It’s Not Just Beck That Is Losing The Cable Ratings War

BusinessInsider.com:

 

Fox News has the top 12 most-watched shows so far this year.

Which is perhaps not totally surprising since this marks the network’s ninth straight year as the number one channel in cable.

That is not to say it’s all rainbows and unicorns. (Or cupcakes and caliphates.) All of Fox’s top shows posted double digit losses year over year.

Glenn Beck suffered the biggest drop, losing 30% of his audience compared to the first quarter last year. But he wasn’t alone. Top ranking O’Reilly lost 14% of his audience, Sean Hannity, up a spot from 2010, lost 19%, and Bret Baier, who pushed Beck out of the top three, lost 13%.

Greta Van Susteren, who has been bleeding viewers to Anderson Cooper this month, is down 22.86%.

All in all Fox News actually lost 21% of its primetime audience during the quarter.

Compare this to CNN which is up 28% in primetime and MSNBC which is up 9% (Rachel Maddow increased by 16.65% and Anderson Cooper by 18%) and then take into consideration all the breaking news there’s been since Christmas, and one might begin to draw the conclusion that people are beginning to turn elsewhere for news news coverage.

Another explanation, of course, is that this time period last year was dominated by the health care debate and for much of that period Fox operated as an extension of the opposition. Now that the nation’s focus is international it’s harder to figure out an angle where Obama is bad and … nuclear meltdowns and Qadaffi are good.

*All numbers from Neilsen.

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Hardball: ‘Rise of the New Right’

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Chris Matthews of MSNBC has aired his political documentary covering the trend of radical right-wing extremism taking hold in the U.S.

I think it worth the watch.

“Political novice” is the description Matthews uses for most tea party activists, and I would have to agree. It is rather clear to me, within the confines of my experiences with the tea party, that these people are not lacking in passion but they are extremely lacking in logical framework.

Being a person who has taken an interest in studying political theory I find that I could make a better and more sourced argument in favor of the ultra-libertarian sentiments they promote, I’d just much rather not give them any free talking points. But the strongest trend I have noticed is this complete inability or unwillingness to clarify facts from opinions.

It’s just within my very nature to try to put myself in the others shoes, and because of this I can see were many of them have perfectly valid concerns. But it is the nature of how they go about expressing their concerns. With everything from “Take my country back!” to “Get your government hands off my Medicare!” to “Show me the birth certificate!” to (did you see this nonsense?) “He has a Connecticut Social Security card!” to draw from in terms of not just red hot punditry rhetoric but actual completely insane / stupid positions from actual people. Whom appear to be actually serious with us when they are talking…

The Label of ‘Teabagger’:

I won’t mince words and sit behind my battle lines: the term ‘teabaggers’ when used to discuss the ‘tea party’ is a political slur. It’s a negative label used in a negative way. It is true the ‘tea party’ has used the ‘tea bag’ reference in their rallies and at least one of them online talks about “teabaggin’ since ’09!” But I won’t dodge. Everytime I say ‘baggers or teabaggers I mean it. Just like they mean it when they call progressives “socialists” and “Marxists.” I see the label of ‘teabbager’ as being born out of exactly the kind of McCarhyist language we could hear all day on conservative media. Calling something or someone something it’s not is much like telling clever lies: it just inspires some people to try to lie to beat down the lies and others to just throw up hands in disgust.

Logical Disconnect:

Woman interviewed in Matthews video: “[Republicans] need to put up candidates that actually represent conservatism.”

No, the ‘tea party’ need to define what they think ‘conservatism’ actually means to them.

I have long viewed the tea party as misguided grassroots efforts being proped up by an overly attentive news media in their rallies, and in the organizers it is a mixture of astro-turfing and nationalist militant paranoid fervor based primarily on racism against the first black president.

Barney Frank addressed this issue of the “tea party deficit hawks” in his health care town hall that got  a good deal of media attention for the frivolous exchange about “Nazi policies” and “dinning room table[s].”

If one is claiming to understand the problematic trends of rising deficit against rising inflation in the U.S. then you were opposed to Iraqi and Afghan occupations for exactly this reason. Not to mention the lack of any ‘tea party’ protests over TARP bailout spending. Not one ‘tea party’ protest on Washington, not as long as Bush was in office.

Another argument they often make about the “size of government” being the source of their frustration, is also lacking a logical framework of any sort. Not that they would make the argument, but that that again if you are talking about expansion of government power that again was the Republican Bush II. And just like the deficit issue, almost all of them admit they only ever came to politics / political activism after January 2009.

