Archive for October 2009
Fox News correspondent Shannon Bream had a live interview on Tuesday afternoon with New Jersey GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie. Afterward, Shepard Smith said on air that Jon Corzine, the Democratic incumbent, should have been interviewed too, and he apologized. Later that evening, Fox included a sound bite of Corzine.
Thomas Frank writes today in The Wall Street Journal that President Barack Obama was right about Fox, but his administration should have taken a different approach in attacking the network.
To point out that this network is different, that it is intensely politicized, that it inhabits an alternate reality defined by an imaginary conflict between noble heartland patriots and devious liberals—to be aware of these things is not the act of a scheming dictatorial personality. It is the obvious conclusion drawn by anybody with eyes and ears.
Still, one wishes that the Obama administration had taken on Fox News with a little more skill. As cultural criticism goes, this was clumsy, plodding stuff. What the situation required was sarcasm, irony, a little humor. Simply feeding Fox a slice of raw denunciation was like dumping gasoline into a fire. It did nothing but furnish the network with a real-world validation of its long-running conspiracy theories—and a nice bump in its ratings.
Michael Calderone of POLITICO this morning looks at a possible connection between declining circulation in American newspapers and CNN’s dead-last finish in ratings behind the partisan competitors of Fox and MSNBC.
Eric Alterman, a media columnist for the Nation, and a frequent critic of the MSM, thinks they are. “Non-partisan news, and news aimed at a broad audience, doesn’t have the cache, and therefore the consumer base it once had,” Alterman said. “The whole notion of citizenship has been declining for decades now.”
With the proliferation of media across platforms these days, there’s less shared knowledge among people, who are increasingly heading to niche outlets for information. At the same time, there’s a large appetite for the new media world where the MSM gatekeepers no longer hold as much clout, and “he said, she said” journalism gives way to strong point-of-view. Just last night, NYU hosted a debate among prominent journalists on the subject: “Good Riddance to Mainstream Media.”
And in today’s cable news universe, Alterman said, “politics without a slant, without a point-of-view, is interesting to very few people.”
That’s probably one thing that the Nation writer and Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly agree on.
O’Reilly, host of the top-rated cable news show, told an audience last week that networks need to give viewers “a product that is entertaining and informative.” As for his 8 p.m. rival on CNN, O’Reilly said: “Nobody watches Campbell Brown. You have to evolve if you want to survive in the commercial world. If you are going to do a straight newscast in primetime, you are going to lose.”
Brown is not only losing to O’Reilly and a partisan on the left, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, but also to Nancy Grace, who hosts a more tabloidy show at the same time on sister-network, HLN.
Fox News White House correspondent Major Garrett gave his side of story about the White House not allowing Fox to participate in a pool interview with pay czar Kenneth Feinberg last week.
Garrett told a Washington radio show today that he’s had a “standing request” to sit down with any newsmakers when the other networks are doing so for Fox News. Part of the request is to provide interviews for Fox Business, which does not have the rating’s power to compete with the bigger networks.
Garrett said there was about “an hour-long effort to exclude us,” but that was “resolved.”
Do you have trust in reporters? If so, you are one of the few in America, according to a new Rasmussen report released today.
Only four percent of Americans trust reporters’ judgment in matters concerning what’s good for the country, the survey reports.
Here is the text of its report:
A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 85 percent of U.S. voters trust their own judgment more than the average reporter when it comes to the important issues affecting the nation. Only four percent trust the average reporter more. Eleven percent aren’t sure.
Ninety percent or more of voters ages 40 to 64 trust themselves more than the average reporter.
In part, this is because just 23 percent of all voters say the average reporter is about the same as they are ideologically. Fifty-three percent think the average reporter is more liberal than they are, while 16 percent say more conservative.
Two-out-of-three voters (67 percent) say most reporters when covering a political campaign try to help the candidate they want to win. Just 21 percent say most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage. These findings are identical to those found throughout last fall’s presidential campaign.
Just before last November’s election, for example, 68 percent of voters said most reporters try to help the candidate they want to win, and 51 percent believed they were trying to help Democrat Barack Obama. Just seven percent thought they were trying to help his Republican opponent, John McCain.
Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party overwhelmingly say most reporters try to help the candidate they favor. Democrats are more closely divided: 32 percent say most reporters try to be unbiased, while 47 percent say they try to help the candidate they want to win.
Similarly, 79 percent of GOP voters and 59 percent of unaffiliateds believe most reporters are more liberal than they are. Democratic voters, are evenly split between those who say most reporters are more liberal or more conservative. A plurality of Democrats (44 percent) say reporters are about the same ideologically.
Three-out-of-four Americans (74 percent) trust their own judgment more than that of the average member of Congress when it comes to economic issues facing the nation.
But then 51 percent of voters say Congress is too liberal while 22 percent hold the opposite view and say it is too conservative. Fourteen percent (14 percent) say the ideological balance of Congress is about right. …
Forty-three percent (43 percent) of Americans have a favorable opinion of journalists, while 54 percent view them unfavorably. Adults rank them fifth out of a list of nine professions that Rasmussen Reports periodically surveys on. Being a member of Congress is the least respected job.
USA TODAY’s public relations department was in full force this afternoon as it touted the daily newspaper as leading the nation in total daily print circulation on the day the Audit Bureau of Circulation rated it No. 2 behind The Wsll Street Journal by about 124,000 a day.
For immediate release
USA TODAY REMAINS NUMBER ONE IN TOTAL DAILY PRINT CIRCULATION
Sells nearly 275,000 more print copies per day than closest competitor
McLean, Va. (Oct. 26, 2009) – USA TODAY remains number one in total daily print circulation in the United States, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation report. USA TODAY’s daily print circulation was 1,891,604 for the period ending September 30, 2009.
