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Olbermann Drops In Key Demo Five Quarters In A Row

Now that CNN's Campbell Brown is out of the picture, MSNBC's star primetime host Keith Olbermann can no longer hide behind her dismal ratings. The spotlight is now shining bright on his declining ratings. Business Insider reports:

Nielsen's latest quarterly ratings reveal what seems like a troubling threat for Olbermann.

Olbermann averaged 1,059,000 total viewers in the second quarter of 2010 (March 29-June 27), down slightly from 1,159,000 during the same period a year earlier, but up slightly from the first quarter of this year (1,000,7000).

However, it is not just his total viewership that does not look good. Olbermann has been losing viewers in the coveted (age) 25-54 demo for five quarters in a row:

Keith Olbermann Quarterly Ratings -- Demo
(image source: Business Insider)

Olbermann has long been considered the titular head of MSNBC, calling the shots behind the scenes at the network. Most recently, he was suspected to be behind pulling NBC's Donny Deutsch off the air temporarily after he dared to label the 'Countdown' host as "angry".

Benzinga is reporting MSNBC is considering dropping the plummeting Olbermann for younger "emerging talent":

Sources tell me that MSNBC has tolerated the poor performance since it's well known that no one there has any control over Olbermann and by and large he calls the shots at the network and MSNBC has not had a bench of emerging talent to replace him with. Until now......former CNBC'er Dylan Ratigan was the recipient of a fawning profile in the NY Times yesterday and there's talk of whether he could be a suitable replacement for Olbermann if this trend continues. Ratigan has now moved from news to opinion and is gaining some traction in doing so, making him a good fit for primetime, the most valuable real estate in cable news.

In other news, the unabashed MSNBC host tweeted the following after learning of Larry King's retirement: "Larry King is a lovely, generous man who tried, for 8 years, to convince his bosses to hire me to be his 8 PM lead-in at CNN." Que lástima.

(Ratings Source: The Nielsen Company)

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Ranks Last In Important 25-54 Demo

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" has consistently ranked in fourth place amongst all of the cable news morning shows (including HLN) in the 25-54 demo - the advertiser friendly demo and also the demo that consists of so-called "influentials."

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" is losing even more of that important audience - the program is down 15% for the quarter vs. the same time period last year in that demo. So, who really watches "Morning Joe"?

Headline News' Robin Meade is even giving "Morning Joe" a good run for its money.

2Q'10 vs. 2Q'09 Ratings (6-9AM)

· FOX & Friends: 999,000 in total viewers; flat; 332,000 in 25-54, up 2%

· CNN American Morning: 335,000 in total viewers, down 27% and 138,000 in 25-54, down 13%

· Morning Joe: 402,000 in total viewers - flat; 117,000 in 25-54, down -15%

· HLN: 304,000 in total viewers, up 8%; 183,00 in 25-54, up 18%

(source: The Nielsen Company)

CNN's Gay Special 'Gary & Tony' Falls Flat In Ratings

CNN's highly promoted special about a gay couple having a baby, Gary & Tony Have a Baby, tanked in the ratings, according to Nielsen. This is just another example of CNN not being able to find viewers no matter what program or special the network presents. According to Nielsen, the special averaged only 580,000 viewers with 139,000 in 25-54 and ranked in fourth place amongst all the cable news nets during that time period.

Below are the 8pm Nielsen averages:

FNC/The O'Reilly Factor: 2,925,000 viewers (729,000 in 25-54)
MSNBC/Countdown: 1,023,000 viewers (292,000 in 25-54)
HLN/Nancy Grace: 725,000 viewers (177,000 in 25-54)
CNN/Gary & Tony Have a Baby: 580,000 viewers (139,000 in 25-54)

Note: 'The O'Reilly Factor' had more viewers in the 25-54 demo than CNN had in total viewers.

(Source: Nielsen)

CNN's Oil Spill Telethon Dead Last In Ratings

CNN's Larry King hosted a telethon for the oil spill last night. It raised a total of $1.8 million.

