, immensely unpopular. Of course more people want to watch the hearings that could bring about his impeachment more than they want to watch him being sworn in, but we had to do the math ourselves.”
Reached for comment, the White House issued a retort to Nielsen’s new findings.
“First of all, as long as everyone in the country acknowledges the president has normal sized hands, and totally normal looking genitals, he doesn’t care what people think,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote. “But just for the record, the president acknowledges that he had double the size of Cohen’s viewers. Whether they wanted to watch or not, he’s still your president, and always will be. ALWAYS.”
This is a developing story.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.