Lou Dobbs Talks Arizona Immigration On Fox News – Guess Which Side He’s On

Missing in all the Arizona immigration law debate in the media was one familiar cable news personality – Lou Dobbs.

The former CNN host, who made illegal immigration a major topic on his program for years, weighed in on the topic upon entering Bill O’Reilly’s No-Spin Zone last night.

O’Reilly set up the interview by jogging the memory of those who may not remember the Lou Dobbs of CNN fame. “Former CNN commentator Lou Dobbs became a very controversial guy with his tough stand against illegal alien intrusion,” he said.

So – what say you, Lou Dobbs? “It’s entirely defensible and it will withstand any challenge by the justice department or by any group that wants to,” he said.

More from Dobbs:

Arizona has every right to take these steps, particularly where this government is quite conscious, this administration, is refusing to enforce immigration law either internally or at the border.

While Dobbs fed the red meat anti-Obama administration policy to O’Reilly’s audience, O’Reilly reminded Dobbs that the border wasn’t any more protected under former Pres. Bush, referencing his “shoot-out” with Karl Rove last week. Dobbs agreed – after all, he became forever connected to immigration policy during the Bush years.

It’s actually surprising Dobbs hasn’t been on Fox News, where he has served as a semi-regular guest since leaving CNN abruptly in November, more since the Arizona immigration story became big news. Dobbs may not be an official Fox News contributor, but his presence on any network when it comes to illegal immigrants lends an immediately recognizable player in the debate for years.

Dobbs has recently been a guest on FNC’s little brother – Fox Business Network – for John Stossel’s April 29 show on trade (immigration wasn’t really a topic). Still, the fact that Dobbs was a guest on Stossel’s show is a little surprising. It was only six months ago that Dobbs was calling Stossel a “self-important ass.”

Check out the full interview here:

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CNN: Most Trusted Name In The Coming Apocalypse (But Fox News Still #1)

Cable news ratings, May 7, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• Ok, ok, that headline’s mostly a joke. But in looking at the ratings from last week (below are Friday’s numbers), CNN had one of their best week’s recently (Fox News still dominated, but CNN was #2 in most other categories). Why? Well last week we had an apocalyptic week of breaking news – from the oil spill to the terror plot to the stock market.

Bill O’Reilly was #1 in both categories – Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity tied for #2 in the demo.

• On Friday, there was a drop-off for CNN from the rest of the week. They were 3rd in prime time total viewers and 4th in the demo.

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

Beck

482

Blitzer

136

Matthews

119

Showbiz

111

6 pm

Baier

406

Blitzer

198

Ed Show

124

Prime

110

7 pm

Shep

327

King, USA

157

Matthews

91

Issues

125

8 pm

O’Reilly

659

Brown

136

Olbermann

202

Grace

161

9 pm

Hannity

482

King

128

Maddow

172

Behar

150

10 pm

Greta

384

Cooper

210

Who Do You

151

Grace

125

11 pm

O’Reilly

487

Cooper

214

Investigates

144

Showbiz

119

TOTAL DAY 303 155 100 127
PRIME TIME 508 138 175 143
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

1900

Blitzer

497

Matthews

518

Showbiz

183

6 pm

Baier

1819

Blitzer

489

Ed Show

500

Prime

226

7 pm

Shep

1302

King, USA

409

Matthews

499

Issues

342

8 pm

O’Reilly

2554

Brown

492

Olbermann

883

Grace

589

9 pm

Hannity

1720

King

530

Maddow

831

Behar

382

10 pm

Greta

1716

Cooper

611

Who Do You

411

Grace

295

11 pm

O’Reilly

1511

Cooper

532

Investigates

268

Showbiz

272

TOTAL DAY 1119 434 361 287
PRIME TIME 1996 545 708 477
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Memewatch: President Obama Attacks iPad?

This should be fun. In a commencement address at Virginia’s Hampton University yesterday, President Obama fed meme-hungry media types the kind of quote they can really sink their teeth several millimeters into. The NY Post already has the President “declaring war on technology,” and Fox News says he “Warns Grads of iPad Peril.” The combination of über-pop-buzzword “iPad” and lightning-rod POTUS is almost irresistible, with even the Huffington Post missing the point of what Obama was really saying.

They’re seizing on this statement by the President, and interpreting it as an Apple slam:

And with iPods and iPads; and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — (laughter) — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.