King's telethon came in dead last among the cable channels:

8-10PM/ET
FNC's O'Reilly/Hannity: 2,487,000 (612,000 in 25-54)
MSNBC's Countdown/Maddow: 1,042,000 (266,000 in 25-54)
HLN's Grace/Behar: 701,000 (186,000 in 25-54)
CNN's Larry King Live: 600,000 (198,000 in 25-54)

Here is the hourly breakdown:

8PM/ET Hour
FNC's O'Reilly Factor: 2,744,000 (636,000 in 25-54)
CNN's Larry King Live (1st hour of telethon): 547,000 (153,000 in 25-54)
MSNBC's Countdown: 1,010,000 (234,000 in 25-54)
HLN's Nancy Grace: 787,000 (208,000 in 25-54)

9PM/ET Hour
FNC's Hannity: 1,876,000 (456,000 in 25-54)
CNN's Larry King Live (2nd hour of telethon): 647,000 (237,000 in 25-54)
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: 871,000 (224,000 in 25-54)
HLN's Joy Behar: 586,000 (140,000 in 25-54)

(source: Nielsen)

Facebook Is No Friend of Traditional, New Media

I believe my wife to be the toughest, stubbornest (and prettiest) gal alive.

If being married to me wasn't proof enough, consider the strength in her decision not to follow the wandering herds of me, I and us onto the wide-open, public spaces of Facebook.

I have typed of my utter disdain for this social-networking behemoth before, and then had to admit that I participate in this online game of peer pressure. Oh, I quit once, only to grudgingly crawl back.

Of course, my wife is a print journalist, so she is in constant training to stay plenty tough and plenty stubborn. After all, Facebook is just the latest enemy of print. Think I'm overstating that?

While on a recent vacation out West, we were sitting on a sun-drenched patio sipping wine (now I am just trying to rub it in) and an old friend of my wife's was expounding on the virtues of Facebook, and trying to convince her old buddy to join the mob.

It was the typical Facebook recruiting speech, "We can exchange pictures! You can catch up with old friends! You can read about what these friends are doing every single second!"

Etc.

I knew that she was making no headway, but it was harmless and cute -- until she said this:
"It is kind of like my newspaper -- how I keep track of the news."

Holy cow, I had heard about people like her. She was one of THOSE -- a person who grew up when newspapers were king, and when cable TV wasn't even a glimmer in anybody's eye. Now she was going to Facebook for her news ... Ugh.

Turns out, she is hardly alone.

The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism issued one of its landmark, exhaustive reports, "The State of the News Media, 2010" a few months ago. It revealed (among a million-and-one other things) that social-media sites were increasingly becoming go-to stops for acquiring news and information.

It seems, and I can unfortunately confirm, that people spread news around on these sites like it were the latest strain of the common cold. The good news, I guess, is that 80 percent of this news comes from traditional, reputable media sites like, er, those run by newspapers.

Things evolve quickly on the Internet, though, and it's not just the traditional media like newspapers that are getting laid to waste by this social virus.

Today, I came across a story that showed the time people spent on Facebook each day increased 50 percent year on year, while the time they spent on other 'traditional' online news portals like AOL, MSN and Yahoo! was down significantly.

A user who spent 7 minutes and 38 seconds a day on AOL last May, for instance, spent a scant 4:56 this year. But the Facebook friend who spent 15 minutes on their office computer last May getting caught up on all the news each day, spent a whopping 22:39 this spring!

See? The wine-sipping friend was right. It's all Facebook, all the time.

For now, anyway.

A warning shot in the form of a story was fired in Facebook's direction on The Guardian's website Sunday. While it offered no dispute about social media's impact on the traditional sites, it warned that online news consumers were nothing if not fickle creatures. They felt no remorse about dumping one website for another.

Remember MySpace?

Many, many years ago (five) it was all the rage. So much so, Rupert Murdoch spent $580 million to purchase it. Last year, Murdoch's News Corporation took what is called an "impairment charge" against MySpace to the tune of $450 million. Essentially, in investors' leery eyes, MySpace is worth only $130 million these days.

Right now Facebook is valued at $800 million, or double what is was a year ago. There's every reason to believe its value will skyrocket until -- not when -- the next big thing comes along.

From the story:

"Facebook is still growing and making smarter moves. It is also much more appealing to a wider audience. But someone could come along with a better idea tomorrow and eat Facebook's lunch.
"This is an intensely competitive market. It's not like signing up to Sky (TV), where you have a commercial relationship. If you see something better, you can click and go elsewhere. You can build an audience very fast online but you can lose it very quickly as well. You have to keep investing in technology."

Or, you can just do what my wife does, ignore it.

(Got a tip, a gripe, or some kudos? Send 'em along.)

