Maddow’s CPAC Visit Gets Her Top Non-FNC Show Thursday

Cable news ratings, February 18, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

Rachel Maddow visited CPAC Thursday, and her 9pmET MSNBC program, which was based largely around her experience, was the top non-FNC show in total viewers and the A25-54 demographic. The top show overall was, again, Bill O’Reilly’s.

• Will CNN go the entire week as the fifth ranked cable news network in the demo during prime time, behind even CNBC? It was night #4 Thursday night – and in total viewers as well. For the first time all week, Larry King’s show, featuring a Floyd Landis exclusive, was the lowest 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

608

Blitzer

189

Matthews

85

Prime

65

6 pm

Baier

544

Blitzer

181

OLYMPICS

*

Prime

100

7 pm

Shep

532

Blitzer

173

OLYMPICS

*

Issues

162

8 pm

O’Reilly

732

Brown

126

Olbermann

266

Grace

228

9 pm

Hannity

566

King

120

Maddow

277

Behar

140

10 pm

Greta

399

Cooper

154

Olbermann

155

Grace

217

11 pm

O’Reilly

268

Cooper

132

Maddow

75

Showbiz

140

TOTAL DAY 383 151 127 165
PRIME TIME 565 133 233 192
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

2524

Blitzer

766

Matthews

436

Prime

265

6 pm

Baier

2342

Blitzer

679

OLYMPICS

*

Prime

283

7 pm

Shep

2176

Blitzer

680

OLYMPICS

*

Issues

408

8 pm

O’Reilly

3074

Brown

560

Olbermann

901

Grace

778

9 pm

Hannity

2168

King

592

Maddow

916

Behar

570

10 pm

Greta

1564

Cooper

576

Olbermann

503

Grace

472

11 pm

O’Reilly

1033

Cooper

329

Maddow

267

Showbiz

307

TOTAL DAY 1550 545 425 349
PRIME TIME 2269 576 773 594
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Charles Krauthammer’s War Against the 1970s

Newsweek and The New Republic recently published “America the Ungovernable” and “Is America Ungovernable?“, respectively, making the case that perhaps the recent political, economic, and social turmoil in the country is not a product of bad leadership, but the nature of the nation. If two major news and political publications run with the story, it’s officially a trend.

Luckily, Charles Krauthammer is around to nip this mildly insulting talking point– we’re ungovernable as a people?– in the bud before it spreads like wildfire (to MSNBC). Simply put, Krauthammer is not buying the portrayal of the American people as an angry rabble of anarchists and contrarians because he was here when the media tried this to protect a weak Democrat the first time around.

In his Washington Post op-ed today, Krauthammer notes that putting the blame of an inefficient government on the people was all the rage in the late 1970s, when then-president Jimmy Carter was having trouble garnering bipartisan support for his policies:

“In the latter days of the Carter presidency, it became fashionable to say that the office had become unmanageable and was simply too big for one man. Some suggested a single, six-year presidential term. The president’s own White House counsel suggested abolishing the separation of powers and going to a more parliamentary system of unitary executive control. America had become ungovernable. Then came Ronald Reagan, and all that chatter disappeared.”

In the old days, Newsweek was trying to sell America as an irrational mob, also, he declares. But his ire is not limited to what he sees as a new wave of Carterism in the press, but to his fellow columnists elsewhere who have expressed some partisanship towards the President. He takes stabs at Tom Friedman’s alleged desire to turn America into China and a flip-flop from New York Times‘ columnist Paul Krugman on the filibuster, which he claims Krugman was for before he was against it. “Just yesterday,” Krauthammer writes, “the same Paul Krugman was warning about ‘extremists’ trying ‘to eliminate the filibuster’ when Democrats used it systematically to block one Bush (43) judicial nomination after another.”

Such a multilateral attack to the left will likely push some buttons, though maybe not the people attacked in the article, but their counterparts on TV. At the very least, this would be worthy of a spot on Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Persons” any other time of year when CPAC isn’t happening. Should Krugman et al choose to respond, however, someone should probably get the popcorn ready.


Still Last: CNN’s Prime Time Demo Ratings Stay Low Wednesday

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

• For the third night in a row, CNN had the lowest ratings on cable news in the A25-54 demographic – behind FNC, HLN, MSNBC and even CNBC. This is a troubling trend – it has now happened just nine times in CNN’s history and this is the fifth time in February.

• The #1 show, by far, was Bill O’Reilly’s for Fox News at 8pmET in total viewers and the demo. #2 was Glenn Beck at 5pmET.

