Shuster: ‘Fox Is Far More Conservative Overall Than MSNBC Could Ever Be Liberal’

We’ve seen today what many in the media world (and even Press Secretary Robert Gibbs) thought of the highly-rated Bret Baier exclusive interview with Pres. Obama.

There’s one more from earlier in the day – MSNBC’s David Shuster. He also had some general thoughts on his network and Baier’s.

Here’s the key quote, which Shuster says after he and his guests talked about the interview specifically for a few minutes:

I’ve worked at both places, and you could find this from every media analyst who’s objective: Fox is far more, far more, conservative overall than MSNBC could ever be liberal. It’s not a question of one is five points to the right and one is five points to the left, it’s not like that at all.

David Freddoso of the Washington Examiner kind of summed up my reaction: “I don’t know exactly how you would quantify that.”

I have a feeling you may have something to say about this – watch, and discuss:

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Obama Interview Brings Big Ratings For Baier

Cable news ratings, March 17, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

Bret Baier’s exclusive interview with Pres. Obama Wednesday made Special Report the 2nd highest rated show on cable news in total viewers, finishing 3rd in the A25-54 demographic. The program was up 22% increase in total viewers and 23% bump in the demo from its March averages. It also topped the cable news competition (CNN, HLN, MSNBC) combined at 6pmET.

• The #1 show on cable news was Bill O’Reilly’s again, while Glenn Beck finished #2 in the demo.

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

679

Blitzer

67

Matthews

104

Prime

96

6 pm

Baier

635

Blitzer

105

Ed Show

82

Prime

53

7 pm

Shep

557

Blitzer

128

Matthews

163

Issues

94

8 pm

O’Reilly

932

Brown

150

Olbermann

219

Grace

179

9 pm

Hannity

699

King

147

Maddow

221

Behar

100

10 pm

Greta

565

Cooper

184

Olbermann

182

Grace

160

11 pm

O’Reilly

532

Cooper

117

Maddow

105

Showbiz

120

TOTAL DAY 426 114 103 123
PRIME TIME 735 161 208 144
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

2465

Blitzer

454

Matthews

486

Prime

222

6 pm

Baier

2907

Blitzer

420

Ed Show

537

Prime

224

7 pm

Shep

2177

Blitzer

465

Matthews

655

Issues

325

8 pm

O’Reilly

3650

Brown

477

Olbermann

1022

Grace

765

9 pm

Hannity

2565

King

755

Maddow

960

Behar

535

10 pm

Greta

2329

Cooper

727

Olbermann

625

Grace

502

11 pm

O’Reilly

1663

Cooper

411

Maddow

449

Showbiz

341

TOTAL DAY 1639 455 415 307
PRIME TIME 2851 653 869 590
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Fox News Reports Breaking News… That Was Broken 18 Months Ago

The Casey Anthony trial is going on right now, and FNC’s Harris Faulkner reported some “breaking news” this afternoon that ABC News had paid Anthony $200,000.

Unfortunately, this news was broken 18 months ago.

Faulkner is live from the “breaking news desk” with the news. “Something was confirmed that had only been rumored before, where did she get all the money to pay the attorney’s up til now,” she said.

Interesting – and yes, this was now said under oath. But here’s what I reported at TVNewser in September 2008:

Still, much of the focus turned to ABC News. The network aired exclusive home video footage of the Anthony family on GMA Friday morning and on 20/20 Friday night. The Orlando Sentinel’s Hal Boedecker was first to report, “ABC News did not pay for interviews or the home video…but ABC News told me that it did license the home videos and photographs.”

An ABC News insider tells TVNewser the network paid $200,000 to license “several hours worth of home videos.” The insider also says NBC was involved in a bidding war for the footage. A second source inside ABC tells TVNewser all three broadcast networks bid on the material which was eventually licensed to ABC.

We don’t blame Faulkner – she’s just reporting it. Also, to be fair, MSNBC reported the news as well (not breaking). But shouldn’t there be a little vetting before the breaking news scroll gets used?