FOX News Beats MSNBC's Anti-Tea Party 'Rise Of The New Right' Special And CNN Combined

The first number is the total viewers and second number (in parenthesis) is the demographic of adults aged 25-54.

Cable News At 7PM on Wednesday, June 16, 2010:

FNC: Fox Report: 1,502,000 (292,000)
MSNBC: Hardball with Chris Matthews ("Rise of the New Right"): 1,044,000 (282,000)
CNN: John King USA: 435,000 (191,000)

FOX News Channel beat MSNBC and CNN combined in total viewers.

(source: The Nielsen Company)

Obama's Speech Hit Its Intended Target, Stupid

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs bunched up his panties and scolded a questioner who had the temerity to seek reaction to the criticism his boss was receiving on some unlikely cable-news outlets after his address to the nation Tuesday night.

"I appreciate the hand on the pulse of America by those who live on cable TV," Gibbs puffed. "I don't actually think that is where all of real America lives."

Gibbs did not expound on where he thought "all of real America" lived, but I hoped some light might be shed on these mysterious Americans when I came across this story atop CNN's website this morning.

Headline: "Language guru: Obama speech too 'professorial' for his target audience."

"Ah, so that's it," I thought before diving into the story. "Our president is once again making the massive mistake of confusing "real" Americans with smart Americans."

Good golly, he's made this blunder before, and been roundly criticized for it, and Gibbs should know this.

When will he ever learn that the last thing we want from our presidents these days is to flaunt any signs of intelligence. How the heck did he think George W. got re-elected anyway?!

Thing is, I watched the speech for a second time after seeing this headline, and once again didn't think it was very smart at all. For one thing, I thought his delivery was more choppy than usual. For another, it was hardly substantive, and offered way too many veiled specifics, threats and promises. It also came at least a day late and a billion dollars short. The oil leak is now into its eighth week.

There was nothing professorial, or good about it that I could see.

For the moments before I read the CNN story, I was forced to look at living the life of a fake American as defined by Gibbs. I just wasn't one of the bottom-feeders his boss was seeking out, I guess. Go figure.

So I went ahead and read the story, even if it seemed to have Obama's pedestrian speech all wrong.

The first two paragraphs are jaw-droppers:

(CNN) -- President Obama's speech on the gulf oil disaster may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday.
Tuesday night's speech from the Oval Office of the White House was written to a 9.8 grade level, said Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor. The Austin, Texas-based company analyzes and catalogues trends in word usage and word choice and their impact on culture.

Go ahead, re-read that. I'll wait.

Yep, it is actually feared by some that when our presidents give speeches that barely exceed middle-school levels they are losing most of us. Turns out the "real Americans" Obama was trying to reach needed only a 10th-grade education to follow what it was he was saying.

Geesh, I think he did great in that regard! Gibbs was right!

The story goes onto cite this passage as an example of his "professorial" prose:

"That is why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation's best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge -- a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation's secretary of energy."

Hey, take heart. If you understood that, you most likely are one of Gibbs' "real Americans," and too darn smart to be our president.

(Got a tip, a gripe, or some kudos? Send 'em along.)

FOX News Channel Beats MSNBC And CNN Combined During Obama Address

FOX News Channel was #1 during President Obama's address from the Oval Office last night, according to Nielsen Media Research. FNC beat CNN and MSNBC combined in total viewers during primetime and during the highly anticipated speech. All ratings must be attributed to Nielsen Media Research.

PRIMETIME (8:00-11:00 PM/ET)
FNC: 2,545,000 in total viewers (569,000 in 25-54)
CNN: 1,043,000 in total viewers (358,000 in 25-54)
MSNBC: 797,000 in total viewers (239,000 in 25-54)

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS (approx. 8:01-8:18 PM/ET)
FNC: 2,880,000 in total viewers (656,000 in 25-54)
CNN: 1,234,000 in total viewers (433,000 in 25-54)
MSNBC: 1,144,000 in total viewers (230,000 in 25-54)

FOX News Channel beat CNN and MSNBC combined in total viewers during the primetime hours and President Obama's address.

NOTE: FOX News Channel's analysis of the President's address averaged 3,395,000 viewers with 877,000 in Adults 25-54.

(source: Nielsen Media Research)

Matthews Proves He Is a Chip Off the Ol' Beck

I rolled out of bed with a roaring headache, so I figure it can get no worse for me as I bang away at the big, dense rock that is cable news' evening political theatrics.

