MSNBC Spent More Time Than Any News Outlet On James O’Keefe Last Week

Now that we know the whole James O’Keefe arrest was really just a “misunderstanding,” we probably won’t be hearing as much about it.

Except of course on MSNBC, which spent significantly more time covering the story last week than any other news outlet, on TV print or the web.

The O’Keefe arrest happened one week ago today, and immediately became part of the news cycle on cable news and elsewhere. But as details emerged, and other events like the State of the Union became the main topic of conversation, the story fell to the background.

But on MSNBC, that wasn’t the case, according to the Pew study out today about last week’s news coverage:

The O’Keefe arrest was the No. 9 subject in the media overall last week, at 2% of the newshole. But on MSNBC, with a liberal prime time talk lineup, the story accounted for 12% of the coverage studied last week. Conversely, the O’Keefe story accounted for only 1% of the airtime examined on Fox, with its conservative evening lineup. CNN’s coverage level, 2%, was much closer to Fox than MSNBC.

12% to 2% to 1% – that’s a huge margin.

This was likely because of a Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, who spent large portions on Tuesday and Thursday covering the story, and David Shuster, who went down to New Orleans to cover the story on the ground (and had a well-publicized interview shouting match with Andrew Breitbart).

This goes beyond cable news though. The PEJ survey looks at 52 different outlets, from print to the web to TV and radio. And although O’Keefe and his cohorts showed up on the front page of the New York Times last weekend, the paper didn’t cover the story very much at all last week as a whole.

What will happen this week? The story has been discussed several times on MSNBC already, according to TV Eyes.

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FNC #1, MSNBC #2 With “Question Time” Special In Prime Time Friday

Cable news ratings, January 29, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• Fox News was the top rated cable news network in prime time Friday, as usual and by a lot. But #2 was MSNBC (again, by a lot) in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic. This was in large part due to MSNBC’s decision to air “Question Time” (as it’s being called) – the Q&A between Pres. Obama and the House GOP – as well as commentary from Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews.

• There was some extremely low ratings for Anderson Cooper at 10pmET on CNN – 92,000 in the demo and 428,000 in total viewers. Those was the lowest ratings of any program on any cable news network in prime time.

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

725

Blitzer

97

Matthews

91

Prime

101

6 pm

Baier

556

Blitzer

120

Ed Show

82

Prime

132

7 pm

Shep

542

Blitzer

119

Matthews

92

Issues

192

8 pm

O’Reilly

899

Brown

137

Question Time

294

Grace

285

9 pm

Hannity

763

King

152

Question Time

319

Behar

142

10 pm

Greta

528

Cooper

92

Question Time

244

Grace

126

11 pm

O’Reilly

478

Cooper

153

Question Time

254

Showbiz

114

TOTAL DAY 450 134 132 139
PRIME TIME 730 127 286 179
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

2806

Blitzer

516

Matthews

503

Prime

222

6 pm

Baier

2446

Blitzer

611

Ed Show

453

Prime

267

7 pm

Shep

2028

Blitzer

533

Matthews

558

Issues

462

8 pm

O’Reilly

3797

Brown

600

Question Time

1118

Grace

746

9 pm

Hannity

2941

King

553

Question Time

1320

Behar

573

10 pm

Greta

2071

Cooper

428

Question Time

820

Grace

458

11 pm

O’Reilly

1673

Cooper

489

Question Time

790

Showbiz

410

TOTAL DAY 1733 495 505 338
PRIME TIME 2937 529 1083 576
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Bill O’Reilly Reaches Nearly Five Million Viewers Thursday

Cable news ratings, January 28, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

Bill O’Reilly was not just the top-rated cable news host Thursday night, he had almost five million total viewers (4,799,000). Coming in second place was Glenn Beck, with 3,514,000 total viewers. Sean Hannity finished in second place in the A25-54 demographic.

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

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

910

Blitzer

147

Matthews

71

Prime

120

6 pm

Baier

685

Blitzer

146

Ed Show

110

Prime

107

7 pm

Shep

663

Blitzer

116

Matthews

149

Issues

197

8 pm

O’Reilly

1246

Brown

166

Olbermann

250

Grace

331

9 pm

Hannity

996

King

263

Maddow

312

Behar

249

10 pm

Greta

648

Cooper

268

Olbermann

218

Grace

181

11 pm

O’Reilly

537

Cooper

224

Maddow

146

Showbiz

217

TOTAL DAY 530 166 112 159
PRIME TIME 966 233 260 251
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

3514

Blitzer

599

Matthews

449

Prime

278

6 pm

Baier

2980

Blitzer

669

Ed Show

507

Prime

210

7 pm

Shep

2795

Blitzer

533

Matthews

575

Issues

437

8 pm

O’Reilly

4799

Brown

677

Olbermann

1107

Grace

895

9 pm

Hannity

3461

King

1048

Maddow

1037

Behar

970

10 pm

Greta

2437

Cooper

799

Olbermann

668

Grace

391

11 pm

O’Reilly

1714

Cooper

564

Maddow

483

Showbiz

435

TOTAL DAY 1963 603 457 354
PRIME TIME 3569 842 938 742
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


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.