MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow had the “story of the century” when she reported on President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
It turned out to be two pages of his tax returns from 2005, showing he paid $38 million in taxes on a 25 percent tax rate. The lead-in to her program was akin to a complex form of clickbait, a bait-and-switch tactic to gain more viewers and audience. Fellow journalists and viewers were unhappy at Maddow for promoting the story in the manner that she did. Maddow, speaking on NBC’s “Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon, seemingly agreed with Fallon that the report was a letdown.
And the tactic worked—for a day.
Over 4 million people watched the episode, making it by far the most popular cable TV show on Tuesday night, according to Deadline.
After that? A nosedive.
Her ratings on Wednesday night dropped about 36 percent, and among the coveted 25-to-54-year-old demographic, the ratings fell 54 percent, Fox News reported.
In the wake of Trump’s win, cable news outlets—conservative and liberal—and their respective talk shows have experienced a sharp ratings increase.
Maddow’s show, which struggled during the Obama years, saw its highest ratings since 2008 in February, The Boston Globe reported. The show is frequently in the Top 10 of all shows on cable.