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Those Fox Ratings Don't Necessarily Mean The Country is Moving To The Right

Posted by: David Kiley on March 4, 2005

I confess to a guilty pleasure. Though I know TV and radio blatherers like Sean Hannity and just about everybody on Air America, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly are full of (my Mother reads this) beans, I find myself listening to the shows, especially the righty shows, on Sirius radio on my way home from work. This might explain the following bad news for CNN. The cable network’s ratings dipped 16 percent overall and 21 percent in prime time during February, according to Nielsen Media Research, as some of the cable news channel’s biggest stars lost viewers. Fox News was the only one among the four cable news networks to post ratings gains during the month.

The right wingnuts think that their ratings are proof that the country is moving to the right on cultural issues. I’m not so sure. My take is this: The Prime Time Shows on Fox are killing their counterparts on CNN in prime time because they are more entertaining to listen to or watch, not because more people agree with the loony positions of the hosts.

I agree with almost nothing uttered by Hannity, who is the most intellectually lazy creature I have observed since Junior High summer school (I had a summer job. I wasn’t taking a class.) Hannity and the others so outrageous, cockeyed and idiotic in their "logic" and on-air control tactics (I'm not criticizing their positions, only how they arrive at them) that it's more fun to listen to them than to Paula Zahn playing it straight.

I know a lot of people who are left of center who watch and liosten to these shows. But it's not because they are in synch with their politics. The dirty secret is that a lot of liberals and moderates watch and listen to these right-wing nutballs just to get pissed off and worked up. And to laugh.

The only one I can think of to take a bite out of O'Reilly's franchise from 8Pm to 9PM for CNN is Al Franken. And maybe not even him. O'Reilly playing it straight is often funnier than Franken going for a joke.

Reader Comments


September 27, 2007 11:07 PM

interesting article, you talk about how ridiculous these talk show hosts / entertainers are... and yet you have nothing to back it up? no evidence? you seem to only bash the hosts, not provide anything more logical.

ill pass on your opinion as it seems rather childish in its 'bashing' approach. no thanks


October 25, 2007 11:50 AM

jon, He doesnt have to back it up. tune in and these loud mouths speak for themselves. Anyone with a brain knows that.

Stephen Harris

May 17, 2009 1:53 PM

It is a documented process of socialists to use inflammatory language to attack opponents. This case is no different.

Socialists (the second S in USSR)will often state they are open other opinions, just so long as your opinion is the same as theirs.

Spend some time in Europe/Canada - the socialists use the USA as targets when their own plans fail - the process is so repetitive. It's a pathetic experience. It's a soul sucking experience.

In short, GO FOX GO - give the people what they want.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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