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

566

Blitzer

117

OLYMPICS

*

Prime

84

6 pm Baier

448

Blitzer

132

OLYMPICS

*

Prime

73

7 pm Shep

417

Blitzer

111

OLYMPICS

*

Issues

140

8 pm O’Reilly

714

Brown

100

Olbermann

256

Grace

261

9 pm Hannity

501

King

125

Maddow

154

Behar

136

10 pm Greta

345

Cooper

107

Olbermann

120

Grace

166

11 pm O’Reilly

372

Cooper

107

Maddow

109

Showbiz

145

TOTAL DAY 385 120 118 162
PRIME TIME 529 111 177 184
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

2500

Blitzer

647

OLYMPICS

*

Prime

199

6 pm Baier

2346

Blitzer

520

OLYMPICS

*

Prime

170

7 pm Shep

1806

Blitzer

404

OLYMPICS

*

Issues

347

8 pm O’Reilly

3230

Brown

409

Olbermann

971

Grace

751

9 pm Hannity

2087

King

717

Maddow

773

Behar

513

10 pm Greta

1508

Cooper

488

Olbermann

512

Grace

461

11 pm O’Reilly

1256

Cooper

332

Maddow

315

Showbiz

361

TOTAL DAY 1493 456 404 340
PRIME TIME 2284 538 752 565
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Why Can’t Cable News Anchors Win On Jeopardy?

MSNBC host Chris Matthews appeared on last night’s episode of Jeopardy, and despite a valiant comeback, he fell short, losing to Charles Shaughnessy of Mad Men.

Add Matthews to the list of cable news anchors who can’t pull out a victory on the long-running quiz show.

Here’s how FishbowlDC described the performance:

For once, the chatty host was on the receiving end of rapid-fire answers. He apparently knows his President Obama trivia and his South American geography.

Matthews finished the first round with just $400 and was in third place, but worked his way back into contention with a strong Double Jeopardy. But he finished 2nd.

Last year two CNN anchors performed much worse: Wolf Blitzer and Soledad O’Brien finished in third place during their appearances. It got the New York Post to snarkily declare:

CNN should consider banning its anchors from appearing on “Celebrity Jeopardy” after the humiliating defeats of Wolf Blitzer and Soledad O’Brien.

Matthews did pretty well, but the journalism profession is in dire need of a Celebrity Jeopardy win over the Hollywood elite.

—–
» Follow Steve Krakauer on Twitter


Joe Scarborough Takes Aim at the Right: “Am I Not Conservative Enough?”

Joe Scarborough is getting a little tired of the accusations that naturally follow from being one of the last remaining conservatives on MSNBC. The Morning Joe host wrote a column on Town Hall making an impassioned defense of his conservative ideals, aptly titled “Am I Not Conservative Enough?“, mostly directed at Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell.

Bozell attacked him on the MRC blog earlier this week in a column claiming his commentary was increasingly “stupid, or reckless, or provocative, or insulting, or a combination of all the above” (Or, as Scarborough puts it, “you would think that I threw my lot in with a pack of pot smoking Greenwich Village Marxists.”) Instead, he argues, he has maintained his values:

Republican leadership…became more liberal with Americans’ tax dollars and it was large swaths of the Washington conservative establishment who sat silently by because they enjoyed being in power so much that they never bothered to let their principles get in the way of supporting reckless GOP party bosses.

It all seems to get at the root of a misunderstanding between Bozell and Scarborough – while Bozell claims to have never written about Scarborough, Scarborough went on the offensive in reaction to attacks on the MRC-related watchdog blog Newsbusters, which he implied were direct attacks from Bozell. Newsbusters has done some extensive work on Scarborough, and seem to be dead set on disproving his conservative tendencies. Scarborough himself points out in his piece that, while most of his hate mail is from antagonistic liberals, “mixed in with all those slanderous emails that call me everything from a fascist to a white supremacist, I usually find one email from Newsbusters asking why I hate conservatives.” Bozell, however, was not the author of any of these pieces despite being the Newsbusters overlord.

Within Scarborough’s multi-layered attack he also takes aim at fellow conservative Glenn Beck, and confirms his distaste for the Fox News commentator that helped get him in trouble with Newsbusters in the first place. In fact, despite the article being mostly directed at Bozell, he seems to have left his most scathing attack for Beck: he contrasts him to Ronald Reagan, arguing that Beck’s divisive tactics would have sunk Reagan’s presidential campaign definitively in the 1980s. He makes a point of excluding Beck when he explains that on his program, “I stand alone in my defense of conservative media figures like Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly or Fox News.”

Attacking a who’s who of conservatives in an article attempting to prove his conservatism is a gutsy and counter-intuitive move on Scarborough’s part, one that is not very likely to get Newsbusters off of his back. And given that Beck is not one to back down from or attack people on his side of the aisle, has Scarborough tangled up the situation even further?


CNN Sinking – Another Fifth Place Finish In Prime Time Demo

Cable news ratings, February 16, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• CNN prime time is shedding viewers, especially in the important A25-54 demographic. For the eighth time ever, fourth time this month and second night in a row, CNN’s prime time finished in 5th place in cable news – behind FNC, HLN, MSNBC and even CNBC. On sister network HLN, Nancy Grace had the top non-FNC show in the demo.

Bill O’Reilly had the #1 cable news show in both categories, while Glenn Beck was #2 and Bret Baier #3.

