a new low
September 18, 2018

During the opening monologue of the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, comedian Colin Jost quipped that the audience watching at home consisted of merely "hundreds" of people. He was exaggerating — but not by as much as host network NBC would have hoped.

Per Nielsen, the company that measures television ratings, approximately 10.2 million people watched the 2018 Emmys, Deadline reports. That's over 1 million fewer viewers than watched in 2017, when 11.4 million people tuned in, per Variety. Indeed, 10.2 million is yet another new low for the television awards show; the 2016 ceremony drew what was then the smallest audience of all time with 11.3 million viewers, Variety reports, but that seems downright massive compared to 2018's dismal showing.

Lest one assume the ratings drop was simply because the show was on a Monday this year rather than a Sunday, the Emmys were also held on a Monday in 2014 — and that show scored 15.6 million viewers, Deadline reported at the time.

Instead, television ratings have just been in steady decline across the board as consumers cut cable and grow disinterested in live events like awards shows. But as The Wrap points out, there's a silver lining: By dropping about 11 percent, this year's Emmys at least didn't see as sharp a ratings dip as the 2018 Oscars, which experienced a decline of 16 percent in 2018. So that's something. Brendan Morrow

September 1, 2016

August was Chicago's deadliest month in two decades, with levels of violence that set a new record for the embattled city. As of midnight on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 90 people had been murdered in the month. Prior to that, Chicago's deadliest month was nearly two decades ago, when 85 people were murdered in October 1996, The Atlantic reported.

The record-breaking month arrived amid mounting tensions between the Chicago Police Department and the city's African-American population, which accounts for one-third of the city's residents, The New York Times noted. Though Chicago is the third-biggest city in the U.S., its total number of homicides so far this year has surpassed the combined totals of New York (222) and Los Angeles (176), the country's top two biggest cities.

With four months left in the year and 487 homicides already recorded, Chicago is just three homicides away from eclipsing its total for 2015. Becca Stanek

August 31, 2016

Never in Hillary Clinton's decades in the public eye has her favorability rating been as low as it is now. That's according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll out Wednesday. While 41 percent of Americans view Clinton favorably, a striking 56 percent view her negatively, which, The Washington Post reported, marks "the worst image Clinton has had in her quarter-century in national public life."

Prior to these numbers, Clinton's lowest favorability rating was in July, at 42 percent. Her highest unfavorable rating was in June, at 55 percent.

At first glance, Clinton's favorability rating might at least look better than Donald Trump's. But, The Washington Post noted, when only registered voters are taken into consideration, "Clinton's image is about as bad as Trump's." While Clinton sees a split of 38 percent favorable and 59 percent unfavorable, Trump's split is 37 percent favorable and 60 percent unfavorable.

The poll, conducted among 1,020 adults from Aug. 24 to Aug. 28, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Becca Stanek

October 14, 2015

Every cable news network has its share of bizarre moments — remember CNN's Don Lemon asking if a black hole was behind the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? MSNBC got in on the action Wednesday afternoon, when anchor Kate Snow and Food & Wine's Noah Kaufman compared the Democratic presidential candidates to sandwiches on live television.

Yes, Food & Wine came up with a series that takes bread, assorted deli meats, and other edible accoutrements and has them stand in for the people vying to be the next president of the United States. Bernie Sanders, they decided, is a Bánh mi ("a little weird, a little unconventional, and a little spicy to many Americans' tastes"). Hillary Clinton is any of the menu items at Subway ("this sandwich will change however it must to suit your interests") and Lincoln Chafee's a wrap ("it's worth mentioning that no one really considers a wrap a viable sandwich"). Food & Wine must think Jim Webb is plain nasty, otherwise how can they explain naming him mushy egg salad ("that mayo is about as zesty as you can expect"). Martin O'Malley, for his part, is a soft-shell crab ("A Baltimore staple, this sandwich isn't as widely known as the others").

Some of these seem a little off — Sanders, of course, would be a Reuben, covered in Russian dressing and preferably cut into the shape of a hammer and sickle. But, props to whoever came up with this idea in the Food & Wine pitch meeting and was brave enough to say it out loud. If I ever had the idea to compare and contrast our next POTUS to a sandwich, I'd quietly slip out of the room and immediately check myself into some sort of facility. Catherine Garcia

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