Fox News' Sean Hannity. Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Politicon

Fox News averaged 2.5 million viewers per night in 2019, a 23-year high that made it the most viewed channel on basic cable, The Hill reports.

Our thought bubble, via Axios’ Sara Fischer: The network's record viewership comes as Americans' news consumption has become increasingly polarized — and as the left-leaning cable news audience likely split its time between rivals CNN and MSNBC.

The big picture, according to Nielsen Media Research data: ESPN was the second-most popular prime time cable channel with 1.78 million viewers. MSNBC came in third with an average of 1.75 million viewers, while CNN was 22nd, averaging 972,000 viewers.

By the numbers ... The top five most viewed cable news shows:

  1. Fox News' "Hannity": 3.3 million
  2. Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight": 3.1 million
  3. MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show": 2.78 million
  4. Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle": 2.57 million
  5. Fox News' "The Five": 2.55 million

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Fauci says White House effort to discredit him is "bizarre"

Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci told The Atlantic on Wednesday that efforts by certain White House officials to discredit him are "bizarre" and that it "ultimately hurts the president" to undermine a top health official in the middle of a pandemic.

Driving the news: Fauci's comments come on the heels of a USA Today op-ed by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who claimed that Fauci has been "wrong about everything" related to the coronavirus that the two have interacted on. Fauci told The Atlantic: “I can’t explain Peter Navarro. He’s in a world by himself.”

3 hours ago - Health

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt tests positive for coronavirus

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) announced on Wednesday he has tested positive for the coronavirus and will self-isolate, Tulsa World reports.

Why it matters: The 47-year-old Stitt is believed to be the first governor in the U.S. to test positive. He attended President Trump's rally in Tulsa last month, which the county's health department director said likely contributed to a surge in cases in the region.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 13,397,167 — Total deaths: 580,388 — Total recoveries — 7,449,477Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 3,459,053 — Total deaths: 136,900 — Total recoveries: 1,049,098 — Total tested: 41,764,557Map.
  3. States: Alabama's GOP governor issues statewide mask mandate — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt tests positive.
  4. Politics: Fauci says White House effort to discredit him is "bizarre" — Trump says Navarro shouldn't have written op-ed attacking Fauci.