VILLAINS AND US: Under every bed!

MONDAY, MAY 15, 2017

Part 1—An eternally popular story:
Bill O'Reilly is gone from Fox. In the world of profit-based cable news, we liberals are suddenly hot.

Appropriately, the Hollywood Reporter announced the news of the latest big ratings bump. "Huge wins," last Friday's headlines said, in a bit of an embellishment:
O'CONNELL (5/12/17): TV Ratings: MSNBC, Maddow Scoring Huge Wins With Comey Coverage/
MSNBC dominates its third night of primetime since Trump's FBI ouster as 'The Five' proves more of a draw than Tucker Carlson for Fox News.

The incredibly eventful couple of days in Washington, D.C., has been a boon to MSNBC. The cable news network, which has seen ratings surges for star Rachel Maddow, just won its third night of the week.

MSNBC easily topped Thursday in primetime among adults 25-54 with an average 635,000 viewers in the key news demo across the three-hour block. Maddow led all of cable news, with 734,000 demo viewers and 2.87 million viewers, but the most interesting victory might be the one Brian Williams scored in late night. His 11 p.m. show, which trailed lead-in Lawrence O'Donnell for No. 3 status in all of cable news last night, actually outperformed Fox News' Tucker Carlson by 12 percent among adults 25-54.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, such across-the-board MSNBC advantages over Fox News Channel and CNN are in the realm of unprecedented—and offer the most substantial proof to date that viewers are tuning into MSNBC for coverage of the embattled Trump administration.
Brian outperformed Tucker among adults 25-54—and those are the people the advertisers adore! The bulk of the audience doesn't matter in the dollars game!

As you may recall, Rachel Maddow barely cares about this sort of thing. How litle does she care? So little that she once told Charlie Rose that she didn't even know who her cable competitors were at the 9 PM hour.

Charlie didn't question the claim, which some people likely believed.

That said, Maddow and her fellow "cable liberals" produced very high numbers last week. In primetime, these were the numbers among all cable news viewers last Wednesday night, May 10:
Total viewers, Wednesday primetime, May 10
Tucker Carlson: 2.991 million
Rachel Maddow: 2.739 million
Sean Hannity: 2.581 million
The Five: 2.500 million
Lawrence O'Donnell: 2.450 million
Chris Hayes: 1.864 million
Anderson Cooper: 1.457 million
Don Lemon: 1.357 million
Cooper's number is an average across his two broadcast hours. At 11 PM, Brian Williams scored 2.050 million viewers, outdistancing a Carlson rebroadcast on Fox (1.499 million).

(For whatever reason, "primetime" is generally defined, in such calculations, as 8-11 PM Eastern. When Brian was beating that Carlson rebroadcast, it was 8 PM on the west coast.)

For MSNBC, those are amazing numbers. They seem to represent an end to Fox's traditional dominance during primetime. For CNN, those numbers seem to say that we the people like our "cable news" with an undisguised partisan slant.

In our view, the rise of baldly partisan news orgs largely explains our ongoing state of political disintegration. Our tribes now receive their own sets of frameworks and facts.

They also receive their own sets of villains. As this pattern advances, it becomes harder and harder to function as intelligent individuals, let alone as a nation.

In our rundown of last week's numbers, we picked Wednesday night for a reason. On that evening, we liberals received a treat:

We were handed our latest villain by our biggest "cable news" star.

That villain's name is Andrew McCabe. Early last week, he became acting director of the FBI when James B. Comey got fired.

Is Andrew McCabe a villain? For ourselves, we have no real idea. But that's what we liberals were told that night by a highly convincing Rachel Maddow, our top-rated cable news star.

Indeed, Maddow's ratings rise in recent years has been fueled by the way she has supplied us with story-lines about the nation's villains. At one time, a certain type of analyst found communists under every bed. Although she often takes a dive on the most destructive political jihads, Maddow has been finding villains under every bed for the past several years.

Objectively, the world does contain some real villains. That said, given our inbred human desire to identify such monsters, it may not be the greatest idea to build our picture of world events around this eternally popular construct.

