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.


Bill O’Reilly Tops NBC’s “Comedy Night Done Right” Thursday

Cable news ratings, January 21, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

Bill O’Reilly’s 8pmET program Thursday night didn’t just beat all other cable news networks, it had more total viewers than the 8pmET comedy line-up on NBC, averaging a whopping 4,838,000 total viewers. That was 1.4 million more than the 2nd place cable news show.

Glenn Beck’s communism documentary 5pmET show placed him in second in the A25-54 demo, but Sean Hannity was #2 in total viewers.

Nancy Grace had the top non-FNC show on HLN at 8pmET in both categories.

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

895

Blitzer

115

Matthews

92

Prime

158

6 pm

Baier

708

Blitzer

172

Ed Show

136

Prime

166

7 pm

Shep

746

Tonight

238

Matthews

197

Issues

235

8 pm

O’Reilly

1286

Brown

277

Olbermann

313

Grace

352

9 pm

Hannity

882

King

282

Maddow

241

Behar

253

10 pm

Greta

647

Cooper

263

Olbermann

214

Grace

191

11 pm

O’Reilly

554

Cooper

219

Maddow

162

Showbiz

154

TOTAL DAY 565 189 132 179
PRIME TIME 943 274 256 258
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

3323

Blitzer

724

Matthews

554

Prime

359

6 pm

Baier

3065

Blitzer

707

Ed Show

616

Prime

308

7 pm

Shep

2844

Tonight

775

Matthews

704

Issues

580

8 pm

O’Reilly

4838

Brown

946

Olbermann

1067

Grace

1080

9 pm

Hannity

3415

King

970

Maddow

923

Behar

878

10 pm

Greta

2548

Cooper

898

Olbermann

673

Grace

465

11 pm

O’Reilly

1696

Cooper

616

Maddow

452

Showbiz

374

TOTAL DAY 2058 654 460 396
PRIME TIME 3615 938 888 786
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Anderson Cooper Continues Streak Of Top Non-FNC Cable News Show Wednesday

Cable news ratings, January 20, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• Fox News ratings continue to put them in a league of their own – far and away the best cable news network in all categories. But the top non-FNC cable news show was Anderson Cooper’s once again Wednesday night, in total viewers and the A25-54 demographic. CNN’s 10pmET program has seen a bump in the ratings since Cooper has been reporting from Haiti.

• The top show overall was Bill O’Reilly’s, again, at 8pmET for Fox News. The program had more total viewers than even The Jay Leno Show.

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

965

Blitzer

163

Matthews

79

Prime

94

6 pm

Baier

665

Blitzer

189

Ed Show

99

Prime

127

7 pm

Shep

827

Tonight

221

Matthews

159

Issues

151

8 pm

O’Reilly

1273

Brown

260

Olbermann

251

Grace

235

9 pm

Hannity

928

King

298

Maddow

216

Behar

144

10 pm

Greta

754

Cooper

373

Olbermann

192

Grace

178

11 pm

O’Reilly

598

Cooper

289

Maddow

115

Showbiz

116

TOTAL DAY 593 231 110 151
PRIME TIME 985 310 220 180
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

3705

Blitzer

765

Matthews

518

Prime

197

6 pm

Baier

2915

Blitzer

774

Ed Show

472

Prime

263

7 pm

Shep

2689

Tonight

750

Matthews

584

Issues

448

8 pm

O’Reilly

4632

Brown

807

Olbermann

1016

Grace

665

9 pm

Hannity

3618

King

1039

Maddow

870

Behar

685

10 pm

Greta

2958

Cooper

1147

Olbermann

629

Grace

300

11 pm

O’Reilly

2052

Cooper

840

Maddow

358

Showbiz

266

TOTAL DAY 2185 764 433 328
PRIME TIME 3737 997 838 535
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Soundbite: Americans Are Stupid And (Thanks To FOX) Misinformed

Absolutely amazing poll results from CNN today about the $787 [billion] stimulus package: nearly three out of four Americans think the money has been wasted. On second thought, they may be right: it’s been wasted on them.”

