New Study Supports White House Claim On “Most Watched Inauguration”

inauguration_crowd_size_comparison_between_trump_2017_and_obama_2009After the inauguration, the White House was heavily criticized for President Trump’s repeated criticism of the media over how big of a crowd he attracted at his inauguration, particularly in comparison to the inaugurations of former President Obama.  As I stated at the time, I thought both Trump’s comments at the CIA and Sean Spicer’s first press conference were mistakes.  They lost the first 48 hour news cycle to a discuss about Trump’s perceived insecurities and factual assertions that were later challenged.  Newspapers have reported (with White House staff as sources) that Trump was alarmingly obsessed with the issue. It was a performance that even  stalwart supporters like Charles Krauthammer on Fox called “weird.”  Likewise, Fox News has described Spicer’s facts as “incorrect.” While it does appear that the crowd at the inauguration was smaller (which again I fail to see as a serious problem) and the figures released by Spicer on metro ridership were wrong, but the BBC is reporting  with other sources that Trump’s inauguration a study on live streaming sources that supports Spicer’s claim that the actual viewership was in fact the largest in history.

One claim may now be supportable.  Spicer said that Mr. Trump had drawn “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration.”  Various media outlets denounced that claim with the other claims as unsupported.  After all, the Nielsen ratings show Trump at 19 percent below Obama’s audience in 2009.  Trump had 31 million.  By comparison, Ronald Reagan racked up 41.8 million.

However, in his second press conference, Spicer insisted that he was not claiming television viewership or attendance alone.  “I am saying that it was the total largest audience witnessed in person and around the globe.” Spicer insisted that you have to the 16.9 million who viewed it on CNN.  That figures is clearly relevant though CNN says that it is not very precise.  It does confirm that at the peak of CNN’s livestream coverage at 12:15 p.m., there were 2.3 million devices (desktop, mobile, connected TVs) streaming CNN’s feed of the inauguration.

However, Akamai Technologies, reported that the Trump inauguration was the largest single live news event that the company has ever delivered. It counts 4.6 million people watching the inauguration simultaneously — far greater than the prior peak of 3.8 million back in 2009).

That means that the Spicer claim of overall viewership could be true. There is still grounds for debate but it is a plausible argument that the Trump inauguration was the most watched.

In the end, I still do not get the importance given to this issue by President Trump.  As I previously discussed, the most important figure are those millions of voters who elected Trump.  A huge number of people attended the inauguration. Was it equal to the Obama inauguration in 2009. It does not appear so.  Yet, what does that really mean about the election or the new President?  By attacking the media and obsessing on the issue, the White House made this the leading story of the first week of the Administration.  The fact is that Trump has kept a remarkable number of his campaign pledges in the first week. That should have been the overriding message of the White House. Instead, it dealt with days of debate over false figures and heated attacks on the media.

140 thoughts on “New Study Supports White House Claim On “Most Watched Inauguration””

  1. Krauthammer crawled to the power once it was established and has been a Trump supporter since the election.

      1. I know what bull manure is but what is a kraut hammer? A german hammer? A German Hammer and Sickle might be more appropriate. That went south after the Reichstag Fire Decree.

  2. as to Krauthammer being a Trump stalwart—poppycock…

    The second presidential debate — bloody, muddy and raucous — was just enough to save Donald Trump’s campaign from extinction, but not enough to restore his chances of winning, barring an act of God (a medical calamity) or of Putin (a cosmically incriminating WikiLeak).
    That Trump crashed because of a sex-talk tape is odd. It should have been a surprise to no one. His views on women have been on open display for years. And he’d offered a dazzling array of other reasons for disqualification: habitual mendacity, pathological narcissism, profound ignorance and an astonishing dearth of basic human empathy.

    —Charles Krauthammer October 13, 2016

  3. Thats not even counting all the various streaming sites on the computer AND in addition Roku or other TV boxes
    Im not even sure Youtube had streaming in prior elections and they had I think well over ten Million that watched live streaming online.

    and thats not even going into the false picture that went out that was taken hours earlier. Remember Trumps inauguration crowd was dealing with protestors slowing flow of traffic as well as much more security checkpoints due to terrorism threats from Hillary voters

    1. And actually, Trump could have been seen by more viewers than either Obama or Reagan. Nielsen ratings do not account for online viewing, which has grown sharply in recent years and is far more commonplace than even four years ago., for example, clocked 16.9 million live streams, tying with its Election Day coverage for the site’s top event (live stream tallies are typically not apples-to-apples with Nielsen’s strict methodology of counting average viewers, but are still additive). Plus, portals like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter offered live streams as well.