Here’s the “breaking news” report:

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How MSNBC and Others Covered Fox News’s Exclusive Obama Interview

You’ve seen the exclusive Fox News interview between Bret Baier and Pres. Barack Obama – and so did the media as a whole.

How did MSNBC, NBC, Time, Hot Air and more react to the much-hyped interview? Check it out:

This morning on NBC’s Today show, Kelly O’Donnell delivered a news report on the interview. While she described it as “contentious” and “a spirited exchange,” it was pretty straightforward. But last night on Countdown, Lawrence O’Donnell (filling in for Keith Olbermann for a few weeks) had a different take, noting all the interruptions. “It is just impossible to imagine anyone from Fox interrupting former President Bush or Vice President Cheney in the matter you are about to see,” said O’Donnell, before playing an edited minute of all the interruptions in the 20-minute interview.

CNN briefly touched on the interview as well. Larry King said this while talking with Penn Jillette: “The President appeared on Fox News earlier today. He went into hostile territory, the host interrupted him, spoke more than the Pres…anyway, he talked health care and politics.”

Below is the Countdown clip, and on the next page, see how Newsweek, Big Journalism and more thought about the interview:

>>>NEXT PAGE: What did Time, Newsweek, Hot Air and more think of the interview?


Did Bill O’Reilly Go Soft In His Interview With Janet Napolitano?

Bret Baier’s interview with President Obama wasn’t the only intersection of Fox News and the White House yesterday; Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano appeared on The O’Reilly Factor last night as well. And where the Baier/Obama sit-down was at times contentions, Bill O’Reilly was remarkably nice in interrogating the individual with whom he has vocally criticized, particularly during the Christmas Terrorism scare of three months ago.

It isn’t a surprise really – O’Reilly is no longer the flame thrower that he was when he was coming up during the later years of the Clinton administration, and hasn’t been for years. Candidly, its hard to tell if O’Reilly has become more moderate or there are just more extreme examples of the form, but that is a post for another day.

The polite and respectful tone with which Napolitano was treated is completely consistent with O’Reilly’s modus operandi; he is, after all, a self-described traditionalist. And treated elected officials (and cabinet members at the highest level) with respect and decorum is a tradition that O’Reilly has always followed. But its instructive that O’Reilly played so nice with Napolitano on the day that Obama appeared on Fox News with another host. Perhaps he was demonstrating to the current administration just how he would play with the president – not soft, but respectful and courteous in tone.

The great hope here is that Obama and his staff see the virtues of going on The Factor; its something that we recommended to the president back in September. In fact, one can only wonder where we would be with the current Health Care debate had the White House chosen to engage with Fox News, instead of developing an inimical relationship with the dominant cable news outlet.


Obama’s “Hawaiian Earthquake” Sends Conservatives Into A Tizzy

Last night, the right-of-center side of the blogosphere jumped all over President Obama’s reference to what they thought was a non-existent Hawaiian Earthquake in 2006. Writers for the site Hot Air and Gateway Pundit, among others, predictably used the comment as an example of Obama’s “one size fits all” government-funded solution to any problem. But even worse, it was seen as an even more indicting example of his presidential cluelessness, because of course, “Hawaii hasn’t had an earthquake since 1972!” Actually, on this one, Obama was right.

President Obama’s interview with Special Report host Bret Baier yesterday was seen by many as a draw. In truth, many saw the drama surrounding the build-up to the interview was more compelling than the actual interview. Then came Hawaiian Earthquake dust-up and, well, here we are.

Writer Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit was the first to notice the odd reference:

Either Obama’s completely making up stuff now or we all missed some horrible devastating earthquake in Hawaii…President Obama said tonight that he agreed with “The Louisiana Purchase” in Obamacare because it also covered the earthquake in Hawaii….In 1868 there was a major earthquake in Hawaii that killed 77 people. In 1975 an earthquake in Hawaii killed 2 people.

Then Cassy Fiano at Hot Air got in the act, writing:

This moment, from Bret Baier’s interview on Fox News with Obama, might just be one of the biggest “WTF?!” moments from Obama’s presidency yet. Obama is either completely making things up, living in an alternate reality, or really, really confused. …

Apparently, there was a devastating earthquake in Hawaii that we all somehow missed.

