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Friday, March 04, 2005

Fox News continues to gain viewers from CNN


Fox News Channel continues to gain market share against CNN, a development sure to madden the Left, which is adamantly against FNC.

In a desperate attempt to discredit Fox News, the Left accuses it of being a Right-wing shill parroting the Bush administration line. However, objective viewers recognize that while there are conservative opinions expressed on FNC, those opinions are labeled and separate from news coverage, and the Fox approach to news, as opposed to its approach to commentary, is as advertised: Fair and balanced.

My own theory as to why the Left perceives Fox as Right-leaning has a couple of elements to it. First, many people do not understand that there is a distinction between news and commentary, or they have been trained by the mainstream media, which routinely pollutes its news coverage with opinion or bias, to believe that news and commentary are the same thing. They may not understand that there are two separate types of content, one a factual accounting of events, the other opinions about issues.

Second, the mainstream media is so dramatically tilted to the Left/liberal view, once the public has become accustomed to that slant and perceive it as normal, anything neutral – that is to say right of the mainstream – is mistakenly interpreted to be Right/conservative, rather than properly perceived as neutral.

One hopes continually that data like those confronting CNN will communicate that the country rejects the mainstream media’s liberal bias, and that the media will then move to the center and restore its credibility. Alas, this news shows that this transformation is yet to come.

Some results from the recent market data:

  • CNN is falling farther behind Fox News Channel, with a network-wide 16 percent falloff in viewership for February and a 21 percent slide in prime time.
  • The New York Post reports, "Fox News was the only one among the four cable news networks to post ratings gains during the month," an 18 percent gain, to be exact, pushing Fox News to nearly triple the viewership of its rival.
  • CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" down 17 percent; Fox's "O'Reilly Factor" up 9 percent
  • CNN's "Larry King Live" off 23 percent; Fox's "Hannity & Colmes" up 19 percent
There is a reason that Fox’ ratings are going up and CNN’s are going down: People like Fox News coverage and programming better. CNN had better figure out why this is true pretty fast, or it will wither away.

5 comments:

JL Pagano said...

"the Left accuses it of being a Right-wing shill parroting the Bush administration line"

I very much doubt anyone at Fox News would derive its slant directly from the oval office.

I reckon it would come more from Rupert Murdoch's office.

Last time I checked, his leanings and indeed those of ALL of his vast media empire have been decidedly to the right, and I am sure he would not dispute such an allegation.

Perhaps Fox's ratings have gone up because more right-wingers are watching. More power to them if so, a network's job is to boost ratings after all!

The drop in CNN ratings could be sour grapes since the Lefties don't watch the news at all anywmore!!!

James Howard Shott said...

Well of course FNC doesn't get its marching orders directly from the White House, but that is nonetheless the view of the loony faction of the Left.

And I would tend to agree that Murdock leans right, and that his media also lean right. However, remember that there is a difference between taking a Right- or Left-wing editorial position, and mixing an ideological bias into news reporting. The Murdock media I am familiar with does not have a reporting bias in its news coverage, as does The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and other large members of the mainstream media.

The report said nothing to indicate that overall viewership was down, which would be true if your assertion that Lefties were "dropping out" were true.

In any case, CNN is losing viewers and FNC is gaining viewers. Clearly, Americans prefer FNC to CNN. I guess it's okay for each of us to have our own opinions as to why, yes?

JL Pagano said...

This discussions would be pretty boring if we had the same opinions, yes!!!

mark said...

If you don't believe that the Murdoch press is biased then have a look at this and this site dealing with The Scum. Murdoch is about as right-wing as they come, and not afraid to use his newspapers to that end.

Specifically with regards to Fox News, look at Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo. In this, he deliberately represents his own opinion as fact. There are also a massive amount more conservative than liberal (rightwing than leftwing) commentators / presenters on Fox.

James Howard Shott said...

I found your links to be unauthoritative, mere opinion sites that are obviously not taking an objective look at The Sun, et al. It would take more time than I have, and more words than anyone would want to read to address all of the problems with those two sites and their "analysis."

That said, if you read my first comment in response to JL, I tried to explain the difference between commentary and reporting, and also why so many on the Left incorrectly perceive reporting that is NOT Left-leaning as Right-leaning.

Bill O'Reilly's entire program is opinion, particularly the Talking Points Memo and other similar elements of his show. He does not pretend to report fact, and is up front about his content being commentary, not news.

I have more than 20 years of experience working in and with news organizations. I know that subject well.