Saturday, 31 March 2007

PRIME TIME CABLE NEWS VIEWERSHIP

Ken Berwitz

Some time ago, my co-author Barry Sinrod (who has stopped blogging here for some reason) claimed that keith olbermann was gaining viewership by leaps and bounds and scaring the gazongas off of Bill O'Reilly.

That was untrue then, as I proved by putting up the viewership olbermann and O'Reilly actually had over a period of time.

But a couple of months have passed and I thought it would be good to revisit this issue.  So here are the latest available viewership levels for prime time cable news shows - from Thursday, March 29, just two days ago:

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FNC O'REILLY                        2,844,000
FNC HANNITY/COLMES          2,299,000
FNC GRETA VAN SUSTEREN  1,689,000
FNC SHEPARD SMITH            1,381,000
FNC BRIT HUME                     1,336,000
CNN LARRY KING                   1,062,000
CNN LEW DOBBS                      874,000
CNN ANDERSON COOPER         756,000
MSNBC KEITH OLBERMANN      712,000
CNNHN NANCY GRACE              646,000
MSNBC JOE SCARBOROUGH    510,000
MSNBC CHRIS MATTHEWS       463,000

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Ok, what does this tell us?

----For one, it tells us that Bill O'Reilly, at least on this particular day, has four times the viewership of keith olbermann.  In fairness to olbermann (a quality he seems to have no personal concept of) the quadrupling is atypical -- O'Reilly usually just triples his viewership.  Either way, however, the idea that olbermann is breathing down O'Reilly's neck is obviously a figment of Barry's imagination.  He isn't. 

----Another thing it tells us is just how completely Fox dominates prime time cable news.  Every Fox News Channel (FNC) show has more viewership than every other cable news show.  Put another way, the lowest rated FNC show has more viewers than the highest rated show on any other cable network.  Wow.

----Then we come to chris mouthews.  For all his bluster and for all his angry, animated, mile-a-minute ravings over all the years he has been on, where is he?  At the bottom of the heap.  Dead last in prime time, unless you count CNBC (which is about as viable as air America).  You have to start wondering whether mouthews is blackmailing Dan Abrams into keeping him on the air. 

----Ditto for Joe Scarborough, the former conservative Republican who seems to have sold out to keep his next-to-last rated show afloat.  Maybe he and mouthews have pictures of Dan with Anna Nicole.

----Finally, we come to the utterly laughable fraud by CNN that Anderson Cooper has cut Hannity & Colmes' lead by 84% (I blogged about their ludicrous advertisement to this effect on February 7 -- please scroll back and read it).  How can you cut Hannity & Colmes' lead by 84% when your TOTAL viewership is about 33% of theirs.  Must be the new math.

I promise to periodically continue keeping you apprised of where the prime time cable news ratings are.  If there are serious changes from what we are seeing right now, I pledge to report them.  But, at this point in time, Fox obviously predominates in every time slot.  And the chicken coop is none too happy about it.


SENATOR FEINSTEIN ON CAROL LAM: TWO VIEWS, SAME SENATOR

Ken Berwitz

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"It has come to my attention, Attorney General Gonzales that, despite high apprehension rates by Border Patrol agents along California's border with Mexico, prosecutions by the US attorney's office Southern District of California appear to lag behind. A concern voiced by Border Patrol agents is that low prosecution rates have a demoralizing effect on the men and women patrolling our nation's borders. It is my understanding that the US attorney's office, Southern District of California, may have some of the most restrictive prosecutorial guidelines nationwide for immigration cases, such that many Border Patrol agents end up not referring their cases. I'm concerned that lax prosecution endanger the lives of Border Patrol agents. 

 
"In 2005, the US attorney's office in southern California (Carol Lam's office) convicted only 387 aliens for alien smuggling and 262 aliens for illegal reentry after deportation. When looking at the rates of conviction from 2003 to 2005, the numbers of convictions fall by nearly half. I'm concerned, Mr. Attorney General, about these low numbers. I would like to know what steps can be taken to ensure that immigration violators are vigorously prosecuted....."

