NEWS AND OPINION:
After a quarter-century on the air, Fox News has marked its 25th anniversary by dominating the overall cable world for the sixth year in a row, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News averaged 2.4 million primetime viewers compared to CNN which drew 1.1 million and MSNBC with 1.6 million.
Then there are the standouts: “Tucker Carlson Tonight” finished 2021 as the highest-rated program in cable news, averaging 3.2 million viewers per night. “The Five” enjoyed the second largest audience in cable news with an average audience of 2.9 million viewers. Fox News programs also comprised 10 of the top 15 programs in cable news.
There is also an evolving political dynamic at work that runs counter to popular narratives about the network from other news organizations.
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“The network was the most-watched basic cable network, obliterating CNN and MSNBC across the board, and the only cable network to deliver over 2 million viewers in primetime and one million in total day. According to data from Nielsen/MRI Fusion, this year, more independents and Democrats turned to Fox News than CNN while delivering the largest independent audience in cable news, making our audience the most politically diverse in cable news,” Fox News said in a statement.
Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement that she was “incredibly proud of the unrivaled success we’ve had at Fox News Channel. Not only were we the only network to grow our audience share, but we did so while changing our lineup and transforming the entire late-night television landscape in the process, ensuring our continued momentum for many years to come.”
Fox News was founded by Rupert Murdoch and debuted on Oct. 7, 1996.
Hispanics — a 32 million-member voting bloc — have turned away from the Democratic Party. So said a recent Wall Street Journal poll that found 37% of Hispanic voters now side with the Democrats — down from 60% in a similar survey the news organization conducted in 2020.
A Florida Republican is not surprised.
“We share the same values that are entrenched in the Republican Party. God-fearing, law-abiding, tax-paying — we are Americans, we’re not socialists. We want to come into the country and we want to contribute,” U.S. Rep. Maria Salazar told Fox News on Sunday.
“What do you think we come to the U.S. for? Because we want to contribute. It’s not because we want to go to Disney World or shop on Saks Fifth Avenue. We want to come here and contribute. We know that the American exceptionality is waiting for us, the promised land. And the economic policies that were established during the last administration helped everyone’s pockets,” Ms. Salazar continued.
“We have realized after 30 years the Democratic Party has been playing political football with us. You have got to be with whoever serves your values and whoever fixes your problems,” the lawmaker said.
“We know that unfortunately the Democratic party has been infiltrated by the Democratic socialists that in the end are Marxists. So we are recognizing — from the Mexicans, to the Cubans, to the Hondurans, to Nicaraguans, to the Colombians — we have recognized what Marxism and socialism means. And we do not want that,” Ms. Salazar concluded.
BEAVERS NOW A CLIMATE THREAT
Beavers are on the move, and not necessarily in a good way, according to the new Arctic Report Card 2021 report from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The report was authored by an academic team associated with the Arctic Beaver Observation Network, which has now mapped over 12,000 beaver ponds in western Alaska — a number that has doubled in the last 20 years.
“Beavers are a keystone species, capable of changing landscapes by creating new ponds and diverting the flow of rivers. Ponds created by beaver dams increase surface water, which in the Arctic is causing permafrost to melt, in turn releasing the greenhouse gasses methane and carbon dioxide,” the team said in a statement.
Pond mapping in Canada is now underway.
“The true impact of the spread of beavers into the Arctic on the environment and the Indigenous communities who live there, is not yet fully known. However, we do know that people are concerned about the impact beaver dams are having on water quality, the numbers of fish downstream of the dams, and access for their boats,” said Helen Wheeler, a senior zoology lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University.
“Whether their expansion northwards is entirely due to climate change or increased populations following historical reductions in the trapping of beavers for fur and food, or a combination of the two, is not entirely clear, but we do know that beavers are having a significant impact on the ecosystems they are colonizing,” she noted.
THE EVER-GROWING FEDERAL REGISTER
Ballotpedia, a nonpartisan political resource, regularly tracks the “administrative state” of the U.S. — federal agencies, executive orders and such. That includes tracking the state of the Federal Register published daily by the National Archives and Records Administration and the Government Publishing Office.
The Federal Register is burgeoning with agency rules, policy statements and regulations. Keep in mind that when founded in 1936, it contained 2,620 pages. It has 73,104 pages, as of Dec. 24.
“The Biden administration has added an average of 1,365 pages to the Federal Register each week in 2021,” Ballotpedia said in a new analysis.
According to a handy count from the publication, the additions to the Federal Register in the month of December included 2,836 pages, 1,985 documents, 281 new rules, 154 proposed rules and 17 presidential documents.
But that’s certainly not the record.
The Federal Register contained the greatest number of pages during the Obama administration. In 2016, the publication totaled an all-time high of 95,894 pages. Find more noteworthy numbers at Ballotpedia.org.
POLL DU JOUR
• 71% of U.S. adults mostly feel “hopeful” as 2022 approaches; 22% say they feel discouraged.
• 3% feel neither emotion, 2% feel both emotions equally.
• 42% say 2021 was a year filled mostly with happiness; 40% overall say 2021 was mostly filled with sadness.
• 10% feel the year was filled with both emotions, 6% say it was filled with neither emotion.
SOURCE: A CBS News poll of 1,010 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 14-22.
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