MSNBC Fight Club: Sen. Gregg Argues About “Irresponsible Statement”

Andrew Breitbart vs. David Shuster wasn’t the only clash on MSNBC dayside yesterday.

CNBC’s Melissa Francis and MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer had Sen. Judd Gregg on to talk about Pres. Obama’s State of the Union and the budget, and it got heated fairly quickly.

Gregg, who almost was a member of the Obama administration, had some blunt words about the speech. “You don’t get a vibrant economy when the government and the size of the government and the debt of the government is overwhelming the capacity of the economy to function well,” he said.

Francis followed up with “That’s good in theory, Senator. How would you practically…,” and that set Gregg off. “You don’t tell me it’s good in theory. What are you…how do you get off saying something like that?”

Brewer continued. “If you don’t believe that we should have a $1.3 trillion budget, which programs are you willing to cut? Are you willing to tell schools, no money for you?” she asked.

Gregg:

Well, first off nobody’s saying no money for schools. What an absurd statement to make. And what a dishonest statement to make. On it’s face you’re being fundamentally dishonest when you make that type of statement.

The rest of the segment was spent with Gregg chastising Brewer for “the most irresponsible statement I’ve heard from a reporter, probably in a month,” while Brewer and Francis denied that it happened the way Gregg was portraying it.

With all this on-air fighting, maybe it will raise MSNBC’s dayside ratings!

Here’s the interview (via via via):

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Fox News Dominates State Of The Union Cable News Ratings

Cable news ratings, January 27, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• Fox News had the largest cable news audience, by far, last night for the State of the Union, with 5,741,000 total viewers (just more than CNN and MSNBC combined for the speech). They actually improved in the post-speech analysis. In all of prime time, FNC beat CNN/MSNBC/HLN combined in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic.

• Compared to last year’s address to Congress (the Not State of the Union), FNC is up double digits and CNN and MSNBC were down.

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

764

Blitzer

150

Matthews

69

Prime

89

6 pm

Baier

565

Blitzer

152

Ed Show

97

Prime

114

7 pm

Shep

578

Blitzer

169

Matthews

123

Issues

216

8 pm

O’Reilly

1065

SOTU Preview

364

Olbermann

256

Grace

305

9 pm

State of the Union

1843

State of the Union

1130

State of the Union

758

Behar

184

10 pm

GOP Response

2036

GOP Response

884

GOP Response

611

Grace

236

11 pm

Hannity

1220

Cooper

540

Olbermann

439

Showbiz

210

TOTAL DAY 641 271 172 160
PRIME TIME 1608 804 560 237
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

3140

Blitzer

561

Matthews

550

Prime

183

6 pm

Baier

2681

Blitzer

574

Ed Show

515

Prime

206

7 pm

Shep

2165

Blitzer

572

Matthews

602

Issues

503

8 pm

O’Reilly

4067

Brown

1216

Olbermann

1159

Grace

778

9 pm

State of the Union

5741

State of the Union

3326

State of the Union

2410

Behar

513

10 pm

GOP Response

6383

GOP Response

2609

GOP Response

2031

Grace

467

11 pm

Hannity

3636

Cooper

1636

Olbermann

1510

Showbiz

450

TOTAL DAY 2177 871 644 355
PRIME TIME 5244 2441 1928 570
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


More Storylines From The Andrew Breitbart-David Shuster Showdown

Now that Andrew Breitbart and David Shuster have sufficiently yelled at each other on MSNBC over the James O’Keefe III arrest, let’s recap how we got to this point – and what’s next.

Here’s a few of the big storylines.

Twitter has played a major role in the entire back-and-forth.

• It started with O’Keefe, who tweeted the day of the arrest: “I am a journalist. The truth shall set me free.” Shuster responded directly to O’Keefe:

@JamesOKeefeIII a) you are not a journalist b) the truth is you intended to tap her phones c) it’s a felony d) you will go to prison

@jamesokeefeIII oh, and did I mention that your tweet will help prosecutors prove intent? Keep at it, young man. I’m enjoying this a lot.

This jumping to conclusions caused a bit of an uproar in the right-wing blogosphere.

• …And it also seemed to cause a minor uproar within MSNBC. Politico’s Michael Calderone has a response from an MSNBC spokesperson about Shuster’s tweets. “The comments were inappropriate,” said a spokesperson. “We have talked to David about them.” Talked, but something more? Shuster hasn’t tweeted since early Wednesday morning – we’ve reached out to MSNBC to see if he has been suspended from using the service for any amount of time.

• Part of this story relates to the fact that Shuster, after tweeting that, has been the lead MSNBC reporter covering the story since last night. His reports today have focused on whether if O’Keefe broke the gag order by tweeting this last night: “Govt official concedes no attempt to wiretap.”

• And now Breitbart. He tweeted this before the interview today: “I expect Shuster ambush. Already know its on ‘money trail®’. But what other MSNBC gems can be expected now that Watergate Jr is imploding?”

Then there was the big showdown. And then there’s the aftermath.

• Breitbart says Shuster “lied to get me to appear on MSNBC.” Breitbart publishes the email Shuster sent him asking him to appear, which says Shuster doesn’t “have a horse in this race.” Writes Breitbart:

As you see, Shuster is attempting to lure me into this story based upon the false premise of his objective neutrality. Notice he says, “As I said, I don’t have a horse in this race.” A simple Google search of David Shuster and James O’Keefe immediately finds that Shuster went into a Twitter frenzy to tar and feather James O’Keefe and propagated what are now provably false lies about the Landrieu case.

Did Breitbart not know what he was getting into? It’s hard to believe, considering the whole backstory.