A final hurdle that all these ‘tea party’ promoters and activists still fail to explain: Why if they are such strict Constitutional scholars do they not see the multiple layers of constitutional infringements in the recent AZ SB 1070 bill? If their worry be “tyranny” then surely “show me your papers” should have them tossing their ‘tea parties’ on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s lawn by now?

Why are tumble weeds blowing by the ‘tea party HQ’ on this one? I mean I can see where maybe some get all confused on the W. unconstitutionality issues, just because you have masters of deceptions and lies like Karl Rove on the case to do combat with to get the facts. But these jokers writing this SB 1070 and some of the after-thoughts of discrimination at FAIR have no such war-hounds working their case. They can be picked off with a pocket constitution and about fifteen minutes worth of reading.

Bottom Line:

From the very beginning I saw the ‘tea party’ movement as just the anti-Obama movement and while it has grown I believe it has only grown to be come the anti-Progressive / anti-Democratic movement. When both their so-called ideological leaders like Bachmann, Palin, Beck, King, etc. and their just everyday inspired folks of their movement cannot come to these simple logical failings in what they spout forth to us a clear level of a lack of intellectual curiosity is boldly revealed on their part. I’ll never believe the Founders intended people to abuse the First Amendment by promoting ignorance over knowledge. And that, is precisely the message outlets like Fox News and the ‘tea party’ are sending out every day.

Repost: Fox “Not-a-news-agency” News is Banned From White House Porch

Obama on FOX-thumb-340x229(Chicago Tribune: Swamp Politics)

Is it a good idea to single out just one outlet in the manner that The Obama White House recently has in the case of removing Fox Broadcasting from the press pool?


At first, I was in favor of the move to ignore the Fox Broadcasting Company by Barack Obama.

His efforts to clear his name on the website “Fight The Smears” stem almost entirely from Fox. He has every right to defend himself from these smear-merchants and radical right-wing propagandist supporters.

The right-wing lobby called “Fox News” (as in the cable pseudo-news) and “Fox News Talk” (as in the radio pseudo-news) is still “not a news organization” in my opinion. But I think this label should include everyone from Comedy Central to HLN to CNN to MSNBC, everyone except PBS and C-SPAN.

It’s been televised tabloidism in place of televised journalism for far too long. In my view.

Any White House that would send a clear signal that The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Countdown, The O’Reilly Factor, and The Glenn Beck Show are all the same thing would be nothing but a benefit in this age of media hate & mass misinformation.

These programs are not news, they are purely entertainment television.

Each of these programs has an agenda, as does the network behind each.

There is nothing wrong with doing agenized news. But it is dishonest and unethical to claim objectivity if you are playing toward a specific political wing, or any specific agenda. This is the greatest offense of the so-called Fair & Balanced Fox Broadcasting. As a network they cater to right-wing political agendas and refuse to declare themselves as a format that promotes conservative ideology. In that case I see it as a function of false advertising on behalf of the network.

All these programs, it‘s important to point out, are television propaganda toward that agenda. Which might be only the agenda to make you laugh.

The broadcasting produced by this political lobby / news agency / entertainment format in only the viewing of it is not dangerous. It is taking these kinds of broadcasts as serious news formats that is problematic in a democratic society.

The informed viewing of propaganda is merely educational. However, to those who refuse to see the difference between opinions and facts the viewing of the propaganda of reckless liars, there is a dangerous situation produced.

Mine is a somewhat complex argument in regards to “The News Wars” between The Obama White House and Fox Broadcasting Company:

It is a good move that Obama is standing up to bad journalism mixed with bad business practices, but a bad move that he singled out Fox News alone when all the news agencies screw something up.

Fox News is just the biggest offender of the smears.

I believe radio and satellite should remain untouched by sweeping regulations, but televised broadcasting of race baiting and McCarthyism is just too much tabloidism for me to handle.

This sensationalist reporting on politics that has been going almost entirely due to Fox News is not exclusive to them, so I think it would be wise to pick out a few other agencies, perhaps CLEARCHANNEL and Comedy Central, to also declare as non-news formats.

It is clear to me when a news group is run by an agenda, thus becoming more like a political lobby than a news group, but it is not clear to everyone.

A President who stands for educating the public should seek to educate people on what exactly “bias” is, and hopefully shed some light on the issue.

The specific near-criminal acts of failure to disclose vital information of a story committed by Fox News should be spoken of plainly and openly if not handled more severely. This tactic of isolation is my only qualm with Obama’s approach to dealing with fake news.

