Obama Went Up Against O’Reilly In Head-To-Head Cable News Matchup, And The Results Weren’t Pretty

Al Weaver Reporter
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Sorry MSNBC, even the president cannot take down Bill O’Reilly.

In a head-to-head matchup Wednesday night, Fox’s O’Reilly annihilated MSNBC in the ratings, scoring a huge win over the rival network’s exclusive town hall event with President Barack Obama on immigration.

According to Nielsen, O’Reilly pulled in a whopping 705,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo, while raking in a total of nearly 3.1 million viewers. Meanwhile, even with a helping hand from Obama, MSNBC could only muster 129,000 viewers in the highly-coveted demo and 907,000 viewers overall.

The behemoth Fox News host, who’s been under attack recently from Mother Jones and Media Matters involving his coverage of the Falklands war 30 years ago, drew more than five times as many viewers in the demo, along with three times as many in overall viewership.

The exclusive MSNBC event, which was also hosted by sister network Telemundo, focused on Obama’s executive action on immigration and was intended to push the White House’s narrative two days before funding for the Department of Homeland Security expires.

“All In With Chris Hayes” was bumped from the MSNBC primetime lineup Wednesday to make room for the special one-hour event, which the “Lean Forward” network promoted heavily for nearly a week. MSNBC host Jose Diaz-Balart hosted the network’s primetime special. The event was also shown on Telemundo, which also features Diaz-Balart as a host.

O’Reilly’s Wednesday broadcast, meanwhile, was nothing more than a run-of-the-mill episode, with guests Karl Rove, Dennis Miller and fellow Fox host Martha MacCallum in the lineup. The Fox host did not touch on the Mother Jones story, which he has in recent nights.

While this may be a surprise, O’Reilly’s show has been at the No. 1 rated program in cable news for 14 years running, as the “O’Reilly Factor” proclaims every night toward the latter end of the program.

O’Reilly is in the midst of a hot streak as far as ratings are concerned. The longtime host raked in 550,000 in the demo during the month of February, his highest ratings since November, 2012 (with the exception his coverage during the Boston Bombing).