ę Ron Fournier on the State of the Union: "Diminished Leader... Americans May Have Already Tuned Out Barack Obama" | Main | The Left Talks a Great Deal About the Evils of Income Inequality, But Is Very Happy to Perpetuate a Regime of Social Inequality Ľ
January 29, 2014

Fox Doubles MSNBC's Ratings, Quadruples CNN's

CNN is faring badly.

umbers compiled by Nielsen Media Research show that Fox News is towering over the competition. Its total viewership surpassed CNN and MSNBC combined, with the gap increasing even further during prime time. Fox even surpassed its own record, coming up 6 percent in prime time viewers from this time last year. Itís great news for the cable network, which saw a slight decline in 2013 but now appears poised to regain that ground and more.

The big story, however, is CNNís precipitous drop in viewership. While MSNBC slowly bled viewers between last January and now, CNN hemorrhaged an astonishing 29 percent of its total viewers. And its prime time numbers are utterly abysmal, with 41 percent of its audience jumping ship in the space of just 12 months.

CNN will probably take from their precipitous decline that people are stupid, and that's why they watch Fox and not CNN. (And why they watch MSNBC and not CNN.)

That's the wrong take. People are in fact largely pretty stupid, but, as regards CNN's ratings health, they're not stupid enough.

It is true that Fox news has a partisan Republican and ideological conservative tilt. I think that's excusable because Fox's raison d'etre is to serve as a counterbalance to the relentless, ubiquitous partisan Democrat and ideological progressive tilt of all the other media (except for upstarts, like The Blaze).

And CNN would be right to think that MSNBC's viewers are stupid and crude, demanding constant partisan outrage fixes and ideological validation, like monkeys habituated to a cocaine drip.

But CNN is very nearly as biased to the left as MSNBC. CNN just uses the old model of media bias, one of implausible deniability. The denial of leftwing bias isn't plausible, but they're going to deny it nevertheless.

CNN would like to position itself as the smart, fact-based, probing news alternative to more demanding news consumers.

But they don't actually do the work necessary to be that. They pantomime their positioning. They offer less hot partisan hype than MSNBC. But scratch just a millimeter deep into Nonpartisan Real News paintjob and you find CNN loaded with all the same bias as MSNBC. They just convey it more subtly.

There probably is an audience for a straight-news, no bias news network. As the market fragments into smaller pieces, different approaches will attract different cohorts and wind up being profitable.

But CNN will never be able to attract such an audience when it continues to be "MSNBC with 50% less overt conservative-bashing and 90% less poop talk."

If CNN wishes to survive, it has to create a unique brand for itself and appeal strongly to an audience (even if that audience is fated to be smaller than MSNBC's and Fox's).

Simply being MSNBC's Somewhat-Better-Behaved-Big-Brother is not sufficiently unique.

On the other hand, if they confessed that Fox has a pretty good point as far as implicit and explicit bias, and sought to eliminate that without taking the next step of adding in Fox's own implicit and explicit bias, they might have a product that people would actually like.

But they won't. Their bias is too important to them. People don't go into the news business to make profits or report, neutrally, on the news. They go into the news business specifically to change minds, and specifically they want to change the minds of conservatives and independents towards the progressive viewpoint.

That's the fun part of the job, the satisfying part. The part that makes up for the fact that most people in the news media don't make a great deal of money, and also, by the way, don't hire many minorities.

I just thought I'd mention that.


digg this
posted by Ace at 02:22 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
...: "I'm in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my ..."

Jane D'oh: "The funniest part of my taking the pic of the stup ..."

Chi-Town Jerry: "One of my fave live BB King videos..https://youtu. ..."

Yudhishthira's Dice: "I'm avoiding the full pile on, because I understan ..."

RickZ: "[I]More than two bumper stickers means the driver ..."

Zod Faulkner: ""...and that was how Granddad told it, that Major ..."

Basement Cat: "[i]More than two bumper stickers means the driver ..."

boulder t'hobo: "I *rarely* put stickers on my car. I put a KTRU ..."

WaterCow: "So, yeah, the impeachment process has begun. And t ..."

Deep State is in DEEP SHIT: "Steven Crowder @scrowder 2h HAHAHAHAHA! Plan ..."

Ladyl urgent prayer needed for Laura and Allison: "66 But it took three sets and I've been tired ever ..."

Jewells45: "[i]Best bumper sticker ever: "I love Jesus. He's b ..."

Recent Entries
Search


Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64