Trust Me: More Americans “Trust” Fox News Than Any Other Network

According to conventional wisdom, liberals trust CNN and the broadcast networks more and conservatives trust Fox News more. And the results of the newest Public Policy Polling survey bears those results out.

But even more specifically, more people overall trust FNC than any other network – and the breakdown shows some surprising results.

From the survey:

These numbers suggest quite a shift in what Americans want from their news. A generation ago Walter Cronkite was the most trusted man in the country because of his neutrality. Now people trust Fox the most precisely because of its lack of neutrality. It says a lot about where journalism is headed.

The ‘do you trust’ percentages are (yes/no): FNC – 49/37, CNN – 39/41, NBC – 35/44, CBS – 32/46, ABC – 31/46.

With the specific crosstab breakdown, here are a couple other notable results:

• The liberal/conservative divide is what you’d expect, in that more conservatives trust FNC and more liberals trust the others (specifically NBC News). But a higher percentage of liberals trust FNC than conservatives trust any other network. CNN is the most trusted network for moderates, while FNC is the least trusted.

• The most trusted network for the 18-29 demographic is NBC News (likely including MSNBC), with 76% answering in that group answering yes. Coming in 2nd in that category is Fox News. For 30-45, CNN is the most trusted by far, and for 45-65 and 65+, FNC is the runaway winner.

What do these results tell us? Well, this is just one survey – but we’ve seen Fox News win “most trusted” surveys before. The fact is, with Fox News so dominant in their viewership, and a viewership that includes conservatives, moderates and yes, liberals, they are bound to have more individuals who trust them. It’s the reason so many watch. Now what will that mean for the Obama administration distrust? We’ll see better in November 2010 – and November 2012.

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This Might Be The Best Fifteen Minutes Of Glenn Beck Ever

In case you’re wondering why so many people watch Glenn Beck watch this. This is Beck at his most…entertaining. Beck opened tonight’s show with what can only be described as a tour-de-force excoriation of yesterday’s Joe Klein article accusing Americans of being dumb. Fifteen minutes worth. It was, to put it plainly, brilliant theater. A cast of thousands with Beck playing all the parts.



Everyone Is Claiming To Be Ellie Light, Letter Writer Extraordinaire

This morning, we told you about Ellie Light — the fake or maybe-not-fake woman (or man or group?) who had an identical Letter to the Editor published in nearly 50 newspapers around the United States in defense of President Obama. Some conservatives hate her and think it’s representative of the Democrats feigning grassroots support, while everyone else is just lost! The Cleveland Plain Dealer, who originally had the story, thought they figured it out — then, Gawker did. We’re still confused.

The Dealer said that Ellie Light is a nurse from California named Barbara Brooks. Now, their findings include an update at the top stating, “A woman claiming to be Barbara Brooks has now contacted the Plain Dealer and said she is not the letter writer; she claims her ex-husband is running a spoof.” Wait, what?

According to Gawker, Brooks’ ex-husband is Winston Steward:

“I’m not Ellie Light,” she told us. “My husband is. I never told anybody that I was Ellie Light. Winston wrote every single letter. He’s been doing it since he saw that the Gulf War was being fought under false pretenses. I told him from the beginning that he shouldn’t write letters under phony names, but he wanted to get them out there.”

“That wasn’t me,” she says. “I don’t know how they got that. Maybe my husband was impersonating me.” As evidence, she cites this clip of her husband calling into Michael Smerconish’s radio show to claim responsibility for the letters. Steward called in and spoke in his regular voice, and neither Smerconish nor any other listener apparently caught on to the fact that he was a man. If he can pretend to be a woman on the radio without really trying, Brooks says, maybe he talked to the Plain Dealer’s reporter, too.

Now, copycats are coming out of the woodwork to claim they’re Ellie Light. And yet, we’re still confused how one letter can get picked up by so many unconnected newspapers. It’s quite an impressive feat and a question falling by the wayside! No matter who “she” is, what is this magical power she has over editors? Maybe a newspaper should just hire her to write op-ed columns.