        1. That’s the wrong question. The real issue is why did CNN lie so blatantly, publishing a fraudulent picture? Trump detects the agenda behind the lie. It’s not about his ego–it’s about the media’s desire to cripple him. He will fight them at every turn, because he knows the stakes are very, very high in even seemingly trivial items. The press is a deadly enemy, far worse than the Democrats in Congress.

          1. Exactly
            Why are Democrats so against Factual Reporting and in favor of Propaganda

            Hillary voters dont even care about truth anymore

      1. but Trump’s furor was not over the number of those who watched but the number of actual people on the ground at The Mall

    2. youtube, facebook and twitter alone probably had a ridiculous amount of viewers and I dont think any of them even streamed Obama in 2009. Twitter wasnt even around. Facebook and youtube were in their early years

      1. a simple log on to a video feed is not an indication that it was watched. logging in and logging off repeatedly and the counter clicks over and over

  4. Watching MSM (out of morbid curiosity), the exuberance for the new president seemed minor, but the protests seemed vast

    The the causal observer, one would be a serious outsider to be supportive of the new president.

    I bought that initially.

    Yet I watched the crowds at the local rallies for Trump and Hillary and their surrogates. I saw the activity at the DFL and the RNC at the state fair. I knew Trump would win just by observation of numbers. The media had somehow fudged Hillary’s crowd turn outs with some optical illusions.

    The media is seeking to isolate the Trump voter. Trump is probably correct. The media and/or the DNC isn’t changing their behavior over anything despite their MASSIVE LOSS. Why change this? Just double down as with all things.

    It’s important to me, because the media is manipulating perception. As a libertarian, we already have a perception problem. We don’t need the threat of the media helping us.

    1. “The media is seeking to isolate the Trump voter.”

      And this your thought after media observation?

      You do see the inherent contradiction in your complaint, don’t you?

    2. “It’s important to me, because the media is manipulating perception.”

      Only if you let them.

      Or does your sentence have an implied meaning of, ‘everyone but me’?

  5. I’m still waiting for President Trump to call out the mainstream media as “presstitutes.” That word so appropriately and accurately describes the mainstream media today and there’s a need to have the public use that word consistently whenever referring to them. Distrust in the media is a great thing. It is a sign of intelligence, and the fact that so many Americans distrust the media is very encouraging because it tells me that people are wising up to the truth that they’ve been misled by the mainstream media and their bosses at the Establishment Elite.

    Another thing the media needs to be called out on, in addition to getting labeled as the presstitutes that they are, is their incessant avoidance of any discussion of real issues, and their laser-like focus on trivialities. They will invoke all sorts of BS to avoid any discussion of things that actually affect people’s lives. The following is a satire on this mainstream media presstitutional proclivity:

  6. I love watching Trump play the MSM and expose them as the partisan political activist manipulators they are. I thank God every day that Hillary and Bill Clinton are not back in the White House.

  7. The discussion was about the size of the crowd in Washington! How many different versions of this story of the ego will we have to here. It’s all a distraction.

    1. Breaking: The Council of American Islamic Relations just announced they’re filing a lawsuit against Trump’s #MuslimBan executive order. This is the legal story of the day and not some silly story that feed’s the authoritarian’s ego.

  8. One issue about two sides of the equation: Media coverage of one side of the story which was focusing on how many humans were on the streets, sidewalks, car tops etc watching the inauguration in person and the media ignoring the number of humans watching the event on television or on computer or dumbphone.

    I could not listen to the Spicer dork spewing forth at his press conference and did not realize until just now that he was spewing about the viewers on tv and on computer screens.

    So in addition to the two sides of the viewer participation we have two sides of the complainers. The media jumps all over the Trump complainers and Trump and Trump hits back. But, we the viewers need to hit back. I am more whizzed at the media than the Trumpsters.

    The media should have been bragging about their number of tv and computer viewership.

    I think it was the media which went in dumb and came out dumb too. They are hustlin round Atlanta in their alligator shoes. They are keeping intelligence down. They are rednecks and don’t know their arse from a hole in the ground. I thank Randy Newman for his insights years ago.

