Honey Boo Boo is not more popular than the Republican National Convention: stop freaking out

Today’s fact-free freak-out comes thanks to everyone’s new favorite family reality series, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, which reports say got higher ratings than the Republican National Convention. Insert freaking out about the future of our society here.

But that’s bullshit. The Hollywood Reporter’s story is headlined ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Ratings Top the Republican National Convention, and it says that “among adults 18-49 [the show bested all other cable outings for the night — coverage of the Republican National Convention, included — to pull a 1.3 rating.”

Sounds awful. But read on and you will see this sentence: “Aggregate coverage of the RNC across networks obviously eclipsed Honey Boo Boo considerably.”

Well, duh. The absurdly cruel TLC reality show airs at 10 p.m., when all three broadcast networks aired coverage of the convention, and then there are several cable networks that did, too.

For broadcast ratings, ABC, CBS, and NBC combined had 9.4 million viewers–9.4 million! Among those 18-49, 2.2 percent of the population was watching broadcast coverage. On cable, Fox News’ coverage alone drew 7.703 million people and a 1.2 rating.

That’s 17.103 million viewers and a 3.4 rating combined, and that doesn’t even include MSNBC or other cable networks’ coverage. Honey Boo Boo’s totals: 2.992 million viewers and a 1.3 rating.

Even a six-year-old hopped up on go-go juice would know that she was far less popular than politics. So we can relax. And stop writing sensational headlines.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.