Most people, when choosing their favorite news network, expect their anchors and reporters to be, y’know, right more often than not. Ordinarily this doesn’t seem to bother the watchers of FOX News, who seem to prefer being told what they want to hear. However, after assuring his audience that Obama would lose the election, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, many of Sean Hannity’s viewers have migrated elsewhere.
In a fitting coda to 2012, we’ve learned that the ratings for rock-ribbed conservative Sean Hannity cratered after Barack Obama won his second term, with viewers tuning out the Fox News Channel talk-show host in droves.
According to Nielsen numbers, Hannity lost around half of his audience in the weeks after the election, while his Fox News colleague Bill O’Reilly — who steadfastly refuses to identify himself politically as a conservative — retained around 70% of his audience.
So what happened to Hannity?
The going wisdom is that viewers who basked in his preelection anti-Obama rhetoric tuned him out when they were stunned to wake up on Nov. 7 and discover that the President had won a second term — a scenario that Hannity had all but promised could never happen.
It’s a glimmer of hope that gets extinguished the minute you realize that FOX “News” is still the most-watched of all the news networks. It’s like the rise of atheism…it’ll take a while, but reason is making ground slowly, but surely.