    1. Yes, I wrote that line, “A child’s life is priceless, especially on a birthday.” I sold it to CNN for $1,460.00. CNN then networked with a consortium of media outlets to put the story out and then the story got the go-ahead for public release. Unfortunately, I did not receive any royalties.

      1. what you describe is the echo chamber made ubiquitous by Rupert Murdoch who would introduce hsi fake news story de juour in one of his many far flung publications and one by one all of his outlets would repeat the story all the way up his food chain to his flagship publications.

  9. Is this actually a surprise for anyone. Even Tweety Bird expected it. Tweet, tweet, tweet.

  10. “In the end, I still do not get the importance given to this issue by President Trump.” — JT

    So why kick the horse again?

    There are much more important things to discuss.

    Clicks, posts, illusions of traffic correlating to success?

    1. Wrong. There is nothing more important. The press is a fifth column, out to destroy him, and must be held to account at every turn until the mainstream media is brought to heel. Their lies have always been allowed to stand; no more.

      Andrew Breitbart had as his object in life to destroy the mainstream media; he mastered the art of forcing them to report stories they otherwise would have buried. Bannon maintained that purpose after Andrew was murdered, and is furthering it now that he is Trump’s strategist.

      The press is the enemy, and a truly deadly one. It was the Washington Post that destroyed Nixon’s presidency, remember.

      Ask yourself why CNN would show a photograph of Trump’s crowd taken hours earlier in the day than Obama’s? And lie about that fact? And then call Trump a liar for pointing out the lie? And then claim that that’s not a “story,” just an irrational tantrum of a “narcisist”?

      Trump, brilliantly, forced (once again) the world to focus on the REAL story–the duplicity of the press. They have an agenda. So does Steve Bannon.

      The press has grown accustomed to dictating the public conversation, and the contents of the news cycle. Also, our perception of public figures. And they hate Trump. Well, Trump understands their game, and refuses to be victimized by it. Good for him.

      Trump makes his own rules, and wins by them. It is possible that none of the elite establishment will ever catch on. Trump will benefit from their obtuseness.

      1. You don’t seem so amiable, Patrick, despite your moniker.

        Let the chips fall where they may, it makes little difference when everyone is claiming fact.

        These quibbles make no difference to me.

        What does make a difference to me is the consistent historical claim of our country’s world influence being for the better good of all of humanity. This is a high bar.

        I think we’ve failed at this self-imposed and culturally assumed success.

        Is it fine with you that I think we can do better, starting with letting other state actors live out their decisions?

        It is difficult to extract, in any given generation, where the line between truth and propaganda lies, yet it is easy to see that our country has a heavy hand in the latter, with truth becoming the prodigal son.

        1. Call me a happy warrior. Cheerful in battle. But it IS a war we’re in, and that’s why Trump won. I laughed the whole campaign, with all the amiability imaginable, as he mercilessly swatted down his enemies and the swells in their lofty perches denounced him for doing it.

          As to your question, it is indeed fine with me that the neoconservatives’ vision is being replaced by Trump as America’s policy agenda. America First! Stop with the so-called nation building in cultures that will never, ever, be like the West.

          Trump is a happy warrior, too, and he knows who his enemies are, and cheerfully fights them. They hate him for it–both his good cheer and his hatred of them. It brings an amiable smile to my face, to see their consternation.

            1. Amen! But I wonder if Patrick made a spelling error, and maybe it should have read:

              “Swills in their lofty perches.”

              Because “swill” is also a noun meaning food scraps used to feed pigs. Whichever, kudos to Patrick!

              Squeeky Fromm
              Girl Reporter

        2. “It is difficult to extract, in any given generation, where the line between truth and propaganda lies, yet it is easy to see that our country has a heavy hand in the latter, with truth becoming the prodigal son.”

          Good post Jose and I agree. The challenge I see is that people look for truth that confirms what they already believe. More specifically, truth that fits within their worldview.

          For the entirety of my 20 year Navy career, my worldview was all about my family, my career, my Navy, my armed forces and our nation’s overall commitment to national defense. It was very myopic. After retiring in 1999, my worldview expanded slightly into those things that affected my family and my next career. There was very little critical-thinking going on, the news was just news unless something happened that entered into my lens.

