Monday night's [August 15] episode of HBO's Vice News Tonight wound up being the second-most-watched episode the series has aired, and thanks to social media and the national discourse around the Charlottesville tragedy, the numbers are escalating quickly.
The network premiered a considerably impressive 22-minute short titled "Charlottesville: Race and Terror" that has since gone viral throughout the internet. 488,000 viewers tuned in for the 7:30 p.m. prime time cable slot, while an estimate of those watching via the mobile HBO Go and HBO Now platforms pushed that number to 540,000 prior to factoring in the 170,000 who watched on Vice News' website. By noontime Wednesday, those stats had surged to 23 million who've watched across platforms, according to an HBO spokesperson.
In the piece, Vice reporter Elle Reeve gets up close and personal with white supremacist leader Chris Cantwell, and other prominent members of the alt-right/neo-Nazi network. The documentary follows the organization and playing out of demonstrations that took place, from the Friday night torch carrying march through the University of Virginia, to the heinous murder of 32-year-old Heather Heyer within blocks of Emancipation Park. By the documentary's end, the viewer is given insight into the growing movement taking place among the far right to reclaim its identification with white supremacist ideals, and how there are individuals facilitating that expansion with alarming passion and a calculated and well-resourced sense of agency.
Check the video out up top.