Oh, wait, no. That’s right. There was no earthquake, and Obama is just totally clueless, as usual. In fact, the last earthquake in Hawaii to cause any deaths at all was in 1975, and two people died.

In any case, why is he using this argument, anyways? He’s turned this health care bill into a one-size-fits-all solution for everything. Not only will it fix our health care, but it will apparently create jobs and give disaster relief around the country!

The meme was then picked up by numerous other right-of-center blogs and, as usually happens with Internet memes, sort of started a life of its own. Of course, it is completely germane to criticize the merits of an enormous, and some would say byzantine health care bill that allows for additional medical coverage in the event of a natural disaster (though phrased that way, it sort of makes sense.) But to claim that Obama is confused or somehow making things up because of this Hawaiian earthquake reference? Well that’s just plain wrong.

Why? Because there actually WAS an earthquake in Hawaii in 2006. And, no — it wasn’t just some slight tremor, it was considered by many to be a disaster — even then president George W. Bush declared it a major disaster so that it could receive Federal Aid (big government!)

Video and transcript of the exchange is below:




Transcript provided by Fox News:

BAIER: Do you know which specific deals are in or out, as of today?

OBAMA: I am certain that we’ve made sure, for example, that any burdens on states are alleviated, when it comes to what they’re going to have to chip in to make sure that we’re giving subsidies to small businesses, and subsidies to individuals, for example.

BAIER: So the Connecticut deal is still in?

OBAMA: So that’s not — that’s not going to be something that is going to be in this final package. I think the same is true on all of these provisions. I’ll give you some exceptions though.

Something that was called a special deal was for Louisiana. It was said that there were billions — millions of dollars going to Louisiana, this was a special deal. Well, in fact, that provision, which I think should remain in, said that if a state has been affected by a natural catastrophe, that has created a special health care emergency in that state, they should get help. Louisiana, obviously, went through Katrina, and they’re still trying to deal with the enormous challenges that were faced because of that.

(CROSS TALK)

OBAMA: That also — I’m giving you an example of one that I consider important. It also affects Hawaii, which went through an earthquake. So that’s not just a Louisiana provision. That is a provision that affects every state that is going through a natural catastrophe.

Now I have said that there are certain provisions, like this Nebraska one, that don’t make sense. And they needed to be out. And we have removed those. So, at the end of the day, what people are going to be able to say is that this legislation is going to be providing help to small businesses and individuals, across the board, in an even handed way, and providing people relief from a status quo that’s just not working.


Bret Baier Part II: Obama Opines On Iran, Israel And Tiger Woods

After serving over a year in office, Barack Obama effectively ignored Fox News, while appearing on nearly every other American television news outlet. That changed today when he sat down for an interview with Special Report host Bret Baier, and chatted about Health Care reform for roughly 17 minutes in a pre-taped segment. The sometimes combative tone of the interview stood in stark contrast to another taped package – the “walk and talk” segment between Baier and Obama – that was likely recorded in advance of the actual sit-down taping. While walking in the halls of the White House, Obama addressed foreign policy issues like Israel and Iran, and even gave a rather forgiving opinion on Tiger Woods.

The first segment was dedicated entirely to the looming vote on Health Care reform. In fact, some have claimed that the real reason behind Obama’s appearance was that he had yet to find all the votes necessary to pass. The walk and talk part was decidedly more relaxed, or perhaps less combative, than the formal interview.

When asked if the situation with Israel, Obama was quick to say no, perhaps in part to tamp down any brewing controversy, wisely giving the public appearance of being calm, cool and collected in a potentially inflammatory foreign policy theater. On the issue of Iran, he was asked if Iran were to acquire a nuclear bomb during the next three years, would his administration be considered a failure. He proudly touted that it was one of their highest priorities to keep that from happening. Finally, when asked of the Tiger Woods controversy, Obama seemed clear in striking a forgiving tone for Woods’ “failing his family.”