          Sometime in 2007 I was recommended a book to read and it forced me to take another look at what I believed. It was then that my worldview started to expand and it challenged what I thought was true. My focus shifted away from my self-centered worldview and the political party that fed it towards establishing a baseline from which I could measure what I thought was the truth. I had to know everything I could about how and why our country came to be. In order to determine what truth was, I had to have something to measure it against and that was not going to be found following one political party or another.

          Once my worldview became grounded in natural law then the purpose for government became clear. Once I learned human nature is a constant force and that the only true purpose for government is to secure the unalienable rights of the people, then I had a firm foundation to measure all action against, including my own..

          After all of that, it was no longer difficult to identify where truth ends and lies begin.

      2. The Nazis owned 3 percent of the press in the early 1930’s. At the end they owned it all. Do you really want the press to become the government’s mouthpiece?

        1. What an odd thought to draw from my remarks.

          The press has an agenda. It ALREADY is the government/establishment’s mouthpiece–which is why it so despises Trump and is laboring so strenuously to ruin his efforts to make America great again. They are unused to this pushback. The press is overwhelmingly socialist, which is why Obama’s can be the most scandal-filled regime in our history, yet get away with the ridiculous pronouncement that his presidency was scandal-free. They are used, on the other hand, to getting away with saying any nasty thing they want about the Republicans, knowing that Republicans never fight back.

          Trump is calling out their lies, and rewarding them when they tell the truth. Some of them will never, ever, tell the truth, no matter how many times he punishes them for it–because he is anti establishmentarian, and their role as the establishment’s mouthpiece is to propagandize to reinforce the system Trump is tearing down.

          1. Trump is the government now. Have you not noticed the number of executive orders he has been signing. Bannon wants the media to shut its mouth and offer no criticism. That is how authoritarian governments operate. Wake up!!!!!

            1. This is to completely misunderstand what’s going on here.

              First, Trump is the first complete outsider to win the presidency, and he’s clearly attempting to not become infected by Potomac Disease. The press does not acknowledge his right to govern as an anti establishmentarian; as far as they are concerned, by definition, an outsider CANNOT be the “government.” That’s why that blowhard congressman from Atlanta called him “illegitimate.”

              Second, it makes no difference how many executive orders he issues–what matters is their contents. He has done nothing that exceeds his Constitutional authority; for the most part, he’s simply reversing the unconstitutional overstepping of his predecessor. (Andy McCarthy has a good piece on that today:

              Third, Bannon is advising the legacy media to acknowledge that they got everything completely wrong for the last two years, so they might try stopping being totally wrong by stopping what they are continuing to do–by shutting up for a while, and do some soul-searching. Go into rehab at Betty Ford for a month, until they can admit the error of their ways. This is a far different thing than demanding “no criticism.” (But it IS pretty funny.)

              None of this is in any way “authoritarian.” The lunatics have been running the asylum for so long now that an attempted return to common sense government is perceived as a catastrophe; if you are of that persuasion, it is you yourself who needs to “wake up,” Alejandro. Perhaps a stint at Betty Ford would do the trick for you, too.

              1. Think that is a myth that Trump, the global elitist, is a true outsider. His Muslim ban did not extend to countries that have financial dealings with TRUMP INC. The terrorists here have mainly come from Saudi Arabia but since he has not he has no businesses there so they are not included in the ban. The government is becoming a banana republic.

                1. You are either ill-informed, or you cannot possibly believe that, and have some agenda to misrepresent the situation. The millions of military aged men who flooded into Europe in recent years are all from those countries, and if you follow the news about them, they are utterly destroying Western Europes ancient cultures. Rape and theft and murder are exploding–as is terrorism. Most of them carry no ID when they arrive, and so no one can “vet” them. It’s a nightmare.

                  If you don’t know that, you should educate yourself.

                  Trump does not want the United States to follow that path. It has absolutely nothing to do with money. Sheesh.

                  1. “And now, a week into Trump’s presidency, he has tried to make good on that promise—or, at least, partly so. A draft proposal of an executive order obtained by Bloomberg News reportedly shows that Trump is poised to suspend all entry to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.

                    Notably missing from the blacklist, however, are several Muslim-majority countries where Trump has business dealings, according to Bloomberg.