What they’re missing, of course, is the preceding sentence. Here’s the full quote:

And meanwhile, you’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank that high on the truth meter.  And with iPods and iPads; and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — (laughter) — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.  So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.

He wasn’t slamming the iPad, but rather the content of dubious truth-metering that is available on it.

Mediaite’s Glynnis MacNicol isolated one valid takeaway, that the President warning college grads about new media signal-to-noise sounded a little bit out of touch. Personally, I’m worried about these people who get their news off of the Xbox. Maybe that explains all the gun rallies, they’re tooling up for the imminent God of War attack.

What’s funny is that I was just wondering if President Obama has some kind of apple obsession. I mean the fruit, not the iStuff producers. When the White House released this photo of the POTUS and Elena Kagan this morning, with a bowl of what appear to be McIntoshes in the foreground, it reminded me of the towers of green apples that adorned every table at last year’s Father’s Day barbecue. Note to Sarah Palin: Is this all part of his plan to “keep the doctor away?” Wheels within wheels, man. Wheels within wheels.


Red Eye Explores ‘Andrew Breitbart-Eric Boehlert: Separated At Birth’

Fox News’ late night comedy/news show Red Eye explored a topic raised by The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel last week – Andrew Breitbart’s new Twitter image.

With Breitbart in studio, ombudsman Andy Levy got the answer right from the source – what’s with the Eric Boehlert lookalike picture?

Breitbart is no fan of Media Matters – his Twitter bio says, “I have to cover the sickening freaks at Media Matters.” But since last week, his Twitter picture looks very similar to that of Media Matters Senior Fellow Eric Boehlert. “Are you guys BFFs?,” asked Levy in Friday’s Postgame Wrap-Up. “What’s going on here?”

“There’s a love…that is unrequited,” said Breitbart. “And I am doing everything I can to requite it.”

During Breitbart’s encounter with Mediaite’s Rachel Sklar last week in D.C., he joked about attending the Media Matters after party. And he’s making good use of another encounter from the White House Correspondents Dinner in D.C. – with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. The image is now his Twitter background.

Check it out:

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» Follow Steve Krakauer on Twitter


Fox News Dominated Cable News Ratings As Market Crashed

Cable news ratings, May 6, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• As the news broke about the stock market crash, and then rebound, on Thursday, Fox News dominated the ratings. From 2:30-4pmET, FNC averaged 1,065,000 total viewers – more than CNN and MSNBC combined. During that time, CNBC averaged more viewers than CNN or MSNBC as well. FNC more than doubled 2nd place CNN in total day as well.

• The top non-FNC show was Keith Olbermann’s on MSNBC at 8pmET in both categories.

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

Beck

444

Blitzer

136

Matthews

140

Showbiz

96

6 pm

Baier

411

Blitzer

153

Ed Show

150

Prime

129

7 pm

Shep

369

King, USA

153

Matthews

143

Issues

202

8 pm

O’Reilly

632

Brown

162

Olbermann

273

Grace

247

9 pm

Hannity

501

King

156

Maddow

258

Behar

216

10 pm

Greta

484

Cooper

217

Olbermann

219

Grace

220

11 pm

O’Reilly

511

Cooper

234

Maddow

218

Showbiz

164

TOTAL DAY 303 154 117 151
PRIME TIME 539 178 250 224
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

1942

Blitzer

586

Matthews

515

Showbiz

261

6 pm

Baier

1927

Blitzer

495

Ed Show

635

Prime

257

7 pm

Shep

1548

King, USA

411

Matthews

679

Issues

459

8 pm

O’Reilly

3001

Brown

516

Olbermann

1163

Grace

740

9 pm

Hannity

2002

King

628

Maddow

976

Behar

619

10 pm

Greta

1893

Cooper

743

Olbermann

604

Grace

498

11 pm

O’Reilly

1283

Cooper

554

Maddow

414

Showbiz

425

TOTAL DAY 1178 449 419 326
PRIME TIME 2299 629 914 610
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Newsweek Accuses MSM Of Ignoring Nashville Floods (Now That They’re Finally Covering It)

When media outlets are expected to report on at least five massive news stories at the same time, one of those will probably be left by the wayside. In his piece “Why the Media Ignored the Nashville Flood,” Newsweek’s Andrew Romano suspects that the devastating flooding in Tennessee was the unlucky cause. Without a political angle or a patron in the media, he argues, there was no compelling reason for outlets to cover the story more than any of the other incidents, though, given CNN’s thorough coverage last night, Romano might have jumped the gun.