What has my morbid interest today is a looming documentary by MSNBC's Chris Matthews titled, "Rise of the New Right." It airs tonight at 7 EST.

As the title suggests Matthews will take a chilling look at the evil-doers leading the far-right side of the political spectrum, and their efforts to co-opt people's minds in the hope of making them do outlandish and sinister deeds to the country he so loves.

He'll do this, of course, by following the cable news inflammatory playbook which says very early in Chapter One that to take the steam out of the other side you must first turn up the rhetorical heat to blaring on your end, and then claim you are simply trying to cool things down by letting about 50 percent of the truth shine in. Context is forbidden.

Or you can just pitch a lighted match atop a pile of dynamite ...

In the "Rise of the New Right," Matthews has taken hold of his shovel and unearthed grainy, black-and-white archives of conservative monsters from days gone by such as Joe McCarthy and Barry Goldwater, and then tunneled his way to the present-day gatekeepers of the right-wing fringe, like Sarah Palin and those hellbent-on-destruction Tea-tippers.

Based on what I saw in the ample tease(s) for the "Rise of the New Right" it's chilling, chilling stuff, and might even spur you into taking some kind of action.

There's just one monumental problem with it: Chris Matthews.

If for some reason you aren't familiar with Matthews, who hosts the nightly show, "Hardball" on MSNBC, I'll give you his down-and-dirty bio as I'd write it: Most likely an attention-seeker from an early age; dripping-wet lefty; passionate, if not often misguided; smart, just not THAT smart; leads too often with his lip; intense; a willing shill for the Democratic Party; wannabe journalist; grudging entertainer.

About the "wannabe journalist" part ...

Because Matthews has worked so bloody hard to make it clear that he is first a detractor of the right followed closely by being a defender of the left, he has painted himself into an unbelievable corner where fantasy becomes fact if you holler loud enough.

Even if large chunks of his arguments sometimes have merit, they are lost in his sea of unsubstantiated claims and overheated rants. Why give two sides to anything (er, like real journalists do) when you can make your point just fine by raising your voice to a screech?

What Matthews is doing is really no different than what the unhinged Glenn Beck pulls on his nightly horror show on Fox. And Beck gets plenty of well-deserved criticism for it.

Amazingly, he also gets plenty of viewers.

Is it any wonder these guys often compete against each other in the same 5 p.m. ET time slot? And by 'compete' I mean Beck stomping Matthews into the ground in the all-important ratings game.

In a perfect world -- one without oil wells, politicians, and vuvuzela horns -- Beck and Matthews would be strapped into cast-iron chairs, and forced to listen to each other read from their cooked political playbooks 24 hours a day.

Only when they came to some sort of agreement on anything would they be given a two-week furlough of water-boarding.

I know you are now shocked to discover that I won't be watching Matthews' theatrics tonight any more than I will watch Beck rewind images of Hitler. Instead, I will put my earplugs in and hope for a goal or two to break out in a World Cup rerun.

In the end, Matthews' work will undoubtedly resonate with the brigade of Blue-coats on the far-left side of the political battlefield, infuriate the Reds, and leave those in the middle reaching for the channel-changer and a bottle of aspirin.

Whether now enticed or mortified by this program, you have been properly warned.

(Got a tip, a gripe, or some kudos? Send 'em along.)

MSNBC To Give 10PM Slot To Liberal Analyst Lawrence O'Donnell

Liberal activist and political commentator Lawrence O'Donnell reportedly will get his own show on MSNBC. O'Donnell will be another edition to the network's already staunch liberal primetime lineup which includes Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.

"Lawrence O'Donnell is an incredible talent, who our audience has gotten to know throughout the years, most recently as Keith Olbermann's principal guest host on "Countdown." It's great to have another anchor of his caliber on the network," said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in a statement. "This makes us a bigger and better network."

No Nightly Network News Broadcasts Discuss Etheridge Assault

All three nightly news broadcasts led with the oil spill. ABC's 'World News' gave the story 9 minutes of airtime, NBC's 'Nightly News' talks about the spill for 8 minutes and CBS' 'Evening News' spent a total of 11 minutes on it.

ABC 'World News' also reported about iron mining Afghanistns, passports, Kevin Costner's oil invention and Ted Kennedy.

NBC 'Nightly News' talks about flash floods, Afghanistan, Ted Kennedy, Toyota, SC-Sen and the World Cup.

