Speed Reads


Tuesday's State of the Union extravaganza drew the smallest audience of Trump's presidency, Nielsen says

"President Trump put a Celebrity Apprentice spin on his State of the Union address on Tuesday, seeding the 78-minute broadcast with surprise reveals and viral moments," The New York Times said Wednesday night. "It was the kind of camera-ready spectacle that can translate into big ratings for afternoon talk-show hosts and prime-time reality shows. This time, though, the Nielsen numbers did not come through."

This week's State of the Union was watched live on TV by about 37.2 million Americans, 10 million fewer than Trump's 2017 speech and a 20 percent drop from his 2018 and 2019 State of the Union addresses, Nielsen reported. It wasn't all bad news for Trump: Slightly more people watched this year than last on Fox News, the president's TV base, and the numbers don't include people watching on C-SPAN or streaming online. But overall, people appear exhausted with watching politics.

Last fall, the Times notes, Pew found that 66 percent of Americans say they are "worn out by the amount of news these days," and that was months ago. The State of the Union was Tuesday's "most social telecast of the day," Nielsen said, prompting 14.1 million interactions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi won the internet, as they say, as the social interactions peaked right after she tore up Trump's speech at 10:31 p.m.