If it is the desire of this White House to tackle the specific crimes against society that Fox has committed, then I would hope the case was made in specifics.

It is my personal view that a news group, of any sort, can lose it’s status as “press” if they fail to uphold the journalistic truth as a matter of course.

I believe Obama did not go far enough to fight unethical journalism and false reporting.

But I certainly agree with the point that Fox has become something other than a news agency when they promote bad journalism that is not related to their “opinion-makers.”

Frank Luntz is a Word-Weasel

Frank Luntz

Rightwing pollster Frank Luntz is out promoting his new book: “What Americans Really Want, Really” and getting his definitions completely wrong in regards to Political Science, which I seriously doubt is an amateurish mistake.

On Alan Colmes Radio, Luntz continued the conservative rhetoric that United States of America is a “center-right country” and his words in explanation of this were very revealing as to his own personal bias against getting the definitions right, even when those words might not serve your own political ends.

This is a center-right country but the definition of ‘Center-Right‘ has changed. ‘Center-Right’ doesn‘t mean keeping government out of our lives anymore, .. now it means fighting corruption.

This is the Word-Weasel at work.

Fighting corruption in both government and private sectors has always been the ideals of The Progressive Reformist Movement since it’s inception and these ideals have remained as a fact of American Life since then. To attach his own ideological group to these values is outright inaccurate.

Frank Luntz is very good at catering messages that appeal to conservatives and work well for The Republican Party but I find the notion that he is not affected by political bias in most of his statements completely absurd.

Center-Right has, and always will, mean exactly what Luntz claimed on the air that it does not mean.

It is clear to me that he feels free to change the definitions of words as he sees fit in order to further his own personal political agenda. If he cannot admit that the nation obviously shifted to Center-Left with the election of a Democratic President, and the ambitions of sixty House seats being attained by The Democratic Party then I am left to question the very conclusions of his work.

No doubt he has attained a great deal of significant data in his 6,000+ focus groups he used to compile his recent book, but if the standards of recognizing professional bias and personal bias are ignored then the conclusions of the body of work become suspect.

This is a Radio-interview Review, not a Book Review, so that body of work is not my focus and I invite anyone interested to avail themselves of this literature.

My only point is that if Frank Luntz is going to change the definitions of sound science to fit his image on a radio show, it begs to question other matters of credibility as well.

In his credit, I don’t believe he ever joined in the hateful mantra of “socialist” aimed at liberals, Democrats and mainly Obama.

On the list of all the partisans out there, Luntz is a minor offender.

But I still find it the worst of offenses to change the words to fit your needs, and considering they call him ‘The Words That Work Guy’; I think maybe it should be elongated to ‘The Words That Work No Matter What Guy’.

Frank Luntz is a smart cookie. But I’d personally almost compared him to Karl Rove, myself. Dancing around the truth has never been part of The Scientific Approach.

What Americans really want, really, is for pollsters to stop telling them what they think when it’s really just what the pollster thinks about what you think.

Partisanship Revisited

It occurs to me that many people in America care little to perceive and discern political partisanship in both the media and coming from representatives of their party.

Partisanship, better described as political hatred, is the driving force in the televised media and has been the bread and butter of radio broadcasting for as long as one cares to recall.

No person who advocates bipartisan coverage in the media is asking others to forego their own conclusions nor to silence their tongue in terms of political commentary.

Those who request a more bipartisan government and a more bipartisan media are only asking that the rancor and untruths spread by both sides be called out as such. We only ask that a person of any political stance be mindful of the simple fact that using slander, propaganda, and biased reporting does not contribute to the body politic of the nation.

The need to declare one’s self as part of any group is also an element of bipartisanship known as ‘full disclosure.’ This fact does not allow any person to call themselves ‘balanced’ and ‘fair’ in their dialogue while they proceed to make vast assumptions and baseless assertions about another group that they do not belong to nor share any common ideologies with.

The value to the nation is lost. These endless left versus right debates with no mutual respect and no interest in reviewing facts in the process is only serving to tear the nation further away from attaining mutual goals.

We the people did this to ourselves, lest someone feels the urge to blame the media.

The people of America seem to enjoy staying perfectly ‘safe’ within their respective spheres of politics and dare not to stray away from the ‘status quo’ generated by whatever biased programming they choose to absorb.

The media only responds to what it perceives the public wants. The public seems to want to drowned in slanderous, untrue, and vague reporting coming from pundits who make their careers off of lying and obfuscating facts about politics.