CBS' 'Evening News' said Obama "rolled up his sleeves" in the Gulf, reported on Tylenol, flash floods, Jimmy Dean and the cost of oil disaster.

Summary: ABC & NBC talk about dead Ted Kennedy, however no network mentioned Rep. Etheridge's (D-NC) physical assault of a student.

Pool Report: WH's Burton Says Obama Has Power To Mandate BP Escrow Account

From the pool report upon President Obama's arrival in Mississippi:

Deputy Press Secretary Burton confirmed BP promise to contain 50,000 barrels by the end of june.

Adm. Allen said he expects BP to be containing 28,000 barrels by the end of the week. But as to what percentage of the total that is, he said we won't know til there's a tight seal.

Burton said administration is confident it has legal authority to make bp set up the escrow account.

He said that potus personally decided he wanted to do the address tomorrow from the oval office, his first oval office address.

Doubting Thomas Was Hearst's Big Mistake

I'm back, and typing in a bit of a jet-lagged haze after making the wonderful decision to try a two-week vacation through nine times zones without a computer, blackberry, or any pod-like creature in tow.

If you haven't done this lately, I highly recommend it. I predict it will be better than you remember.

Best of all, you'll find that your Facebook friends will forgive you. Actually, you'll probably find they could have cared less you were gone in the first place. Sorry.

Nope, for me it was back to basics. I got my news by reading whatever newspaper I could get my hands on. That makes me old and stubborn, I know. Just hope my Facebook friends don't find out.

And speaking of old and stubborn (OK, really, really old) ...

As I was pouring through a local newspaper one morning, I read that Helen Thomas had let fly with some antisemitic rhetoric that might have played well in Germany -- 70 years ago.

If you haven't heard, the now-former Hearst News Service columnist said out loud and in front of a camera that the Israeli Jews should, "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Germany or Poland.

Even better (far worse) Thomas made her comments after Rabbi (yes, rabbi) David Nesenoff, asked: "Any comments on Israel?"

Better yet (even worse), all this took place at a White House Jewish heritage celebration on May 27.

Good grief.

Thomas later apologized, but the damage was done, and the 89-year-old dean of the White House press corps sent herself packing.

I have never been, and most likely never will be, a "White House media insider" so I did not know Thomas personally.

Through the years I admit to marveling at her staying power, and as a guy with two daughters, appreciated the moxie it must have taken to make it in a business that was for so long dominated by white guys like myself.

Recently, though, it just seemed like she was propped up on display in the front row of the press briefings like some old relic of days gone by. She did, however, provide the name recognition that Hearst was undoubtedly looking for when it hired Thomas a decade ago. At the time, Thomas had just resigned after a whopping 57 years as a reporter for United Press International.

Many of us are finding out now, though, that the folks in the White House press corps that did know Thomas were hardly surprised when she launched her anti-Israel howitzer.

In a recent Washington Post story by Howard Kurtz, CBS correspondent Mark Knoller had this to say:

"She (Thomas) asked questions no hard-news reporter would ask, that carried an agenda and reflected her point of view, and there were some reporters who felt that was inappropriate. "As a columnist she felt totally unbound from any of the normal policies of objectivity that every other reporter in the room felt compelled to abide by, and sometimes her questions were embarrassing to other reporters."

In the same Post story, National Review Online columnist Jonah Goldberg dropped this bomb:

"She's always said crazy stuff," Goldberg said. "One reason she gets a pass is that there's an entrenched system of deference to seniority in the White House press corps. . . . This new-found horror and dismay that people are expressing about Helen Thomas are beyond a day late and a dollar short."

Better yet (worse), Thomas had this to say some six years ago during a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

"I censored myself for 50 years when I was a reporter. Now I wake up and ask myself, 'Who do I hate today?' "

Isn't that sweet?

So Thomas was a known boob and a bigot who long ago outgrew any usefulness, and nobody did a thing about it -- least of all her employer, Hearst Corporation.

Nope, it seems as if Hearst was only too happy to let their little piece of history wobble into the briefing room each day and take the choice seat it turns out she (or they) hardly deserved.

I looked for comments from Hearst about Thomas' "resignation" and found none. The news consortium simply released this black-and-white, four-paragraph brief on its website headlined, "Helen Thomas Announces Retirement."

That's it.

