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Washington US President Donald Trump delivers a televised address to the nation on Tuesday.—AFP

Washington US President Donald Trump delivers a televised address to the nation on Tuesday.—AFP

That's about 10 million fewer viewers that Trump had for his 2018 State of the Union address.

While the address may not change anyone's mind, there are very strong feelings both for and against the television networks' decisions to televise it in the first place.

Previous: The New Year is kicking off pretty well for Nancy Pelosi as the past and current Speaker of the House of Representatives just hit Donald Trump where it hurts the former Celebrity Apprentice host the most - in the ratings.

And the deeper numbers indicate those tuning in are more likely to be opposed to Trump's request for $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall.

For network executives, tradition and news judgment - the simple idea that this is "a presidential address from the Oval Office" - outweighed concerns about the content.

In Tuesday night's 9-9:30 PM ET half hour, Fox News Channel trounced CNN and MSNBC in total viewers - clocking 8.043M viewers to MSNBC's 4.243M and CNN's 3.566M.

Veteran ABC anchor Ted Koppel, speaking with The New York Times, said Trump deserved the "benefit of the doubt". "That's the problem for putting this on the air", former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said on CNN's "New Day" on Tuesday.

"If you really want to come up with a fake border crisis, make it a scary border crisis", Kimmel said.

The late-night funnyman also took aim at the official Democratic response from Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, which was widely mocked for their wooden delivery and weird staging, with the pair squished together behind one podium. Fox News was second with 8.04 million. "The networks gave the White House exactly what the president wanted: unhindered access to lie to their audience".

Following Tuesday night's coverage, the liberal watchdog organization Media Matters for America said the network fact-checking was ineffective.

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