Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New Lows (Even for MSNBC)

Just when you think MSNBC can't sink any lower in its criticism of conservatives and traditional American institutions, their talking heads manage to surprise us.

Latest example: Chris Matthews's comments about President Obama's Afghanistan speech. He noted that Mr. Obama delivered his remarks from West Point, a location Matthews described as an "enemy camp," a place that "Paul Wolfowitz would be more comfortable." (H/T: Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner).

While it's easy to dismiss Chris Matthews as an imbecile and a fool, it's also clear that he's merely trumpeting the network's party line. Not to be outdone, Matthews' fellow MSNBC anchor, the noxious Keith Olbermann, recently encouraged Mr. Obama to "declare victory" and get out of Afghanistan now. He also likened Pentagon leaders to a bunch of "perpetually 12-year-old boys who want to stay up all night.'' Stay classy, Keith.

Not that we'd expect anything less from MSNBC, the network that gives left-wing kooks a bad name. But, if it's any consolation, Olbermann's ratings for October were 63% lower than a year earlier. No matter how you spin it, that's a major audience erosion and enough to make the suits worried, although Olbermman remains MSNBC's highest-rated personality.

Making matters worse, ratings for Fox News Channel have soared over the past year; Glenn Beck is dominating the competition at 5 pm, garnering a prime time-sized audience in his early evening time slot. Ratings for other Fox programs have also soared; Bill O'Reilly crushes Olbermann in both total audience and the 18-25 demographic. In fact, Olbermann's program attracts about the same number of viewers as "Happening Now," a Fox newscast that airs between 11 am and 1 pm, EST.

We wonder if Keith's new bosses at Comcast (now in the process of buying NBC) will be as tolerant of his rants--or his ratings. Ditto for Mr. Matthews.


Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

Hypothesis: neither MSNBC nor Fox News is an impartial news service, and neither should be viewed as "respectable" news services due to their bias toward one political leaning or the other.


PCSSEPA said...

Olberman & Matthews = enemies domestic

Jon said...

By the very nature of their business model, broadcast companies are not incented to provide accurate content - they are incented to provide whatever content that will draw the most viewers. NBC and Fox don't make money from their newscasts. They make money from advertising spots during the newscasts, and the rates they charge for those spots depend on how many viewers they can claim. So, the cold hard fact is that neither Glenn Beck nor Keith Olberman are getting paid to tell us the truth. They are getting paid to lure people into watching the ads in their programs. Nothing personal, it's just business.

Timm said...

The 18-25 crowd is the same crowd that is big into the MTV reality series. Heck they even brought back 90210 to see if that drama could get a buzz going again.

Fox does well taking a personal jab instead approach which allures this range. Other networks praise which is really boring. Another trick used by fox is to attack a person which I agree to since it is accountability. The other outlets attack republicans. They were a lot better when they attacked Bush in ratings. Fox has a formula and it has to do with culture. Simple and effective.