Fox News ratings dropped 27% in May, and there were double-digit falls across many of their top shows. The ratings drop is year over year, with a 27% drop in total viewership, but a 25% drop among younger viewers. With the younger viewers, these are Fox’s lowest ratings since 2001.
This could be due, in part, to their ongoing push to make Benghazi the huge scandal it isn’t, and people are simply getting tired of it. Even The Huffington Post expressed an unusual amount of exasperation with the Benghazi nonsense earlier this month with a very expressive headline. While HuffPo is no less given to sensationalistic headlines than anybody else in new media, this one, “GOP Benghazingly Benghazis Benghazist Benghazi,” really said it all. And the article wasn’t even about Benghazi. It was a political news roundup that only touched on Benghazi.
The GOP has been hoping that Benghazi would help to rally their base, and show how awful the Democrats really are. According to a piece on ABC News, Republicans were originally going to focus heavily on the Affordable Care Act, and on jobs. However, Democrats began gaining steam on those issues themselves, leaving Republicans to scramble. So they’ve begun digging out old scandals, hoping to scare people into voting for them.
With that strategy, they’re hoping to resonate strongly with their conservative base without alienating their moderates. According to Politico, however, Benghazi doesn’t do anything to attract moderates and independents. These are voters the Republicans sorely need in order to remain relevant in coming elections.
With Fox News being the mouthpiece of the Republicans, it’s no wonder that they doubled down on Benghazi too. Now, it looks as if that’s costing them their viewership. It’s not likely that they’ll wise up. Instead, they might try to make even bigger scandals out of things, and turn into the Jerry Springer of “news” networks. Perhaps, though, they should first see what happens if they stop talking about Benghazi for a while.