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That excerpt is from a letter from Senator Diane Feinstein to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, dated June 15, 2006 (less than 10 months ago).  As you can see, it asks Mr. Gonzalez to look into the "lax prosecution rates at our Mexican border" which , in her words, "endanger the lives of Border Patrol agents".

The federal prosecutor in question is Carol Lam.  Carol Lam is one of the 8 federal prosecutors fired by President Bush last month.  The ones who he had every legal right to fire without congressional approval.  The ones who were fired exactly the same way numerous other federal prosecutors were fired by previous presidents.  The firings that met with exactly no press scrutiny or examination because presidents have the power and authority to do this, even for political reasons.
 
Diane Feinstein is now one of the senators demanding to know why Carol Lam was fired.  On Thursday, in the course of attacking AG Gonzalez (and President Bush, of course), Ms. Feinstein cited a newspaper report which claimed Carol Lam was one of the three most effective federal prosecutors when it came to immigration cases.  Not one word about her criticism of Lam within the past year and skepticism that she was effective at all.
 
Make of this what you will.  Maybe you could marvel at what utter hypocrisy is being shown here.  Think about how consonant it is with that of so many other congressional Democrats who had no problem with Bill Clinton's firings and hirings of the same people.
 
Then, wait to see this in the mainstream press.  It will give you something to do for the rest of your life.


GUEST COMMENTARY: ED MORRISSEY

Ken Berwitz

Here is a terrific commentary by the brilliant Ed Morrissey, whose own blog, http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/, is always worth reading.

In it, he uses the greatest disinefectant - the light of day - to shine on the stupidity of Pelosi and her pals, and the damage they are in the process of causing to the United States.  Read it below and see for yourself.  Because you won't be reading this in your NY Times or seeing any features about it on the network news or the Today show:

Feed A Foe, Starve A Friend

Let me see if I get this straight. The Democrats want to condemn Turkey for a genocide that the Ottoman Empire committed before the Turks overthrew them, in order to invest Congress with a certain level of moral authority, if not historical illiteracy. At the same time, Nancy Pelosi -- who has pushed for the condemnation of our Muslim ally in the war on terror -- now wants to fly to Damascus to hang on the words of our enemy in the same war (via the indispenable Memeorandum):

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will visit Syria next week, her office announced yesterday, prompting the White House to call the trip "a really bad idea." ...

The White House accuses Syria of sponsoring state terrorism and of fanning sectarian violence in Iraq. The Bush administration has cut off most high-level contacts with Damascus since former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri was assassinated in February 2005. A United Nations prosecutor has implicated Syrian officials in the Hariri slaying.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said yesterday of Pelosi's visit: "Someone should take a step back and think about the message that it sends and the message that it sends to our allies."

Allies? Nancy Pelosi doesn't think we have any, or thinks that the ones we do have are useless. She wants to deliberately antagonize Turkey at a point in time where we need their cooperation, but at the same time wants to suck up to a man who funds, shelters, and organizes the Islamist terrorists who target Israel, the US, and the West.

Is this the kind of foreign policy we can expect from the Democrats if they win the White House in 2008? What kind of message does this send to our allies and enemies? If you work with us, we'll abandon you at the first opportunity, as well as sneer at you for actions your government never took. On the other hand, if you hate us and support religious lunatics in their efforts to murder as many of us and other Westerners as possible, we'll fly to your capitals and prostrate ourselves before you in the name of "diplomacy".

Want to guess which direction this will motivate other nations to turn?

The Democratic leadership has once again demonstrated why no one took them seriously on foreign policy and national security for the last twenty years. It's difficult to achieve this conjunction of idiocy in a single week, but Pelosi & Co have proven themselves just the idiots for the task.


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