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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)

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."

Continue reading "Obama's Speech Hit Its Intended Target, Stupid" »

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.

King is Dead, but CNN Is Last Station to Confirm it

It seems that about once every month or so, the media spinners grind away at their keyboards about the demise of CNN. I'm not the least bit proud to say that I have been guilty of it myself.

And I'm (we're) at it again.

I think this will have to be the last time for me, though. Every last fish in this barrel of fun, has about been blown to bits. Even I don't have an endless supply of ammo.

No promises, of course, but until the network gets out of its own way and stops tripping all over itself, I will no longer give obvious thought as to why they are on their backs looking up at everybody in the ratings.

This final rendition of "How To Save CNN From Itself" has mostly to do with the iconic and ancient Larry King. We'll call this final ditty, "Where Have all the Viewers Gone?"

Continue reading "King is Dead, but CNN Is Last Station to Confirm it" »

CNN Apologizes For Using Song With "N-Word" In Story About 103-Year-Old Black Driver

CNN's Kyra Phillips apologizes for using a song with the n-word in it as background music to a story about a 103-year-old black woman who still drives.

About twenty-five minutes after the story aired, Phillips told viewers: "We aired some music a few minutes ago, and, obviously for those of you that heard it, it was the wrong music that aired. We apologize for that. It was a terrible mistake. And we're working very hard to make up for it."

Video of the story and the apology here.

(via Redding News Review)

Papers, Please

While the debate continues over Arizona's controversial immigration law, one thing is certain about how Mexico handles those they suspect to be illegal aliens. CNN's Wolf Blitzer asks Mexican President Calderon the tough question and gets a very frank answer. Transcript:

WOLF BLITZER: "Do Mexican police go around asking for papers of people who they suspect are illegal?"

FELIPE CALDERON: "Of course."

BLITZER: "If somebody sneaks in from Nicaragua or some other country in Central America through the southern border of Mexico, they wind up in Mexico, they can go get a job, they can work . . ."

CALDERON: "No, no. If somebody do that without permission, we send back them."

And Calderon says Arizona's law breeds intolerance and hate.

Video of the exchange here.

More Free Advice for CNN It Would Pay to Listen to

It's Friday, and hopefully the end of your work week. Around here it's the day we generally update a couple of bits we previously imparted to you from across the crowded media galaxy.

Tribune Co. Finally Gets News it Can Use

Recently, we opined that as long as there were lawyers about, even journalists could be made to occasionally look good.

At the time, we cynically went there because lawyers hired to help the fiscally challenged Tribune Co. through its endless bankruptcy proceedings were doing so at a steady rate of nearly $1,000 an hour.

Over the course of 15 months, the law firms 'helping' the Tribune Co. through its darkest hours had pocketed $138 million, or approximately one-quarter of the company's cash flow during that period.

Well, that just looked a lot like rubbing buckets of sand in a gaping wound to us.

According to this story from Reuters on Thursday, the pain might finally be nearing an end for the long-suffering media company, which owns The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times in its fleet of 10 daily newspapers.

Continue reading "More Free Advice for CNN It Would Pay to Listen to" »

CNN Should Stay Fair and Balanced or It Will Fall

The fall of CNN has been precipitous, and sad to watch.

When it launched three decades ago, it was positively revolutionary. CNN's 24-hour, real-time news coverage took us to places where something important was happening around the globe -- to places and events that for decades, were but 45-second bits and bites on the evening news.

Its meteoric rise was as grand as its fall has been melancholic.

CNN came along when cable television was the powerful king of communications, and it is now crashing as the dexterous daredevil Internet establishes itself as the go-to place for, well, everything.

I have come to believe that CNN's fall is but a time-compressed version of what has happened to the once-venerable newspaper business.

Newspapers had a good ride. So, too, has CNN.

Continue reading "CNN Should Stay Fair and Balanced or It Will Fall" »

Can Somebody Explain Rick Sanchez to Me?

Something called Rick Sanchez has started appearing on my television screen with some regularity lately.

It seems like this started about a month or so ago, and somebody over at CNN needs to put a stop to it -- now. It isn't funny.

OK, well, actually some of it is, but that's a problem for a serious-minded news operation, isn't it?

I'm not sure what happened to Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room which used to be on in that time slot, and don't care enough to find out.

I would occasionally tune into Blitzer's show, because its 4 p.m. starting time coincided with Wall Street's closing bell, so, if nothing else, I was always guaranteed some accurate, breaking news for my trouble. I am also a fan of straight-talker Jack Cafferty, who does not get near enough time on the show.

On a scale of 1-to-10, grading the myriad cable-news programs out there, Blitzer's show was a solid four. That would be at least three notches ahead of whatever it is this Sanchez guy is doing on the air.

Continue reading "Can Somebody Explain Rick Sanchez to Me?" »