When it comes to viewership, you cannot stop Fox News—you can only hope to contain it. But while the pioneers of finger-jabbing conservatism still dominate the cable-news ratings, the battle for No. 2 has taken a twist. Last month, MSNBC moved ahead of CNN to claim second place in the evenings.
When those Nielsen numbers rolled in, CNN president Jonathan Klein had a rejoinder ready, saying his network was “more than ever the source of reliable news.” The implication was that MSNBC had succeeded by going full-tilt liberal—fair enough if you’re just talking primetime, when Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow occupy the anchor chairs.
But Klein couldn’t explain away another milestone. For the first time since it launched in 2007, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” defeated CNN’s “American Morning” among younger viewers—the demographic advertisers prize most. That show is hosted by Joe Scarborough, a former Florida congressman—and a registered Republican.
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