As a regular reader of the New York Times, I am finding myself wondering, more and more, whether the folks over there have a Colorado connection, and are smoking the expensive stuff before putting out each edition.
Case in point: Here is the headline and sub-head for today’s front-page story about Bill O’Reilly being axed by Fox News Channel:
Fox News Ousts O’Reilly, A Host Central to Its Rise
Conservative Pillar’s Firing May Leave Viewers Adrift
What does that suggest to you? That Bill O’Reilly is a conservative pillar and without him Fox viewers may cut loose from the network? If so, we’re in the same boat, because that what it suggests to me.
I’ll cut The Times a break and not educate its alleged newspeople on the fact that O’Reilly, at least in his posturing mode, presents himself as only a sometimes conservative. Instead, I will deal with that “adrift” fantasy by summarizing the latest Cable News ratings available – Tuesday’s – for 5PM through 11PM:
-5PM: “The Five” more than doubles CNN and MSNBC;
-6PM: Special Report with Brett Baier more than doubles CNN and MSNBC;
-7PM: Martha McCallum doubles CNN and has over 50% more viewers than MSNBC;
-8PM: O’Reilly’s guest host more than doubles CNN and comes close to doubling MSNBC;
-9PM: Tucker Carlson more than doubles CNN and has about 300,000 more viewers than MSNBC;
-10PM: Sean Hannity more than doubles CNN and has about 300,000 more viewers than MSNBC.
To summarize: Fox News is the big winner in every time slot before O’Reilly, every time slot after O’Reilly, and even in O’Reilly’s time slot without O’Reilly.
By what “logic”, then, would the departure of Bill O’Reilly set these viewers adrift?
Other than the “logic” experienced during Fantasy Hour in the New York Times newsroom (puff, puff?), the answer is none at all.
Do you remember when the New York Times was a newspaper? When it distinguished between its news pages and editorial/op-ed pages?
You must be an old-timer.