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

 

709

Blitzer

 

114

Matthews

 

69

Prime

 

58

6 pm Baier

 

488

Blitzer

 

141

OLYMPICS

 

*

Prime

 

146

7 pm Shep

 

467

Blitzer

 

161

OLYMPICS

 

*

Issues

 

180

8 pm O’Reilly

 

808

Brown

 

132

Olbermann

 

236

Grace

 

250

9 pm Hannity

 

482

King

 

166

Maddow

 

207

Behar

 

136

10 pm Greta

 

404

Cooper

 

226

Olbermann

 

135

Grace

 

252

11 pm O’Reilly

 

462

Cooper

 

126

Maddow

 

91

Showbiz

 

163

TOTAL DAY 405 134 102 152
PRIME TIME 564 175 193 208
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

 

2852

Blitzer

 

534

Matthews

 

450

Prime

 

165

6 pm Baier

 

2422

Blitzer

 

537

OLYMPICS

 

*

Prime

 

274

7 pm Shep

 

2017

Blitzer

 

564

OLYMPICS

 

*

Issues

 

481

8 pm O’Reilly

 

3316

Brown

 

448

Olbermann

 

852

Grace

 

723

9 pm Hannity

 

2152

King

 

775

Maddow

 

764

Behar

 

503

10 pm Greta

 

1658

Cooper

 

674

Olbermann

 

519

Grace

 

554

11 pm O’Reilly

 

1379

Cooper

 

320

Maddow

 

329

Showbiz

 

333

TOTAL DAY 1577 491 394 341
PRIME TIME 2376 632 712 580
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Daily Beast’s Top 25 Left-Wing Journalists: Redefining Journalism, One Comedian at a Time

After releasing a pretty inclusive list of the Top 25 Right-Wing Journalists in America, Daily Beast columnist Tunku Varadarajan took on the other half of the aisle, putting together a list of the most powerful and influential American liberals. In many ways, The Top 25 Left-Wing Journalists list is much more eclectic than it’s conservative counterpart, and includes a much larger number of personalities that toe the line between entertainers/commentators and journalists– many, in fact, that are solidly in the entertainment or commentary camp.

Preempting the criticism that many of these individuals – most notably Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who holds the top spot – are not journalists, Varadarajan presents his own definition of “journalist”: “anyone whose primary vocation is to supply, edit, host, or curate information, news reporting, criticism, or opinion.” A healthy base-covering word salad, but does this mean that anyone whose job it is to “host” “information” (Alex Trebek) or “supply” “opinion” (SNL’s Seth Meyers) is eligible? Perhaps they were simply not influential enough, since the list is replete with print journalists and bloggers, from Markos Moulitsas to Arianna Huffington, leaving many TV personalities by the wayside.

Unlike the conservative list, there are two glaring omissions on this list: MSNBC stars Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann. While they are most definitely not journalists in the conventional sense, they certainly host and edit information and opinion, and no one dishes out more criticism than Olbermann. Their equally partisan colleague Rachel Maddow makes an appearance on the list at number 11 (an incredibly low ranking if it’s true she is feeding the DNC talking points), so why not them? Perhaps they are intentionally excluded to make a statement about how much respect they have lost as commentators for their outlandish behavior. Matthews (but not Olbermann) was included in a 2008 list Varadarajan compiled for Forbes, although that list is mostly discredited by the inclusion of Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan as a liberal (!).

For the right-wing list, I noted that “whether the list is accurate in its depiction of journalist depends more on the reader’s personal definition of the word than anything inherent in the list’s structure.” Now that we have a definition to work with, it’s not the inclusions that are perplexing, but the exclusions. How Jon Stewart is any more of a journalist than Keith Olbermann is anyone’s guess, and the implication that Stewart is vying for journalistic supremacy with the right-wing #1, Wall Street Journal editor Paul Gigot even more far-fetched. But working with what we’ve got, let’s see how the top five on the Daily Beast’s list fare on the Mediaite Power Grid:

Washington Post editor Fred Hiatt ranks at number 5 on the Beast list, but all the way down at #92 on the Power Grid. Even ignoring the fact that many consider him to be a neo-conservative, ranking him as more influential over Maddow among liberals, or even less opinionated but more influential journalists like Christiane Amanpour, when his job is to maintain the page that regularly publishes Charles Krauthammer is confusing, to say the least. His much more liberal New York Times counterpart David Shipley comes in at #4, but is absent from the Power Grid. He meets both the political requirement and the influence one, though how much influence print journalism has anymore is also a question. Huffington comes in at #3, a spot behind her Power Grid #2 rank. No controversy on the ranking here, though the Huffington Post is unfairly described as “the first unquestionably successful online aggregator” (Drudge Report, anyone?).

Proving that the New York Times editorial page is only as powerful as its writers, Paul Krugman takes the #2 spot for being the “leading liberal political economist.” The Power Grid agrees, ranking him at #1 among columnists (and with the runner-up being Michelle Malkin, he has little competition to worry about). And, finally, Jon Stewart, inexplicably at #1, ranks among TV hosts only at #34 (behind Rachel Maddow!) on the Power Grid.

While the list is fair to the field and The Daily Beast does take special care to keep it fair and balanced compared to the right-wing list, they choose to redefine journalism so they get the pick of the litter in ranking, rather than just narrowing the field or not using the word journalist at all. Or maybe it’s best if they keep their rankings to the right.