In what may soon be shouted down as “fake news,” Nielsen has revealed who won the inauguration ratings battle between Donald Trump and Barack Obama. Arnold Schwarzenegger will probably get a good chuckle out of the result.
According to Nielsen’s numbers, Trump’s inauguration brought in 30.6 million viewers. It’s a total that edges out George W. Bush and Bill Clinton’s totals, but wasn’t anywhere near an Obama level. In 2009, Barack Obama attracted an audience of 37.8 million for his first swearing-in.
This bit of ratings news appears destined to get under the skin of the former Celebrity Apprentice star. Earlier today, President Trump got defensive about the turnout at his inauguration. He accused the media of lying with their attendance totals, suggesting the crowd was in the 1.5 million range. Seeing as Obama’s turnout in 2009 was estimated at 1.8 million, photographic evidence fails to back up the new president’s claim.
Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer was vocal this afternoon in his continued complaints about the press coverage, chastising the media with allegations of false reporting thrown in their direction. This appears to be the president/press dynamic for the next four years. This will be a White House that is openly combative with those that cover and question them. To be surprised is simply a case of not paying attention.