“Sheer volume of coverage has become its own qualification for continued coverage,” Romano notes, blaming the media of following its peers more than discovering stories on their own. If one major outlet takes to the Gulf oil spill or the Times Square bombing, the others will follow. It’s part of the competitive nature of the business, and usually the topic that proves most popular prevails. The tragedy of the people of Nashville, however, a place at the heart of American culture with plenty of star power to boast (a musical telethon was held yesterday to collect funds), should have made it into the news cycle, if only for the news that FEMA is succeeding in sending aid and, despite the destruction, spirits remain admirably high. But there is more to this than circular logic of the media only following stories the media follows.

According to Romano, the “narrative” of the Nashville flood was too straightforward and not as manipulable as the developments in the Times Square bombing or the Gulf oil spill:

The problem for Nashville was that both the gulf oil spill and the Times Square terror attempt are like the Russian novels of this 24/7 media culture, with all the plot twists and larger themes (energy, environment, terrorism, etc.) required to fuel the blogs and cable shows for weeks on end. What’s more, both stories have political hooks, which provide our increasingly politicized press (MSNBC, FOX News, blogs) with grist for the kind of arguments that further extend a story’s lifespan (Did Obama respond too slowly? Should we Mirandize terrorists?). The Nashville narrative wasn’t compelling enough to break the cycle, so the MSM just continued to blather on about BP and Shahzad.

Here Romano gets at something deeper, though he ignores one major factor: the media wasn’t really covering the oil spill all that much until earlier this week, several days removed from when the story broke. The round-the-clock coverage only seemed to take hold once the politicization began and pundits realized that there was a catchphrase in it for both sides (“drill, baby, drill” vs “Obama’s Katrina” and subsequent derivations of either). Unfortunately for the flood story, that coverage for the oil spill began to pick up a few days before the first flood warnings were issued in Tennessee (you can see the evolution of the oil spill coverage here). The Times Square bomb story also came to life on May 1st, anticipating the real damage in Nashville by a few days.

Perhaps Romano jumped the gun on this piece and the media is simply waiting out the halflife of the oil spill and terror stories before the dive into the damage in Nashville. They are already backed up on covering the oil spill story, and the emergence of a new terror plot only hindered that future. Compile that with whatever it was the stock market did yesterday and the riots in Greece, and that’s at least four days’ worth of backed up news.

There are some indications that the media is finally getting around to Nashville: Anderson Cooper covered the story live from Nashville last night, and both Fox and MSNBC devoting significant time to the flood as of yesterday. If Romano is right on his first point and media outlets do feed off of each other excessively, it’s quite possible other news sources will follow Cooper’s lead and give the story it’s due.


FNC Wins Prime Time, But CNN Wins Day Time In Demo Wednesday

Cable news ratings, May 5, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• Fox News Channel was, as usual, far ahead than the cable competition in prime time on Wednesday in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic. But CNN was the top cable news network in the demo from 11-4pmET. FNC still won in total viewers.

• The top cable news show was Bill O’Reilly’s 8pmET FNC show by far in both categories. The top non-FNC show was Anderson Cooper’s in demo and Keith Olbermann’s in total viewers.

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

Beck

627

Blitzer

168

Matthews

86

Showbiz

89

6 pm

Baier

459

Blitzer

138

Ed Show

195

Prime

61

7 pm

Shep

398

King, USA

138

Matthews

130

Issues

132

8 pm

O’Reilly

812

Brown

163

Olbermann

217

Grace

174

9 pm

Hannity

543

King

128

Maddow

193

Behar

128

10 pm

Greta

481

Cooper

253

Olbermann

218

Grace

178

11 pm

O’Reilly

491

Cooper

237

Maddow

181

Showbiz

234

TOTAL DAY 301 177 120 136
PRIME TIME 612 181 209 159
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

2376

Blitzer

672

Matthews

507

Showbiz

218

6 pm

Baier

2147

Blitzer

556

Ed Show

714

Prime

201

7 pm

Shep

1636

King, USA

470

Matthews

650

Issues

348

8 pm

O’Reilly

3220

Brown

671

Olbermann

1071

Grace

708

9 pm

Hannity

2131

King

571

Maddow

1032

Behar

529

10 pm

Greta

1792

Cooper

953

Olbermann

550

Grace

507

11 pm

O’Reilly

1587

Cooper

564

Maddow

385

Showbiz

514

TOTAL DAY 1173 511 424 311
PRIME TIME 2381 732 885 581
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.