                    The news organization has put together a map of the proposed suspensions, with the Muslim-majority countries where Trump has business interests—Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan—rendered in yellow.” Look at the map

      3. Late the party. This is the important point. It was more newz lies. A good friend MD state police, was called down to work the inauguration. They actually had a warming center on the top floor of the Labor dept. I believe. He called me and said he had never seen that many people in his life (we ain’t spring chickens anymore…) and when I told him what CNN had reported, he couldn’t believe it. There you go. For all you fake newz supporters: Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, unprovoked Russian invasion and annexation in Ukraine, destruction of Libya, the most successful country in northern Africa, the continued destruction of Syria… it goes on and on. Yeah, stay in your happy little tide pools and eat up the propaganda.

        1. destruction of Libya, the most successful country in northern Africa,

          Uh, no. Libya was a personalistic dictatorship notable for abuse of its population and suppression of tribal politics. Its political order was the most retrograde of any north African state, including dirt poor Mauritania. Bracketing out natural resource rents, it was more affluent ca. 2009 than Morocco, Tunisia, or Algeria (by a factor of 1.25 to 2), but its civil society was much less well developed. Morocco has been a constitutional state since 1977 and Tunisia has embarked on a constitutional experiment the last 5 years. Algeria is run by a political machine conjoined to the military, but it is much more plurlaistic than the Qadafi regime. The other states of the Maghreb got through the Arab spring without falling to pieces because they had a working political society.

  11. I just love the Georgetown Enquirer!

    Best legal blog on the net; up to date posts about nothing of importance for some time now.

    It’s a great read.

    1. Jeez, I hope bam bam doesn’t see this, but ‘up to date’ should be ‘up-to-date’.

      Damn, I put the period outside of the quotes; I give up. I can’t take it anymore, too much pressure of commas, em dashes, semicolons, colons, and of course paragraphs.

  12. Sorry folks–who cares? He’s the President and when he’s wrong–he will be called out on–unless somehow the First Amendment is no longer in force. When SkyNews (who is 40% owned by the Murdoch Family–and who’s US-based property Fox News is a defacto arm of the White House) reports about a President that does not like to Read, watches a lot of television and is obsessed with his self-image–it should be concern to all . Although Professor Turley notes that he’s kept “campaign pledges”, I hope his schedule permits to provide guidance on his latest executive action on immigration and the ”
    wall” among other things–that’s not even some of the other things such as gutting the EPA to 1970 levels. Lastly, As for “Left” vs. “Right” that seems to be an obsession by many, Brett Stephens (who is no “commite”, “leftie”, made one observation that I think should horrify all conservatives which is noted below for all for reference–wishin all a restful (and hopefully uneventful W-End).

    Bret Stephens ✔ @StephensWSJ
    Steve Bannon says media should “keep its mouth shut.” Castro, Putin, Erdogan, and Xi all feel the same way!
    12:24 PM – 26 Jan 2017
    Stephen K. Bannon, center, President Trump’s chief strategist, met with business leaders at the White House on Monday.
    Trump Strategist Stephen Bannon Says Media Should ‘Keep Its Mouth Shut’
    Mr. Bannon, one of President Trump’s top advisers, gave a scathing assessment of the news media, calling it “the opposition party.”
    2,809 2,809 Retweets 3,225 3,225 likes

  13. So which White House claim matters more?

    Trump’s claim about the size of the inauguration.

    Obama’s claim about being the most transparent administration ever.

  14. The next inauguration will have even higher viewership. So what. With new technology there are more eyes.

    And wake up. Right-wing media has complained about government for a long time and certainly the last eight years. The government, Obama, the Left, progressivism, and on and on and on and on.

    Now that the Steak-Salesman is in office, all that attention must be diverted away from government: so the media is the target of that rage and blame.

    Yes, the media isn’t reliable. Nothing new. But going to “war” is just the latest attempt at avoiding transparency. It’s boring. And it’s intentional.

  15. Fair and balanced even for the snowflakes of the lame stream former media. good job.

  16. I don’t think it’s the large viewership that Pres. Trump is concerned with; rather, the fact that it was lied about like everything the left-leaning media says about him, the snark, etc. I can’t stand the media lies and they are so pervasive and seemingly considered inconsequential it’s maddening.

    1. I would like to believe that Trump intentionally created this furor over the coverage number for an ulterior purpose. Trump instigated the discussion, but that does not shock anyone. What might surprise people is the fact that the media ran 24/7 coverage about Trump’s comments.

      The headlines don’t harm Trump because most people expect this behavior. We also expect to learn about his actions during the first week, and seeing the media get personally incensed helps discredit them.

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