Snap! Time’s Joe Klein opines on where the stimulus money was really wasted. He goes on:

So, two thoughts:

1. The Obama Administration has done a terrible job explaining the stimulus package to the American people…especially since there have been very few documented cases of waste so far.

2. This is yet further evidence that Americans are flagrantly ill-informed…and, for those watching Fox News, misinformed.

Conclusion?

It is very difficult to have a democracy without citizens. It is impossible to be a citizen if you don’t make an effort to understand the most basic activities of your government. It is very difficult to thrive in an increasingly competitive world if you’re a nation of dodos.

Perhaps President Obama should consider enlisting Klein to pen Wednesday’s State of the Union…it would certainly make for interesting listening.


Fox’s Hemmer Back From Haiti: “Never Been So Proud To Be An American”

Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer returned from Haiti this week, after covering several aspects of this tragic story.

His excellent reporting brought the images of Haiti into viewers homes, like many other correspondents on the array of news outlets. Earlier this week we spoke to his colleague Steve Harrigan – Mediaite spoke to Hemmer yesterday afternoon.

Mediaite: Now that you’ve returned, and can reflect a little on the story, what do you take away most from the story in Haiti?

Hemmer: I think there’s always part of you left behind on stories like that. Watching on a monitor now is strange. When you hear reports from hotel Montana or the airport or a hospital or some parks we’d file reports from, you know what’s happening to the right and left of it. Our cameras are able to capture a pretty good chunk of that story but not all of it. What you miss through the TV screen is the sheer enormity of the disaster. You would need the world’s widest lens to capture all of it.

“I have never been so proud to be an American.”

Mediaite: What did you find the hardest to convey in your reports?

Hemmer: The number of people affected. We can talk about it until blue in the face, but how do people understand 500,000 people, a million people living outdoors, in every nook and cranny of the city. Their houses are not flooded, their houses are destroyed. It’s still an ongoing challenge as a reporter. The other factor is, we’re all human beings. Maybe some people are prepared for the overwhelming experience, but most of us are not. Your heart breaks for these people who are in need of so much. They’ll ask for food or water or medical help or a ride to hospital. Imagine that. What you experience, day to day, street to street neighborhood to neighborhood. The other story I liken it to was New York City on 9/11.

>>>NEXT PAGE: Hemmer on reporters getting too close to the story and a lasting image.


Shep Smith And The Amazing Friday Afternoon Dog Rescue

This might be the best thing you watch today (maybe this week, actually, all things considered). This afternoon Fox anchor Shep Smith brought his famous car chase narration abilities to a dog rescue. The dog in question somehow fell into the Los Angeles River this afternoon and Shep followed his increasingly desperate struggle down the river, and subsequent helicopter rescue(!) by the L.A. fire department, as only Shep can. If you don’t watch Shepard Smith on a regular basis this is a good chance to see one of the reasons he’s so adored.

“Of course the dog is scared! How could it not be terrified? Like there’s a wind machine above me and now there’s a man in red and yellow suit coming at me. Get him! Get him! Don’t hurt anybody now. Be a good doggy. He doesn’t mean anything bad….Think how scared the dog is now. First you’re in the water, then you’re streaming down the water, then there are people throwing rafts at you. Then there’s a chopper overhead and now some dude has come and grabbed you. And if you’re the dog you’re like what are you going to do to me now. Now I’m going to fly! Now I’m a flying dog?!

It’s even better on television. Video below.



Sarah Palin (And Bristol!) Quietly Return To Oprah Today

It is perhaps a measure of what a snoozefest the first interview was that new FOX contributor Sarah Palin’s appearance on today’s Oprah Winfrey has barely made a ripple in the headlines. Nevertheless, Palin, with daughter Bristol in tow, apparently popped up on today’s ‘Fridays Live’ Oprah.

Alas, the vid isn’t embeddable but according to Oprah’s site the Palin’s will be talking “about her new TV gig. Plus, Bristol Palin on life as a single teenage mom, premarital sex and what she wants to say to young girls everywhere.” No word on whether Bristol also addressed the fact she is suing Levi Johnston for child support.

Related:
Top Ten Outrageous Sarah Palin Stories Oprah Will Have To Address