Jan 6 hearing: Some numbers offer news, and it isn’t bad news

To my dear pessimistic friends,

I’ve heard you say, “Yeah but.” You still whip yourselves with the dim prospect of Trump getting away with everything, and cling doggedly to your depressive conviction that nobody’s convictions were changed by the first hearing.

You say it’s because nobody who needs to see the Jan 6 hearing watched it; they were watching Fox.

For a while now, I’ve been maintaining that the numbers I’ve seen do not support your grim, sweeping assessment that one third of this country is crazy, stupid and devoted to Trump, and will destroy our democracy. But the numbers tell a different story:

There’s Texas, for a big instance.

And an assortment of other statistics.

And now, some hard numbers via Nielsen’s TV ratings: Almost 20 million people watched the hearing on Thursday night. (Nielsen is unable to count the numbers who watched on streaming services, or phones or computers.)

So how many people watched Fox, which announced loudly it would not broadcast the hearing? Three million. Which is the same number of viewers Fox usually gets.

Yeah, I know it’s personally interpretive to decide that people who watched the hearings were supporters of reality, supporters of fact and of our government, but why shouldn’t we think that? While Fox did not increase its audience at all.

Those numbers are real, far more dependable than any poll. They can’t be analyzed as to what pollsters’ questions elicited those numbers. They are more like actual voting numbers than polling numbers.

I’ve broken it down to percentages:

23 million viewers watched political TV on Thursday night.

87 percent of those viewers watched the Jan 6 hearing.

1.3 percent of those viewers chose to ignore the hearing.

Those are real, hard numbers reflecting to some extent what Americans are thinking about what is happening politically in this country.

I think it’s pretty good news.

Lots of love, Naomi

P.S. Someone on Twitter said it’s a mistake for the Jan 6 Committee to broadcast the next phase of the hearing at 10 am, instead of prime time.

Listen, I got myself up at 5 am for a number of royal weddings. If I can get myself up for royal weddings, I’ll be there for our democracy, even without the wedding gowns and wacky hats.

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