There was a time, not that long ago, when MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow seemed poised to become the most popular left-wing pundit of all time. With her ratings soaring over a period of nearly two years, she was the first cable news personality in a long time to give her competitors at Fox News a run for their money. With in-depth stories about the Trump/Russia connections, she enthralled her liberal audience with tales that painted an undeniable picture of international conspiracy. Truly, you could not faithfully watch her nightly show without becoming dreadfully certain that our president was a treasonous rat, serving at the pleasure of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
And then, reality came crashing down.
And so did Maddow’s ratings.
This year, in the wake of the Mueller Report, which decimated the left’s Russian collusion theories, Maddow’s ratings have dropped more than 800,000 viewers. From a peak in January, where she was averaging 3,288,000 viewers each night, Maddow has slipped well into the 2 million range, bleeding viewers who have turned off her program with disgust, having figured out that she was doing nothing more than propagating wild conspiracies and delivering them wrapped in a bow of faux-intellectualism. It was effective propaganda, no doubt, but propaganda was all it ever was.
It is a remarkable fall from grace for a woman who beat Sean Hannity in the ratings in March 2018. So compelling was her program to liberals that she not only slipped past Hannity on a couple of occasions, she drove MSNBC’s total primetime ratings up 30%. After years of turning in solid performances, she was breaking away from the pack to become a bona fide left-wing superstar. And she did it all while assuring audiences, night after night, that there was something nefarious going on between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin. Something traitorous.
It all turned out to be nonsense, of course. Mueller’s investigation, powered by a team of 19 angry Democrats, looked under every corner for signs of collusion. They interviewed witnesses from here to Moscow, looking for any evidence that Trump had worked with the Russians to tamper with the 2016 election. If they had found anything, they would have written the most damning investigative report ever to land in Washington.
But they didn’t. And now people like Rachel Maddow are paying the price for their lies.
Her fall would almost be a sad one if it weren’t for how badly she mislead the American public for two solid years.
But then again, she’s far from the only one.