RUSH: So last night, a friend of mine said, "When are we gonna get the overnight ratings on these two appearances, Trump and Biden?"
I said, "We'll get 'em shortly before noon tomorrow."
He said, "Good, I can't wait."
I said, "Why?
"'Cause Trump's gonna blow him away."
I said, "I don't think that's gonna happen."
"What? What are you talking about?"
"I don't think Trump is, just my instinct here. And I don't think it's gonna mean anything."
"What do you mean?"
It wouldn't surprise me if Biden has a little bit of a higher number because they've seen less of him. Plugs Biden has been hiding away starting at 8:30 every morning for the past two months. Biden's put a lid on his campaign. Whenever he makes a campaign appearance, it's with 10 people. He doesn't take questions from anybody. He doesn't engage in any standard, normal operation that you would associate with politics.
In fact, what Biden's doing is the equivalent of running out the clock. Biden is playing the prevent defense. So don't be surprised if more people watch because they simply haven't seen the guy and there will be some curiosity.
Trump is a known quantity and then some. Well, we have the early numbers in, and did I call it or did I call it? It's basically 12 million to 10 million. Twelve million watched Plugs; 10 million watched Trump. Now, these are the early numbers. They're not the final numbers. These are the early overnights. Overnight ratings for the dueling presidential town halls are in. Biden's event on ABC drew 12.7 million viewers from 8 to 9 p.m.
On NBC, Trump got 10.4 million, same time slot, including the full 9 o'clock hour for Biden, the ABC event viewership averaged 12.2, which is down a half a million. Biden also beat Trump among adults 18 to 49 with a 2.6 rating to the president's 1.7. Now, this story is from Mediaite. They say to be clear, the early numbers don't include PMSNBC, which simulcast the Trump town hall; so he could get a boost from that in the final numbers, which are due sometime this afternoon. I don't know exactly when, but they'll be in sometime this afternoon.
Showbiz, Fox website, same numbers, 12.7, 10.3 million. Now, these guys that are reporting these numbers, "Well, that's it. That's it. There's no curiosity for Trump anymore." They're looking at this as a harbinger of Trump's defeat. And they're free to do that, but I don't think that's what this means. I think it just means that nobody has seen Joe Biden. Stop and think about this. Nobody's seen Biden at one of these.
The last time anybody saw one of these events with Biden was the first debate, which was kind of a fire drill the way it turned out. And that's the debate where nobody could figure out what Trump was attempting to achieve there. But both candidates were assessed very negatively in terms of their performance in the first debate. So nobody has seen Biden at all. So it's not a source of panic. Not a source of negativity or concern for me when you look at it that way.
"But, Rush, but, Rush, Trump is so universally popular. Whenever he's on TV he blows everybody away." Yeah. I know. That's the general consensus. But I don't think you can erase the fact that this is a presidential election, and one of the candidates is invisible and decided to show up last night.
RUSH: Greetings. Welcome back. Rush Limbaugh, Open Line Friday. Great to have you with us, my friends.
Let me grab the phones real quick. We always try to go to the phones in the first hour of Open Line Friday. Joe in Charleston, South Carolina. You're up first today. It's great to have you, sir. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. I just wanted to say that I think you've got the analysis of last night's town halls all wrong on the ratings. I think what happened -- and I told my lovely wife, Mary, this before they started -- that all the conservatives were actually watching Biden interviewed to see whether or not he was asked any questions about Hunter.
RUSH: Oh, so you think that's why Biden won the ratings 'cause all the conservatives were watching him?
CALLER: I did. Yeah. And I think they just wanted to see the answers to the Hunter Biden question.
RUSH: And what were the libs doing?
CALLER: The libs? They were watching Savannah to see whether she could, you know, ruffle him again.
RUSH: They were watching Savannah to see if she could destroy Trump?
CALLER: I think everybody was reversed last night for the most part.
RUSH: All right. All right. So my theory was I don't think you can break it down that the only people watching Biden were conservatives.
CALLER: Probably took him over the top, though.
RUSH: Well, if you want to look at it that way, feel free to. My theory is, just to repeat it, is that Biden hasn't been seen by very many people, there is more curiosity about him than there is Trump. Trump's everywhere, every day. I don't think there's anything anybody thinks they're gonna learn watching Trump. Now, don't misunderstand. I'm not suggesting that Trump's become a ratings dryball. Quite the contrary.
