Should we blame it on the Massa Moment?
Will that Hindenburg performance soon be seen as the turning point for Glenn Beck: the pivotal moment when the Fox News show began to permanently leak viewers?
Who can forget the March day that will live in cable news infamy, when Beck invited embattled Democratic Congressman Eric Massa onto his show, for an entire hour, to blow the whistle on Democratic Party corruption? Or so Beck thought. Instead, Massa went on and on about tickle fights, and Beck became a laughing stock -- the butt of endless Geraldo-opens-Al-Capone's-vault jokes.
The latest Nielsen low: Glenn Beck just posted another ratings low for this year. The new mark was set last Thursday when the show attracted 1.82 million viewers. The host's previous, non-vacation low for 2010 had been 1.97 million viewers. That low-ebb mark was set on April 9.
Let's put Beck's ratings into context. Yes, in the world of cable news, his numbers are impressive, and virtually any host would be happy to have them. But look how far Glenn Beck has fallen recently. In late January and into February, the program was averaging 3 million viewers each week. And late last year, the show spent month after month flirting with that figure. Today, the viewership is trending around 2 million (Last week it was exactly 2.01 million viewers.) -- which means that in a span of just three months, Glenn Beck has lost nearly one-third of its television audience.
How soft are Beck's current ratings? He's now posting the type of numbers that his show used to get when he was on vacation and somebody less famous stood in for him, like when he took a few days off in late March and his show averaged 1.9 million viewers. Beck's been back from his March vacation for weeks now, but his ratings are roughly the same as when he wasn't even there.
In fact, if the precipitous Glenn Beck ratings trend continues, the show will soon be regularly attracting many, many fewer viewers than it did 12 months ago -- an astonishing turn of events for a signature show that's supposed to be at the forefront of a political revolution.
Read the entire Media Matters column, here.