Then again, I suppose their decade-long inaction to prevent their ticking time bomb from blowing up in everybody's faces speaks for itself.

(Got a tip, a gripe, or some kudos? Send 'em along.)

Sunday Show Lineup For July 13, 2010

Meet the Press: David Axelrod

Face the Nation: Govs. Crist, Barbour & Riley

This Week: Reps. Hoyer & Boehner

Fox News Sunday: Amb. Susan Rice, Carly Fiorina

State of the Union: Gov.Riley, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former Director of CBO

Exclusive: Major Garrett To Host "FOX News Sunday" On July 4th

RealClearPolitics has learned from FOX News DC Insiders that Major Garrett will be guest hosting "FOX News Sunday" on Sunday, July 4th. Garrett is the senior White House correspondent for the Fox News Channel.

Garrett, who is a well respected journalist on the White House beat, will get to show his versatility by hosting a program and moderating the "FOX News Sunday" panel.

Garrett takes the seat during a year of musical chairs with the Sunday morning shows and on the cusp of Christiane Amanpour hosting "This Week."

Though Garrett is simply filling on a holiday weekend, his peformance will invariably be seen by some as a potential audition for a shot at the host chair when Chris Wallace, now 62, decides to call it quits at some point in the future.

'Going Street' Now A Racial Slur, According To Mark Halperin

TIME's Mark Halperin on FOX News' "O'Reilly Factor": "You know Matt Drudge ... Matt Drudge knew exactly what he was doing with that headline."

"He thought it would be cool and hip, but he knew full well that it was provocative and racial. I'm not saying that makes Matt Drudge a racist, but [what] I'm saying is Matt Drudge knows how to tap into the sentiment of a lot of his readers," Halperin added.

O'Reilly wasn't buying that criticism of President Obama is based on his skin color.

Watch the segment here.

FOX News Beats CNN, MSNBC & HLN Combined In Election Night Ratings

Primetime ratings for Tuesday, June 8, 2010:

FNC: 2,672,000 in P2+ (647,000 in 25-54)
CNN: 698,000 in P2+ (244,000 in 25-54)
MSNBC: 967,000 in P2+ (251,000 in 25-54)
HLN: 781,00 in P2+ (252,000 in 25-54)

FOX News Channel was the big winner and beat everyone else combined in total viewers (P2+). Everyone tuning into the election chose FOX by far - FNC won each hour easily. Interestingly, HLN edged out MSNBC to be #2 in demo in primetime.

(source: Nielsen Media Research)

Fox News Refutes Report That Channel Banned Limbaugh Biographer

Michael Calderone of Yahoo! makes the claim:

Is Fox News keeping an author off the air because his recent book includes criticism of Bill O'Reilly?

That's what Zev Chafets, author of "Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One," thinks is happening. In the Rush-approved biography, Chafets asked the radio host what he thinks of O'Reilly.

"He's Ted Baxter," Limbaugh said, referring to the pompous newscaster played by Ted Knight in the '70s on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

"Sorry, but somebody's got to say it," Limbaugh continued.

That line got picked up by publications like The Hill and splashed on the Drudge Report. And it's because of that one comment, Chafets believes, that he then got bumped from a couple of Fox News shows.

Chafets told Yahoo! News that he was scheduled to appear on "Fox & Friends" on May 26 -- the day after publication of his Limbaugh book -- and the following Monday, May 31, on Greta Van Susteren's "On the Record."

FOX News gives a response to Mediate:

According to Fox News there was some interest in the book by producer's of On the Record, hosted by Greta Van Susteren, who requested the book to gauge interest, but never booked Chafets. Producers at Hannity also claimed to have received a number of calls from Chafets' publicist, but never demonstrated any interest in actually booking the author; and Fox & Friends claimed to never have called to book Chafets, but again was aggressively pursued to have him on.

A Fox News insider referred to Chafets' account of getting bumped from Fox News as result of an alleged feud as nothing more than "wishful thinking that reeks of desperation" and said, "We tend to have authors on whose books actually make news and have buzz - Zev's book has neither."

RealClearPolitics hears the item had been shopped around for weeks and was turned down by multiple people on the beat, but Calderone went for the cheap trick and got played by Chafets in the process. A Fox News source tells us Calderone's claim is absolutely false. This is backed up by Mediate's report of the book lacking popularity.