The bottom line is that media pundits have tied their own noose around their neck. If even one of them were to admit that they say these slanderous remarks and hateful comments to boost their ratings or book sales they would be thrown away by the very people who currently pay them respect.

I assert that if true honesty and true patriotism were to be included in the modern political media that people would reject these current figures in the media and exchange them so others who would not ever be honest and straight forward with the public could take their place.

In a world where each political camp is dedicated to the notion that the other is ‘evil’ and ‘immoral’ we shall never do anything worthy of the name American in this country.

We shall forever be a nation divided and shall never be a nation united.

How Responsible is O’Reilly in Tiller’s Murder?

Crooks & Liars : Bill O’Reilly uses Private Long’s murder to try and justify his demonization of Dr. Tiller by John Amato

Raw Replay : Howard Kurtz excuses Bill O’Reilly’s incitement of violence against George Tiller by David Edwards

In terms of criminal responsibility to Bill O’Reilly or FOX Broadcasting in the murder of Dr. George Tiller, I can see none.

In terms of moral and civic responsibility, I see plenty. I believe it to a shameful state of affairs in America today that I am a ‘far left’ blogger for demanding responsible broadcasting and moral standards in addressing social issues like abortion and women’s reproductive health.

The crazies will do what they do.

Bill O’Reilly is not responsible when a lunatic reads his book and murders fourteen people in a church, nor is he responsible when a man watches his broadcasts and goes out and kills a man over it. In a legal sense this is true. In a moral sense Bill O’Reilly has blood on his hands for passing along biased and jaded perspectives on liberalism in America and his outrageously dangerous and slanderous coverage of Dr. Tiller.

The responsibility of a broadcaster is vapid in terms of serious social issues and FOX Cable News, not in anyway exclusive to The O’Reilly Factor.

Just tonight Geraldo Rivera made insinuations of vigilante violence against a child molester in Oklahoma in the course of denouncing vigilante violence himself.

The fact remains that the both the network and the broadcasters themselves have a responsibility to the public they serve to protect the lives of all citizens and protect the due process of law.

By calling Dr. Tiller a ‘killer’ repeatedly on the air Bill O’Reilly risked inciting violence.

By vaguely insinuating that the Oklahoma child molester might be killed and have his body dumped on the side of the road Geraldo Rivera risked inciting violence.

The responsibility to the community for news broadcasting that does not risk the incitement of violence in the nation is fundamental to our domestic security as a nation.

This entire issue has absolutely nothing to do with an individual political agenda on my accord and I am willing to retract my provocative statements in regards to Mr. O’Reilly provided he states clearly to the public that he will no longer use his media platform to play dangerous games with people’s lives and then follows through on this promise.

Mine is a cry for an end to irresponsible broadcasting coming from FOX News.

For whatever failures of bias to found on vast quantity both on MSNBC and FOX, there is only one network inciting violence and using radical right wing propaganda to do more than simply share an alternative perspective. Quite often the network is used as an agent for unscrupulous pundits to gamble with the safety of physicians and the liberal population of America.

Ultimately, I believe these people have become drunk off their own power and will never admit their own misdeeds let alone their own inability to recognize their contributions to a climate of violence in America.

As long as the public continues to support their ‘crusades’ they will remained deluded and ignorant to the harm they cause in their wake. When the veil of public approval is lifted it becomes clear that these men will say anything to get ratings and if that means risking inciting violence, then so be it.

Media-Watchdog? Come Again?

This is the only reason I call myself a Media-Watchdog, one of the last of the breed.

These are just some of my saved email contacts from my personal email account.

crooksandliars@gmail.com
feedback@realclearpolitics.com
mail@journalism.org
yourcomments@foxnews.com
info@ap.org
pres@kqed.org
scoop@huffingtonpost.com
tips@hotair.com
press@thedailybeast.com

Just a sample, there‘s more. (Hot Air is highly partisan, by the by.)

Just making a point. And hoping you’ll input your own thoughts to these addresses.

Whatever good public emailing your my real name and address attached has, you can bet I did it.

And will do it again.

Most likely, standing while typing one-handed just like this. (Someone take a picture, I look journalistic!)

This post is just to dispel any confusion out there in terms of who exactly the real media-watchdogs of America exactly are.

That would be me, Eric Lightborn. The Non-Profit Student Blogger. And that’s pretty much it.

 

Eric Lightborn
http://americapress.wordpress.com
March 22nd 2009