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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004


    January 21, 2005
    A Perfect Ten

    Just when it seemed things couldn't get any grimmer, now Olby has a new reason to throw things at the camera:

    Wednesday cable news ratings, 8:00 pm:
    THE O'REILLY FACTOR: 2,890,000 viewers
    COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN: 280,000 viewers

    Bill O'Reilly is now getting more than ten times as many viewers as KO. Even the ill-conceived Donahue show, cancelled for low ratings, never lost to O'Reilly by ten-to-one! As always, Olby lost a chunk of his lead-in audience, but this time fully one third of Hardball viewers deserted MSNBC when KO's show came on.

    How long can The Powers That Be allow Keith to bleed viewers? When will they finally pull the plug on this catastrophe? Answer unclear; ask again later.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (15) | | View blog reactions

    15 Comments

    So, JD, you giving any thought to who you'll attack once MSNBC wakes up and smells the coffee on KO? Perhaps KO's low ratings don't matter to MSNBC--maybe he's fully funded by the DNC. If so, that'll no doubt surface when fallout from the Williams scandal requires all media types to fully disclose such relationships. Imagine the possibilities...

    An Armstrong Williams reference in the first comment posted. Most excellent, dude! Now, how to find a way to bring Ohio and Kerik into this...

    Oh, that niggling nuance nuisance...I failed to convey satire by including a "happy face". My bad. Seriously, assuming that KO's been banished and you've celebrated appropriately, who's your (next) "daddy"?

    Frankly, it's inexplicable to me why O'Reilly has so many viewers. His show is a snore and as Andrew Sullivan has said "he argues like an ignorant drunk".

    I think one has to consider the possibility that Olby is so off-putting to viewers that his very presence on MSNBC drives the audience elsewhere, i.e. to Mr Bill.

    You both have valid points. Preference is very subjective. I find some of KO's mannerisms annoying, some of his humor lame--(but courageous...if you've done much humor, you take my meaning--it's not for the faint of heart)--and much of his editorializing gtatuitous. If it seems so to me, it must put you right over the edge.

    Although I've limited exposure to Andrew Sullivan, I respect him immensely, even though we often disagree. To me seems a deep thinker, good listener and one who truly (sincerely)respects dissenting opinion. I couldn't articulate his take on O'Reilly any better...it's simply inspired. Thanks for sharing it, C.

    Another reason Mr. Bill grabs ratings may be that he's been doing it awhile. Also, let's face it, viewers today develop strong opinion-based loyalties. We want our opinions to be reinforced. That's what special interest media does. Conservatives got the jump on liberals in this arena (despite the right's insistence that there's still a prevalent left-wing media bias; and perhaps because liberals once relied on it). For validation, conservatives turn to Fox, and have done so now for years. Plus, viewers want to be shocked. They love to witness confrontation. Fox and shows like the now defunct "Crossfire" provide plenty of volume and spectacle. Trad news is boring. We want body slams. Infotainment is king. Truth can also be boring, finite. Lies can go anywhere our imaginations take us. And by the time a lie can be discredited, it's often either engrained or passe'.

    Just random thoughts...didn't mean to ramble.

    Paul,

    I'm not so sure that viewers do want something akin to gladiator theater in their news and politics show.

    Crossfire's rating have always been pretty low haven't they? The show was good when it was hosted by Michael Kinsley and Sunu...Sinunu...Sen..oh hell.. that guy who worked in the Bush administration and was forced to resign for using a govt plane for a personal trip. But for the last several years it's been unwatchable.

    Now that I think about it, while we're on the subject of Crossfire, I never understood why John Stewart's gig was such a hit. The guy comes on to bad-mouth the show for being the equivalent of one of those World Federation of Wrestling shows and then ends up calling one of the hosts a vulgar name. How's that for consistency? Then Stewart defends himself against Tucker's accusations of soft treatment for democrats by saying his show is just comedy. But Stewart gets all offended when Carlson says, then stick with comedy ...get off your criticism and be funny...which is why we invited you here... Talk about someone who gets to have it all ways...

    But I digress... what I'm saying, Paul, is that I think you're right about people wanting their own ideological tilt to a show, but it seems to me fight-fests tend to fail. MSNBC has canceled a slew of them. I suppose Hannity and Combs can get a bit heated but not anything over-the-top.

    --So, JD, you giving any thought to who you'll attack once MSNBC wakes up and smells the coffee on KO? --

    Well that day may not be far off. So I think we should mount a campaign to convince CBS to give Olby Dan Rather's spot. A perfect fit! And it will keep OlbermannWatch going strong.

    I assume satire, even though I find it tough to detect it in posts at times, but other than jokingly, to me, suggesting that Olby is within miles of Rather is a bit of a reach. I know repubs think Dan's a dog, but like him or hate him, he started as a real reporter and established significant cred as one. I think it tragic that an entire career, one of merit and distinction can be marginalized simply because one lost his or her way (or perhaps fell victim to his/her own PR). Opinionated or not, partisan or not, Rather's was one heck of a news man (past tense intentional).

    Laugh it up if you like. I think it's a shame.

    Thanks, C.

    We were typing simultaneously. Stewart's a whole different thing. I'd been watching "Crossfire" daily as long as I could stand it, for months. Suffice it to say, good riddance to "Crossfire." I definitely liked its pinch-hitters better than its regulars.

    I see why you feel that way about Stewart, but his whole point was that "Crossfire" WASN'T a comedy or an entertainment show. Rather, it was supposed to be debate, when in fact it was little more than a WWE match without bodily contact. Stewart's initial point questioned the restoration of civility in discourse. And Tucker Carlson ultimately showed him why it rarely occurred on "Crossfire".

    "The Daily Show" has evolved into a satirical political commentary program, admittedly liberal, and Stewart is openly supportive of dems. For Carlson to think JS had to "be funny" when appearing on his "debate show" is, in my opinion, shallow indeed. (Just as shallow as Carlson's take of JS's questioning of John Kerry). And the ever proud, always pugnacious, Carlson couldn't back off. He had to try to get the upper hand...after all, it was HIS show. Jon's no dummy, and he let Tucker have it. Carlson was impaled by his own sword...poetic justice. And the audiences loved it. It made for great TV, for all the reasons we succumb to such spectacles (which I alluded to earlier).

    I try to stay away from talking about "The Daily Show" in relation to these other "legitimate" news/commentary vehicles, but it's indeed hard, because there's significant subject matter crossover. And the lines just keep getting blurrier.

    BTW, which shouting matches has MSNBC recently cancelled?

    Oh they've had their share of shout shows. Curtis and Kuby (a disaster), Buchanan and Press (better than just a 'shot show' actually), and of course Michael Savage (who didn't need a counterpart to shout at).

    You're right that Rather has had a much more distinguished journalism career than Olby. It's just that Olby in the CBS chair would be a gift that keeps on giving.

    At least it would keep this site alive.

    Wow! I obviously don't watch enough TV :D

    I think CBS is crawling up inside itself these days. Doubtful we'll see any "experimentation" over there.

    Bob I think you need to get your blog tuned, there seems to be a background noise that keeps reappearing like a static someum someum. It wouldn't be so bad if it just occurred now and then but sometimes it goes on and on. Reminds me of my X, she always had to get the last word.

    Happy Face

    "There is a specific instance in which a telejournalist's blog probably did increase his audience---LOTS of people started watching Olberman because he was staying current in his blog on the Ohio election issue."

    Of course, this is from the guy who put Mary Mapes in touch with Bill Burkett...