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Fox News Channel has been plagued by recent scandals, but by some measures, it doesn't matter. While every cable channel is seeing a Trump bump in ratings, Fox is doing notably well, earning the best quarter in cable news history.

Expand chart
Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Its success can be largely attributed to its flagship program, "The O'Reilly Factor," whose host is a perfect reflection of Fox's unusual situation. While Fox struggled through sexual-harassment lawsuits involving O'Reilly over the past several months, the anchor's prime-time show scored the highest-rated cable news quarter ever, with 4 million viewers.

Other right-leaning news outlets have sustained their audiences, despite battling scandals. Breitbart reached nearly 14 million people in February, which is about average for the site, after its star, Milo Yiannopoulos, resigned over pedophilia comments.

Why it matters: The anti-establishment position these outlets took during the election is still resonating with Trump's conservative base, while the president seems to have lost some support. The latest Gallup poll shows Trump's approval rating continuing to plummet and a Quinnipiac poll released last Wednesday shows President Trump losing support from key parts of his base. The ratings also suggest that consumers are willing to turn a blind eye towards scandal, or are unaware of the behind-the-scenes troubles of their favorite outlets.

What's next: Fox may have had its best quarter ever, but month-over-month, its traffic has been steadily declining, while MSNBC's has been steadily rising. Reports Monday of advertisers pulling their ads from The O'Reilly Factor, combined with month-over-month viewership losses could mean that Fox's big Q1 may not be followed by a stellar Q2.

Go deeper

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump, Melania received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  3. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  5. World: Italy tightens restrictions as experts warn of growing prevalence of variants — PA announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge.
  6. Local: Colorado sets timeline for return to normalcy.
Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January

Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Former President Trump and former first lady Melania Trump were both vaccinated at the White House in January, a Trump adviser tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump declared at CPAC on Sunday that "everybody" should get the coronavirus vaccine — the first time he's encouraged his supporters, who have been more skeptical of getting vaccinated, to do so.

Biden administration seeks to allow separated migrant families to reunite in U.S.

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced Monday that the Biden administration will explore "lawful pathways" to allow migrant families separated under the Trump administration to reunite in the U.S.

Why it matters: Biden has pledged to reunite the hundreds of families still separated as a result of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, and signed an executive order last month creating a family separation task force chaired by Mayorkas.

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