President Trump Touts The Ratings Of His Daily Press Briefings, Compares Them To ‘The Bachelor’

'President Trump is a ratings hit,' he tweeted.

donald trump holds a daily press briefing
Alex Wong / Getty Images

'President Trump is a ratings hit,' he tweeted.

Donald Trump touted the ratings his daily press briefings during the coronavirus pandemic are getting, comparing them to the final season of The Bachelor, in a tweet Sunday afternoon.

“President Trump is a ratings hit. Since reviving the daily White House briefing Mr. Trump and his coronavirus updates have attracted an average audience of 8.5 million on cable news, roughly the viewership of the season finale of ‘The Bachelor.’ Numbers are continuing to rise…” he tweeted.

It was the first in a series of tweets in which he quoted and summarized a New York Times piece from March 25 that explored the phenomenon of the high ratings for his daily press briefings and asked whether or not networks should air them, as the Times alleges that such briefings can involve inaccurate information being disseminated.

The Times noted, as Trump did in a later tweet, that his daily press briefings have averaged an audience of around 8.5 million people. That’s roughly on par with what ABC brought in with its final season of The Bachelor.

One press briefing brought in 12.2 viewers across CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. That’s roughly on par with what Monday Night Football usually brings in. And as the Times points out, those TV viewership numbers don’t account for the millions who watch the briefings online.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 19: Flanked by members of the Coronavirus Task Force, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the latest development of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House March 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. With Americans testing positive from coronavirus rising President Trump is asking Congress for $1 trillion aid package to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
  Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

However, Times writer Michael M. Grynbaum suggested that networks may want to consider not showing the daily press briefings, as “Mr. Trump has repeatedly delivered information that doctors and public health officials have called ill informed, misleading or downright wrong,” he writes.

In fact, it’s not just Trump’s daily press briefings during the coronavirus that Grynbaum alleges have caused consternation for some broadcasters. He suggests that in showing Trump’s briefings, the networks must then devote time to fact-check, correct, and provide context for some of his statements.

In fact, at least two networks, CNN and MSNBC, have cut away from the final portions of some of Trump’s press briefings, for different reasons. In response to criticism from the administration for cutting away, a CNN spokesperson said simply that the network would make its own editorial decisions, while MSNBC said that the “information no longer appeared to be valuable to the important ongoing discussion around public health.”

Trump, for his part, took notice of the fact that Grynbaum suggested that networks stop airing his briefings.

Back on Twitter, Trump is getting criticism for focusing on his television ratings during a worldwide pandemic.

For example, Fox News correspondent Brit Hume appeared to have been taken aback by the series of tweets.

One Twitter user pointed out the juxtaposition of a correspondent on Trump’s favorite news source questioning one of Trump’s tweets.

However, another Twitter user suggested that Hume had failed to grasp the fact that Trump isn’t getting the credit he (the user) thinks Trump deserves.