Driving MSNBC’s coverage for two years has been Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and related matters. For example, between February 20 and March 31 2017, The Rachel Maddow Show dedicated 53 percent of its broadcasts to Russia, according to a study by The Intercept.
In comparison, during the same time period, Maddow dedicated only 1.3 percent of her segments to Trump’s crackdown on immigration, and 5.6 percent on the president’s Muslim ban.
Following intense speculation indicating that he is wrapping up the investigation, Robert Mueller submitted on Friday his final report to Attorney General William Barr. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Barr wrote in his own summary of the report — directly quoting Robert Mueller — that the special counsel’s probe “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Mueller is not recommending further indictments and has no sealed indictments, according to Department of Justice officials, which means that President Trump and his allies are in the clear, at least when it comes to collusion. Mueller refrained from exonerating Trump on obstruction of justice, however, seemingly leaving the matter up to the attorney general.
The special counsel wrapping up the investigation is not good news for MSNBC, however. According to a new report from The Daily Beast, the network’s ratings are taking a dive.
“Maddow, who has consistently vied for the first or second top-rated cable news program, was sixth on Monday evening, down almost 500,000 total viewers from the previous Monday, as was MSNBC’s second top-rated program in primetime, The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.”
Furthermore, according to the report, MSNBC insiders claim not to be surprised by Mueller’s findings — or lack thereof — even though many of the network’s most prominent pundits are urging the viewership to refrain from jumping to conclusions until Robert Mueller’s full report is out.
— The Intercept (@theintercept) April 12, 2017
This does not mean that MSNBC will dedicate the majority of its prime-time broadcast to the Trump-Russia story. On the contrary, network insiders claim that the main producers at MSNBC are now looking to keep the most prominent proponents of the Trump-Russia theory at a comfortable enough distance.
The producers, according to individuals briefed on the matter, now have reservations about inviting individuals like Malcolm Nance, whose rhetoric is being described as “over-the-top.”
The last three years have been characterized by a steadily boiling panic about the power of the paranoid fringe, notes @DouthatNYT. Yet many in the center have been invested in precisely that kind of conspiracy-laced alternative reality. https://t.co/aZvVepIXht
— NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) March 26, 2019
“Time to pivot to 2020,” MSNBC employees told The Daily Beast, explaining that the network will now focus on the upcoming presidential elections and Donald Trump’s conduct both of which will, they hope, deliver compelling story-lines and drive the ratings back up.