But we'll go with your theory for just a second here that the conservatives tuned in because they wanted to see Stephanopoulos ask Biden about Hunter. It didn't happen. The subject didn't come up. So how long do you think they sat in there watching, waiting for it to come up? Joe, you still there?
RUSH: Yeah. How long do you think they stood in waiting for it to come up?
CALLER: I would say at least a half hour. At least to see whether any of the town hall people brought it up.
RUSH: Well, if Stephanopoulos didn't bring it up, I guaran-damn-tee you they weren't gonna let the town hall people -- it wasn't going to come up. Right now, ABC and the rest of the media look at that story as totally illegitimate. It only ran in the New York Post. They're not gonna give the New York Post any credit for this. They're gonna see Rudy Giuliani's name as part of that story, and they're gonna immediately cast it aside as illegitimate.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">President Trump, you're welcome back anytime for the Largest Radio Town Hall. I will moderate! <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@realDonaldTrump</a></p>— Rush H. Limbaugh (@RealRLimbaugh) <a href="https://twitter.com/RealRLimbaugh/status/1316906004047605760?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>And then they're gonna say Twitter, Twitter is not even gonna let that story on their network because it's illegitimate and wrong. So why should we bring it up? It was never gonna come up. I hate to disappoint people with that, but it wasn't. Now, a couple other things. Thanks, Joe, for the call. He may have a point.
I didn't remember this until I just got an email. I must have had five emails last night shortly after 9 p.m. from people who said they couldn't find the NBC town hall with Trump. And when I saw five of 'em, I said, why are people bothering me with this? What am I gonna do about it? What am I going to do? It's NBC. If you can't find NBC, you need to get out of watching TV.
Well, then there's this story. It turns out that this was common, that there were people all over the country who were unable to reach their NBC affiliate. In other words, they couldn't find it. In fact, I gotta tell you, in my own home, I'm sitting there five minutes after 9 o'clock, "Are you getting NBC? I can't find it on my receiver in here."
"Yeah, yeah, I got it fine." Couple minutes went by, there it is, there it is, it came in. It was late. So there are a number of people complaining it turns out that the NBC town hall at the beginning was not where people expected it to be. Some people said that the broadcast sounded garbled, that other NBC stations were running technical difficulties graphics on the screen. So apparently it wasn't just the five people that I heard from who claimed that they couldn't find it.
The way the ratings work, the first 15 minutes of any hour are crucial and if you want to suppress ratings, then eliminate as much of the first 15 minutes of any sweep that you can. And would NBC do this? Would NBC monkey around with their own technical side to make their broadcast unavailable, unfindable, for just a couple of minutes? Would they garble the audio? Would they do something with the video that routes it in a way that it -- I think it's entirely possible.
Given the outright, full-fledged desire on the part of the mainstream media to destroy Trump, I wouldn't put anything past NBC. And I know that NBC despises Trump to boot. And I wouldn't have thought a thing about this until I remembered last night that I had five emails from people saying they couldn't find the Trump town hall on NBC. Which I just immediately rejected. Who can't find NBC? There may be something more to that.
Then there is this story. This is from Newsweek: "TikTok Users Watched Biden's Town Hall on Multiple Devices to Try and Beat Trump's Ratings -- TikTok users banded together to try and boost Joe Biden's town hall ratings over President Donald Trump's event last night. The presidential candidates were due to debate," blah, blah, blah. What happened here is that some guy on YouTube named Hank Green suggested to his viewers that they watch Biden's town hall event on multiple devices at the same time to boost Biden's ratings over Trump.
"Hundreds of TikTok users dueted Green's sound with videos of them watching Biden on their TVs, laptops, and phones. Another tactic that TikTok users implemented to try to boost Biden's ratings involved opening up YouTube using multiple Google accounts in multiple tabs."
Now, you realize TikTok is the ChiComs, right? TikTok is a ChiCom firm that Trump is attempting to ban because it is basically the communist Chinese government with deep ties to every device using TikTok. So there could be any number of chicanerous reasons to explain the ratings disparity. We'd have to look into all of them.
But look. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out that games were played like this in order to game the system, in order to make Trump look bad, in order to create the news today that two million more people watched Biden than watched Trump.