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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

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.

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