Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Not surprisingly, there's a Fox in the Nielson house

Last week saw the release of the quarterly ratings performance data for television programming. Most of the reporting yammers on and on about the dominant position Fox News retains in the cable news sector. The claim is that Fox News smothered the competition and experienced rapid growth while other news programmers stagnated or declined. The reason I decided to write about this topic is that it's an ongoing battle on Huffington Post and other lefty blog sites that I frequent. Every time the new numbers are released, the right wing trolls decide to taunt all of us MSNBC viewers and I really get sick of it.  They never argue about content, it's always about ratings.  Here's part of my response to that.  If Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow are so insignificant, why are conservatives so unnerved by their reporting?  Matthews plays to whoever's in the room, so I don't think a whole lot of him...and he voted for Bush, which says plenty.  Schultz is making a name for himself as being Joe Everyman, which you'd think would be a good thing except that he's an admitted Democrat.  Olbermann gets hammered by righties for exposing right wing lies, especially those coming from Fox, Limbaugh and other hate talkers.  I'm glad someone's doing it because CNN, HLN, ABC, CBS and PBS sure aren't willing to take them on to set the record straight.  Maddow not only exposes the lies, she digs deeper and presents the hypocrisy.  Guess what wingnutz?  When politicians are naming you and attempting to discredit you with even more lies, they know you're not insignificant!  My other point about ratings?  Last week, over 20 million people watched both American Idol and Dancing With the Stars. I'm guessing the Discovery Channel and The History Channel didn't do quite that well.

Before I send you off to the possible Fox fraud situation, let's look at some other facts. Check out the poll conducted by DailyKos/Research2000.  Republicans and southerners almost completely shut out any cable news source other than Fox News.  They are the most sharply segmented groups in the survey when asked on viewing of CNN and MSNBC.  The rest of the nation doesn't much care for the right-wing hack network.  78% of the northeast never watches Fox, 70% of the midwest never watches Fox, 68% of the west never does and even 51% of the south doesn't!  Also notable is the terrible performance of Fox amongst young voters (18-29) and minorities, at least 80% of whom report that they never watch Fox News.  If Nielsen data were to confirm this, advertisers might alter the way they allocate their budgets. Also, cable operators might adjust their channel offerings, which could help to resolve the distribution problem that MSNBC has been hampered by.  And why won't Nielson do that?

This might be why.  Do you ever wonder how Fox News can be so consistently lead the ratings despite their obvious position and programming focus on a small segment of the viewers? The last time I saw a poll, only 23% of registered voters admitted to be Republicans. Evidently, Nielsen entered the high-tech era of TV market research in the early 2000's with People Meter methodology.  It was during this time, that Fox News began its climb to ratings dominance. It has recently been discovered that the Wegener Corporation, the manufacturer of the set-top devices that Nielsen uses, has a long association with Rupert Murdoch and the News Corporation, the parent of Fox News. It would not be difficult to encode an electronic device so that it would purposefully miscalculate survey data. Diebold anyone?  So you have to ask; with a continuous 24/7 right wing propaganda effort, if Fox were as persuasive as they claim, why haven't they been able to move the country to their far right positions?  Yes, they've got the teabaggers doing some of their dirty work now, but they're just Foxbots.  This is not the large anti-government, anti-Obama pushback that Fox is selling to their viewers. According to the following article, Murdoch has paid millions for his cover-up of various media manipulations. Not only are there allegations about Nielson, he has also undermined competitor Dish Network.  For those out there who dispise this man, and are considering satellite tv, you should know that he owns DirectTV as well.  The connection to Murdoch's covert operations and his history of unlawful corporate espionage should not continue to be ignored. If Nielsen doesn't want it's credibility completely dismissed, it should investigate their equipment providers and perform intensive examinations of the devices they place in viewers' homes.  To be fair, the suspicions have not been confirmed, but it really makes you wonder.  Don't forget, this is the man who was continuously rebuffed in 1996 from putting his new network on NY's cable systems.  It wasn't until he got Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Gov. George E. Pataki and Dennis C. Vacco, the State Attorney General involved.  Source: NY Times

For more detail, read Fox News Caught In Massive Ratings Fraud at DailyKos (their compilation of various articles).  I figured I better use that disclaimer before I get the, "what would you expect from a leftist, socialist, marxist blog like DailyKos."

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