Here’s the showdown again:

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Chris Matthews on Obama’s State of the Union: Whoops?

One of the biggest talking points coming out of Obama’s State of the Union address tonight has nothing to do with the President’s agenda for the year — instead, the chatter currently threatening to overwhelm any serious discussion of national issues is MSNBC’s Chris Matthews commenting in the aftermath that “I forgot [Obama] was black tonight for an hour.”

Unfortunately, while Matthews went on soon afterwards to clarify the intention behind that statement on Rachel Maddow’s show (and quick thinking there, MSNBC — it’s like you know how to read Twitter or something)…

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

…The fact remains that the original statement is one of those classic blunders that people just love to clip and recirculate, mostly on YouTube, and his clarification (which is a bit opaque) is unlikely to do much to change matters. Within only one or two hours after Matthews made his comment, at least 10 videos emerged documenting the moment (including the one embedded above from user thinkprocess), with over two hundred cumulative comments being left. By Thursday morning, the incident likely to have exploded well beyond these numbers.

But as viral as it gets, it’s still a zero-sum game. While MSNBC’s web site might see a bump, the overall monetization possibilities are few — especially since it’s hard to imagine them promoting a video of one of their network stars making an inflammatory comment. And as important a conversation as this might be to have, I doubt that we’re going to find a complex discussion of race relations as they relate to our nation’s 44th president in that font of intelligent discourse: YouTube comments.

Chris Matthews Isn’t Sure Republicans Are “Horny For A Victory”

Everyone ready for the State of the Union? Chris Matthews is.

Today on Hardball, when discussing bipartisanship and health care, he used some curious language about what Republicans want. Please watch – “horny” is involved.”

Going to break, Matthews said of Pres. Obama:

I think he really wants a deal now. I’m not sure the Republicans aren’t so horny for a victory right now that they don’t want to deal with anybody on the Democratic side.

The emphasis was on “horny.”

Uh…no idea.

(h/t @KarenHanretty):

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FNC #1, HLN #2 In Prime Time Demo And Total Viewers

Cable news ratings, January 26, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• The top cable news network last night was Fox News (of course) by far, but the surprise was #2. HLN finished 2nd during prime time in both the A25-54 demographic and total viewers. The network also had the top non-FNC shows – Nancy Grace at 8pmET in demo, Joy Behar at 9pmET in total viewers.

• The top show on all of cable news was Bill O’Reilly’s 8pmET program on Fox News, followed by Glenn Beck closely behind in the demo.

Anderson Cooper, still in Haiti, had the top show on CNN 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

936

Blitzer

79

Matthews

91

Prime

149

6 pm

Baier

590

Blitzer

137

Ed Show

92

Prime

160

7 pm

Shep

549

Blitzer

215

Matthews

106

Issues

164

8 pm

O’Reilly

961

Brown

105

Olbermann

197

Grace

326

9 pm

Hannity

843

King

204

Maddow

200

Behar

293

10 pm

Greta

647

Cooper

222

Olbermann

199

Grace

270

11 pm

O’Reilly

521

Cooper

204

Maddow

113

Showbiz

241

TOTAL DAY 511 132 111 190
PRIME TIME 818 177 199 290
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

3196

Blitzer

595

Matthews

543

Prime

352

6 pm

Baier

2624

Blitzer

630

Ed Show

471

Prime

367

7 pm

Shep

2187

Blitzer

643

Matthews

499

Issues

487

8 pm

O’Reilly

3581

Brown

527

Olbermann

818

Grace

914

9 pm

Hannity

3133

King

796

Maddow

726

Behar

949

10 pm

Greta

2415

Cooper

637

Olbermann

508

Grace

590

11 pm

O’Reilly

1754

Cooper

498

Maddow

299

Showbiz

467

TOTAL DAY 1842 486 395 419
PRIME TIME 3044 657 684 796
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


FNC Beats Cable News Competition Combined In All Categories Monday

Cable news ratings, January 25, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• Fox News topped its cable news competition (CNN, MSNBC, HLN) in total viewers during total day and prime time, as well as in the A25-54 demographic in both categories Monday night. The victory was especially rare in the total day demo. The top program was Bill O’Reilly’s at 8pmET for FNC – the only show to attract more than one million demo viewers and four million total viewers.

• The top non-FNC show was Nancy Grace’s 8pmET on HLN in the demo and Keith Olbermann’s 8pmET on MSNBC in total viewers.

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

799

Blitzer

126

Matthews

66

Prime

103

6 pm

Baier

595

Blitzer

143

Ed Show

71

Prime

108

7 pm

Shep

602

Blitzer

197

Matthews

103

Issues

183

8 pm

O’Reilly

1081

Brown

151

Olbermann

220

Grace

317

9 pm

Hannity

819

King

212

Maddow

171

Behar

168

10 pm

Greta

602

Cooper

215

Olbermann

151

Grace

235

11 pm

O’Reilly

546

Cooper

124

Maddow

135

Showbiz

206

TOTAL DAY 484 141 91 155
PRIME TIME 836 193 181 235
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

3145

Blitzer

539

Matthews

444

Prime

275

6 pm

Baier

2766

Blitzer

629

Ed Show

420

Prime

258

7 pm

Shep

2410

Blitzer

686

Matthews

473

Issues

485

8 pm

O’Reilly

4034

Brown

658

Olbermann

960

Grace

914

9 pm

Hannity

2877

King

765

Maddow

689

Behar

854

10 pm

Greta

2469

Cooper

757

Olbermann

434

Grace

509

11 pm

O’Reilly

1671

Cooper

459

Maddow

368

Showbiz

420

TOTAL DAY 1808 515 361 379
PRIME TIME 3132 727 694 743
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.