27 September 2010

The Most Trusted Name in Mid-Term Election News

A POLITICO/GWU Battleground Poll indicates that 81% of likely voters surveyed got their mid-term election news from cable news networks. Comparing the Cable TVNewsers, Fox News garnered 42% approval, CNN was favored by a still respectable 30% and only a paltry 12% considered MSNBC as the place for politics.

The POLITICO echoes the leitmotif un-named political analysts who lament that political news junkies are gravitating to news sources that reinforce their weltanschauung rather than turning to media sources that “...present them with more objective reporting that might challenge their assumptions.”

It’s funny to think that in the Lamestream Media there is such a thing as Objective Journalism. After Rather-gate, the JournoList, news organizations manufacturing conflicts and garden variety double standards for how the Lamestream Media treats similar peccadillos between Republicans and Democrats, how can the Lamestream Media continue to delude themselves that their product was (to crib from Walter Cronkite) "that's the way it was"?

The success of Fox News over the last decade has shown that Opinionated News Analysis can draw an audience of news junkies. While Fox News is friendly towards conservatives, it boasts a bevy of prominent media lefties (e.g. Greta VanSusteren, Geraldo Rivera, Juan Williams) which, to borrow a phrase, they report and you decide.

On the other hand, MSNBC has overtly thrown itself in bed with the DNC (doesn’t that make your leg tingle?) and its ratings have disappeared after President Obama’s Inauguration. This is reflected in what the survey says about how widely "MessNBC" personalities are known–only 30% knew who Ed Schultz is, 45% recognized Rachel Maddow and only 58% identified the omnipresent Keith Olbermann.

The public has voted with their remotes
. Fox New’s audience is regularly 1.5 times the size of CNN’s viewers (and treble that of MSNBC). When giving advice to host Joe Scarborough, MSNBC President Phil Griffin suggested “Pretend that your audience is one. And pretend it’s Tim Russert”. By my estimation, Griffin was only partially prescient.

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