You would think that the media would learn. Instead, they just keep going. First, the tweet:
Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 1, 2018
If you read that by itself, you could certainly claim that Trump is claiming that 45.6 million people watched and that he believes that it is the highest number in history. But wait!
How can it be the highest in history when Obama had 8 million more viewers?
— Carbon based lady (@Carbonbasedlady) February 1, 2018
She’s right. According to TV Ratings: Trump’s First State of the Union Address Fails to Match Obama:
Obama’s first State of the Union in 2010 drew 48 million viewers across broadcast and cable, while his first address before a joint session of Congress in February 2009 drew 52.4 million viewers.
So what’s the deal here? Power of positive thinking? Outright embellishment or lying? Trying to pull a fast one on the American people?
How about none of the above?
Check out this paragraph in the same article just a little above it:
Fox News topped both its cable and broadcast competition by a wide margin with 11.5 million viewers tuning into the network’s coverage of the speech, notching the highest-rated State of the Union address in the history of cable news [emphasis added]. CNN was second with 3.1 million, with MSNBC drawing 2.7 million. Fox Business Network drew 572,000 viewers. Spanish-language broadcasters Univision and Telemundo added 2 million and 1.4 million respectively. The speech was also carried live on Estrella and PBS.
If you’re not looking for lying every time you read the President, you see an alternative explanation– that Trump is referencing this statistic, not the overall number. He’s highlighting the positive in the report and ignoring the Obama numbers altogether. Well, it’s either that or an outright lie. You may believe what you wish.
And then there’s the bigger issue… Trump has everyone talking about just how many people watched his first State of the Union address. So over and over “45.6 million people watched Trump’s State of the Union!” Again, he’s the center of the news.
When will they learn?