An Olive Branch? FOX News In Running For Front Row Seat

According to a source in the White House press corps, FOX News is in the running for a front row seat in the White House briefing room. The competition is not for Helen Thomas' front and center seat, but for one in the first row. Out of the major networks, FOX News and Bloomberg are the only two major news outlets that appear at most, if not all, briefings that do not have front row privileges.

Is the White House, which has been notoriously unfriendly to FOX News, extending an olive branch to the network?

Note: ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Reuters and the Associated Press all have front row seats.

Columnist Helen Thomas Announces Retirement

Hearst is announcing White House reporter Helen Thomas is retiring. Here is part of her statement:

"I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and Palestinians, they do not reflect my heartfelt belief that peace will come only when all parties recognize there will be need for mutual respect."

Liz Cheney: Obama Must 'Reverse His President Court And Support The State Of Israel'

Today, Liz Cheney, chairman of Keep America Safe released the following statement in response to President Obama's interview on "Larry King Live" last night:

Yesterday, President Obama said the Israeli action to stop the flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip was "tragic." What is truly tragic is that President Obama is perpetuating Israel's enemies' version of events. The Israeli government has imposed a blockade around Gaza because Hamas remains committed to Israel's destruction, refusing to recognize Israel's right to exist and using territory under their control to launch attacks against Israeli civilians. The Israeli blockade of Gaza, in order to prevent the re-arming of Hamas, is in full compliance with international law. Had the Turkish flotilla truly been interested in providing humanitarian aid to Gaza, they would have accepted the Israeli offer to off-load their supplies peacefully at the Israeli port of Haifa for transport into Gaza. President Obama is contributing to the isolation of Israel, and sending a clear signal to the Turkish-Syrian-Iranian axis that their methods for ostracizing Israel will succeed, and will be met by no resistance from America. There is no middle ground here. Either the United States stands with the people of Israel in the war against radical Islamic terrorism or we are providing encouragement to Israel's enemies--and our own. Keep America Safe calls on President Obama to reverse his present course and support the state of Israel immediately and unequivocally.

White House: Obama Will Return To Gulf Tomorrow

Here's the White House statement:

"On Friday, June 4, President Barack Obama will return to the Louisiana Gulf Coast to assess the latest efforts to counter the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. More details will be released later today."

FOX News Channel Dominates In May Ratings

In primetime, FOX News (FNC) beat MSNBC, CNN, and HLN combined in P2+ and beat MSNBC and CNN combined in 25-54:

FNC: 1,817,000 in P2+ (446,000 in 25-54 demo)
MSNBC: 747,000 in P2+ (231,000 in 25-54 demo)
CNN: 595,000 in P2+ (170,000 in 25-54 demo)
HLN: 439,000 in P2+ (148,000 in 25-54 demo)

During the day, FNC beat MSNBC and CNN combined in both P2+ and in 25-54:

FNC: 1,038,000 in P2+ (282,000 in 25-54 demo)
MSNBC: 388,000 in P2+ (132,000 in 25-54 demo)
CNN: 446,000 in P2+ (148,000 in 25-54 demo)
HLN: 274,000 in P2+ (123,000 in 25-54 demo)

Highlights:

FNC is the #4 network in primetime in ALL of cable; CNN is #30; MSNBC is #24; HLN is #34

'FOX & Friends' beat CNN's 'American Morning', MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' and HLN's 'Morning Express' combined in the 25-54 demo.

MSNBC's 'Countdown' had its lowest-rated month in 25-54 in all of 2010 - the program is also down 23% in the demo vs. May '09
- 'Countdown' averaged 1,031,000 in P2+ (down 6%) and 250,000 in 25-54 (down 23%)

Every single CNN program posted double digit declines in total viewers vs. May '09

MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' again placed in fourth in the 25-54 demo (behind even HLN's Morning Express) and was down 14% in the demo (119,000)

(source: Nielsen Media Research)

CBS' "Evening News": Gore's Loss To Bush Contributed To Separation

CBS News: "It's been ten years since that oddly public passionate kiss at the Democratic convention. That was followed by Gore winning the popular vote for President but losing the electoral vote. Family friend Sally Quinn says that may have done the marriage irreparable harm."

Video of the segment here.

Obama To Meet With Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

FOX News is reporting that President Obama will meet with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in Washington, D.C.

At first, Obama told Brewer he couldn't fit her into his busy schedule, however that has changed.

The meeting will take place sometime on Thursday. No other details have been given.