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I meant to post this late last week, before leaving town. Things snowballed, just a bit, and I never got a chance to do it. So, the graduations are now history, but the post remains.
I'm headed out for a weekend filled with college graduation activities, but wanted to leave all of you with something to chew on while I'm gone. You've probably noticed all the reports lately about how Katie Couric is being trounced in the evening news race. Just in case you haven't been paying attention, allow me to present a couple of examples of the coverage and what commenters are saying. Then, I'm going to pick a fight...
Last week's CBS Evening News viewership was the lowest it has been since at least 1987. It's accurate to call it [...]
It surely wasn't what CBS dreamed about when Katie Couric was hired: the "CBS Evening News" last week recorded its smallest audience since 1987, and probably many years before that. It also didn't help that the average of 6.05 million viewers came at the beginning of the important [...]
In fact, I believe just the opposite may be true. I believe viewers are leaving the major networks because they are looking for something more exciting, more directed at their political view. This would explain the increase in ratings for both O'Reilly and, gasp, Olbermann (among others). I think the major networks have been stuck in their "comfort zone" far too long, afraid to venture out and take a chance. While they've been hunkered down in familiar territory, the cable folks have been challenging them with attitude.
I believe we're seeing a surge in political awareness, urged along by easy access to the internet and a wide variety of opinions. Blog posts, forwarded emails, controversial websites - they all contribute to the political knowledge of Americans and our neighbors around the world. Many of you watch O'Reilly because you agree with his positions on major issues; some of us watch that other guy (the name that can't be spoken) for much the same reason. That is the reason Olbermann's ratings continue to increase. I know a couple of you will come up with some numbers you believe show just the opposite. But, when you back off and look at the trends, it's been generally positive for Olbermann and Countdown. Sure, there are going to be ups and downs, as the political climate and the stories of the day change. If you really want to argue about it, I'll start pointing out that Olbermann's audience is younger and the viewers have something better to do some evenings than just sit on their backsides and watch TV.
Don't you see? It's a new ballgame. Questionable political actions that were once part of the daily routine in Washington, and could easily be lost in the blizzard of bureaucratic paperwork, are now being spotted. And questioned. Rather than get all hot and bothered by something Olbermann says, why not just watch the people you want, ignore him, and realize that the tables will be turned if a Democrat wins the Presidency in 2008. That, at least, would give O'Reilly somebody other than George Soros to pick on!