USA TODAY’s print circulation is nearly 275,000 copies per day larger than its closest competitor, The Wall Street Journal, and more than 1,000,000 copies per day larger than The New York Times. USA TODAY is also the newspaper leader in single copy newsstand sales selling more than 475,000 copies per day versus The Wall Street Journal’s 89,951 copies per day. Single copy newsstand sales reflect customers who actively seek out the newspaper each day and pay full newsstand price, which is widely considered the most valuable circulation by advertisers.
“We are proud to remain America’s number one choice in a daily print newspaper. For 10 years USA TODAY has been the leader in print. In these trying times, the most people continue to choose USA TODAY day in and day out for the news they want to know,” said Dave Hunke, president and publisher of USA TODAY.
Circulation for the country’s daily newspapers were in a steep decline over the past six months since September, the Audit Bureau of Circulation reported today.
ABC said that 379 daily newspapers reported an average 10.6 percent drop in their circulation to 30,395,652. This represents one of the most severe declines ever. Sunday circulation for 562 reporting newspapers was down 7.4 percent to 40,012,253, ABC said.
Only The Wall Street Journal reported a daily circulation gain among the nation’s top 25 papers. ABC said that the Journal had a modest 0.61 percent increase to 2,024,269 a day. Nobody among the top 25 posted a gain in their Sunday circulation.
Here is Editor & Publisher’s list of top 25 newspapers with their ABC results, as compiled by Jennifer Saba.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL — 2,024,269 — 0.61%
USA TODAY — 1,900,116 — (-17.15%)
THE NEW YORK TIMES — 927,851 — (-7.28%)
LOS ANGELES TIMES — 657,467 — (-11.05%)
THE WASHINGTON POST — 582,844 — (-6.40%)
DAILY NEWS (NEW YORK) — 544,167 — (-13.98%)
NEW YORK POST — 508,042 — (-18.77%)
CHICAGO TRIBUNE — 465,892 — (-9.72%)
HOUSTON CHRONICLE — 384,419 — (-14.24%)
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER — 361,480 — N/A
NEWSDAY — 357,124 — (-5.40%)
THE DENVER POST — 340,949 — N/A
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC — 316,874 — (-12.30%)
STAR TRIBUNE, MINNEAPOLIS — 304,543 — (-5.53%)
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES — 275,641 — (-11.98%)
The PLAIN DEALER, CLEVELAND — 271,180 — (-11.24%)
DETROIT FREE PRESS (e) — 269,729 — (-9.56%)
THE BOSTON GLOBE — 264,105 — (-18.48%)
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS — 263,810 — (-22.16%)
THE SEATTLE TIMES — 263,588 — N/A
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE — 251,782 — (-25.82%)
THE OREGONIAN — 249,163 — (-12.06%)
THE STAR-LEDGER, NEWARK — 246,006 — (-22.22%)
SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE — 242,705 — (-10.05%)
ST. PETERSBURG (FLA.) TIMES — 240,147 — (-10.70%)
Here is Editor & Publisher’s list of top 25 Sunday newspapers with their ABC results:
THE NEW YORK TIMES — 1,400,302 — (-2.66%)
LOS ANGELES TIMES — 983,702 — (-6.76%)
THE WASHINGTON POST — 822,208 — (-5.06%)
CHICAGO TRIBUNE — 803,220 — (-7.13%)
DAILY NEWS (NEW YORK) — 603,671 — (-10.45%)
DETROIT FREE PRESS — 560,188 — (-7.46%)
HOUSTON CHRONICLE — 547,387 — (-6.30%)
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER — 499,140 — N/A
THE DENVER POST — 495,485 — (-9.16%)
STAR TRIBUNE, MINNEAPOLIS — 477,562 — (-8.31%)
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC — 458,992 — (-0.87%)
THE BOSTON GLOBE — 418,529 — (-16.90%)
NEWSDAY — 413,830 — (-4.62%)
THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION — 405,549 — (-12.75%)
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH — 401,427 –(-5.23%)
THE PLAIN DEALER, CLEVELAND — 390,636 — (-4.97%)
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS — 390,520 — (-19.29%)
THE STAR-LEDGER, NEWARK, N.J. — 371,060 — (-18.57%)
ST. PETERSBURG (FLA.) TIMES — 370,050 — (-5.19%)
THE SEATTLE TIMES — 359,672 — (-5.93%)
NEW YORK POST — 343,361 — (-11.07%)
MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL — 334,240 — (-10.97%)
THE BALTIMORE SUN — 322,491 — (-8.03%)
THE COLUMBUS (OHIO) DISPATCH — 316,202 — (-4.75%)
THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE — 309,571 — (-9.58%)
And, on the brighter side. Editor & Publisher listed the top 10 gainers by percentage nationwide:
YORK (PA.) DAILY RECORD — 55,370 — 16.45%
WOMEN’S WEAR DAILY — 53,142 — 14.31%
THE OAKLAND (MICH.) PRESS — 68,067 — 7.26%
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL — 175,841 — 6.56%
CHATTANOOGA (TENN.) TIMES FREE PRESS — 69,569 — 2.18%
OGDEN (UTAH) STANDARD-EXAMINER — 62,062 — 1.89%
NEW HAVEN (CONN.) REGISTER — 70,559 — 0.79%
MOBILE (ALA.) PRESS-REGISTER — 92,849 — 0.75%
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL — 2,024,269 — 0.61%
THE FORUM, FARGO, N.D. — 50,131 — 0.39%