Oh, and “I broke the dam!”:


(photo)


Fox News Has Most Viewers On All Of Cable TV In Prime Time Last Week

Back in July, Fox News SVP Bill Shine told Mediaite the network had a new goal – not just be the best cable news network, but be the top cable network overall. “We have news events that pop up and you never know when that will happen,” said Shine. “It’s difficult but we’ll see if we can do it.”

For the first time since the 2008 Election, Fox News was #1 on all of cable last week.

FNC topped USA Network (the usual #1) in prime time, with FNC averaging 3,213,000 viewers last week and USA averaging 3,194,000. No other network came close. In cable news competition, CNN ranked 22nd (980,000) and MSNBC was 25th (761,000).

In total today, FNC finished 3rd. CNN was 19th and MSNBC 31st.

There were some major news events that contributed to FNC’s big win, with the Massachusetts election Tuesday night and Haiti coverage throughout the week. But the victory was notable – FNC hasn’t been #1 since the week of November 3, 2008, and it shows just how competitive the network can be when going head-to-head with non-news cable entities.

They won’t be able to sustain the #1 spot on a regular basis yet, but this puts them in the discussion. And that’s as impressive as it is surprising.

Click here to see the full rankers.

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Who Is Ellie Light? Simliar Letter Published In Newspapers Around U.S.

In a story picking up steam in the conservative blogosphere — even scoring a segment on Sean Hannity’s show last night (video below) — a frequent Letter to the Editor writer Ellie Light has had submissions appear in numerous newspapers around the country in support of President Barack Obama, each time claiming to be a local of that area. First reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Light’s editorials have appeared in the San Francisco Examiner, Philadelphia Daily News and papers from Ohio to Maine, Iowa and California.

Now, many are wondering what the story is with this prolific letter writer. Hot Air wonders if someone is “doing a little Astroturfing for Obama,” and counts the Light letters in nearly 50 newspapers in 23 different states. Newsbusters used the opportunity to slight newspapers: “It should warm your heart to know that mainstream newspaper editors are so out-of-touch, something can appear in the blogosphere and all of their competitors for three weeks without them even noticing.”

Indeed, if it’s a scam, it is an embarrassment for a host of editors from small newspapers. But there are just as many questions for whatever person or group is behind Ellie Light. Do they really think a Letters to the Editor page still matters in a propaganda campaign? It’s almost quaint.

In the Daily News, Light writes:

Today, the president is being attacked as if he’d promised that our problems would wash off in the morning. He never did. It’s time for Americans to realize that governing is hard work, and that a president can’t just wave a magic wand and fix everything.

Not an entirely different message than can be found in more widely read forums across the internet. So, why plant them?

One Plain Dealer reporter has followed the story deeper than most, emailing with Light to affirm her identity. She was eventually told by Light, “I found that editors were eager to present a point of view on the topic that wasn’t so overheated and angry. Indeed, I think the viewpoint that my letter expressed was less important to the editors than the even and non-emotional tone.” No answers there.

But this morning, a woman claiming to be Ellie Light called the radio show of Philadelphia conservative Michael Smerconish. “I’m only me,” she said, according to Politico. “I need to own up – I did misrepresent my home town in some places,” Light continued. “My letter was pretty darn good. It took a long time to write. I took more interest in honing it than most people take today.”

Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald, meanwhile — far from a conservative blogger himself — wrote one possible explanation, if light is indeed being disingenuous. Noted by Hot Air, the Greenwald post describes a paper written by “one of Obama’s closest confidants,” Cass Sunstein. Greenwald summarizes the contents of the Sunstein paper thusly:

Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government).

Keep in mind the above Greenwald piece was written before the Ellie Light situation specifically picked up any notice. A scary proposition and the rest of Greenwald’s take is well worth a read.

Hannity had Michelle Malkin — the Hot Air proprietor — on to discuss the matter last night, where she blamed the Obama administration for “spreading a bogus sense of grassroots support.” Hannity asked if Light might be connected to the Democratic establishment, while Malkin turned the blame mostly to the “gatekeepers” allowing the “astroturfing.” See the whole clip below, and check back for updates on this story as it develops:


Glenn Beck’s Communism Special Is Top Cable News Show In Demo Friday

Cable news ratings, January 22, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

Glenn Beck’s communism special at 5pmET on Friday was the #1 cable news show in the A25-54 demographic. It had a huge number – 1,127,000 viewers. The program was #2 in total viewers, with Bill O’Reilly taking the top spot at 8pmET.

• Fox News didn’t air the “Hope For Haiti” special, but CNN and MSNBC did. They added to the huge broadcast numbers with an addition 1.5 million total viewers combined. But FNC doubled the ratings of CNN and MSNBC combined in both the demo and total viewers during the two-hour block.

• But the top non-FNC program was actually CNN’s show after the special – Anderson Cooper’s 10pmET hour.

Check out all the ratings below, and leave your own thoughts in the comments:

TV NEWS RATINGS: 25-54 DEMOGRAPHIC (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm

Beck

1127

Blitzer

202

Matthews

85

Prime

108

6 pm

Baier

658

Blitzer

194

Ed Show

130

Prime

113

7 pm

Shep

542

Tonight

240

Matthews

88

Issues

115

8 pm

O’Reilly

1038

Hope for Haiti

393

Hope for Haiti

130

Grace

263

9 pm

Hannity

839

Hope for Haiti

393

Hope for Haiti

130

Behar

197

10 pm

Greta

561

Cooper

494

Olbermann

228

Grace

136

11 pm

O’Reilly

555

Cooper

302

Maddow

183

Showbiz

123

TOTAL DAY 521 222 107 145
PRIME TIME 814 428 163 194
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.
TV NEWS RATINGS: TOTAL VIEWERS (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm

Beck

3992

Blitzer

893

Matthews

555

Prime

254

6 pm

Baier

3004

Blitzer

720

Ed Show

572

Prime

259

7 pm

Shep

2376

Tonight

821

Matthews

512

Issues

365

8 pm

O’Reilly

4239

Hope for Haiti

1187

Hope for Haiti

468

Grace

888

9 pm

Hannity

3375

Hope for Haiti

1187

Hope for Haiti

468

Behar

697

10 pm

Greta

2318

Cooper

1387

Olbermann

768

Grace

425

11 pm

O’Reilly

1899

Cooper

729

Maddow

616

Showbiz

387

TOTAL DAY 1972 776 416 341
PRIME TIME 3317 1255 568 656
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Obama Gets ‘Balanced’ Coverage In 2009…Sort Of

Interesting little fact courtesy of Howie Kurtz this morning. Turns out the coverage of President Obama in 2009 was totally fair and balanced…if you look at it from the batting average perspective. Reports Kurtz:

Obama wound up 2009 with balanced coverage — 49 percent positive, 51 percent negative — according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs, which studied the network newscasts, Time, Newsweek and the New York Times front page. But he swooned from 59 percent positive in the first four months of the year to 39 percent positive from August through December.

The researchers, from George Mason and Chapman universities, found the president drawing 46 percent positive evaluations on the NBC, ABC and CBS evening newscasts. By comparison, those networks were harder on George W. Bush (23 percent positive), Bill Clinton (28 percent) and Ronald Reagan (26 percent) in the first year of their terms.

In a sharp contrast, Obama drew 22 percent positive coverage on the first half-hour of Fox News’s “Special Report,” which most resembles a newscast. The study found his evaluations “consistently negative” all year, skidding to 14 percent positive in the last four months.


Which most resembles a newscast
! Anyway, one glance at the current headlines is enough to surmise it may be a while before Obama enjoys the sort of coverage he started 2009 with. Also, this is obviously less a measure of “balanced” reporting than it is a schizophrenic news cycle that just happened to average out well. One thing is for certain, it’s going to be an interesting year, as Obama (reportedly) so ably put it: “The big difference here and in ‘94 is you’ve got me.” Don’t we all know it.