That said, we human beings love being told that villains are lurking under every bed. Last Wednesday night, Maddow sold us the villain McCabe. Tomorrow, we'll review the wonderfully scary claims she advanced on that high-rated program.

Warning! Maddow told you, last Wednesday night, that McCabe did something disturbing and bad on February 15, 2017. This alleged disturbing behavior represented Maddow's full indictment of this newly disturbing figure.

As has been true through the annals of time, last Wednesday's scary tale gave us tribals a thrill. But here's what we weren't told by Maddow last Wednesday night:

We weren't told what Maddow had said in real time, back in February. Back then, Maddow presented McCabe as the hero of the piece!

We also weren't told this:

We weren't told that Maddow's indictment of McCabe seems to be entirely based on accepting the word of Donald J. Trump's chief of staff and Donald J. Trump's press secretary!

That's right! Back in February, in real time, the accusation against McCabe was made by a pair of somewhat shaky sources. Initially, the accusation was made by Reince Priebus. It was then bruited about, second-hand, by Sean Spicer.

We know of no external evidence supporting the claim by these somewhat unreliable tribunes. Nor did Maddow cite any such evidence in her presentation last Wednesday night. In fact, she directly cited Reince and Sean, although she skipped their names.

In February, in real time, Maddow presented McCabe as the hero of the piece. By last Wednesday, though, that reading had changed. In convincing fashion, a major corporate cable star sold us our latest villain.

She'd found a new villain under our beds. Within tribal tents, beside a fire, it has always seemed convincing when we humans are told such tales.

Is Andrew McCabe a villainous figure? We have no idea. That said, our exploration of Maddow's claim may help us see the way our "news business" frequently works.

Warning! Our exploration may leave us somewhat puzzled about the major star Maddow. Also, about the work of the Washington Post, even the New York Times.

What lies behind last Wednesday night's claim? Millions hung on every word. Prepare for a bumpy ride.

Tomorrow: Maddow's indictment

The same numbers, one week before: To what extent did last week's numbers reflect a "Comey bounce?" To what extent did MSNBC's performance reflect interest caused by the firing of Comey the God?

There's no perfect way to answer that question. But below, you see the numbers from Wednesday, May 3, exactly one week before:
Total viewers, Wednesday primetime, May 3
Tucker Carlson: 2.743 million
The Five: 2.480 million
Sean Hannity: 2.268 million
Rachel Maddow: 2.096 million
Lawrence O'Donnell: 1.691 million
Chris Hayes: 1.506 million
Anderson Cooper: 901,000
Don Lemon: 805,000
Those were already historically high numbers for MSNBC. As the Hollywood newspaper said, Comey's firing seems to have pushed those numbers higher last week.

We liberals were highly engaged last week. On Wednesday evening, we received a tasty, familiar old treat.

15 comments:

  1. Without rancor one cannot abstractly contrast the Maddow Show to actual social activity: such a division is itself divided. Bob inverts the reality which is materially invaded by the ad hominem contemplation of you and anyone else who simultaneously absorbs cable, giving it positive cohesiveness. Objective reality is present on both sides. Every notion fixed this way has no other basis than its passage into the opposite: reality rises up within the Maddow show, and what she says is real. This reciprocal alienation is the essence and the support of the existing society.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To steal a nym is a violation of the codes. You are a sick psycho hillbilly loser who is related to KZ and possibly a (volunteer) Russia agent. Cease and desist now. Hitherto I have resisted but forthwith penalties will be administered and enforced with rancor for wanton nym purloining.

      Delete
    2. A worried motherMay 15, 2017 at 1:32 PM

      That the nym-stealer is a hillbilly psycho we know.

      Sadly though, our best information cannot (yet!) confirm this sicko loser to be a Russian agent.

      But of this we are indeed certain -- the Cheeto-stained fingerprints cannot lie -- Greg's dinner was eaten and enjoyed.

      Delete
    3. Actually, it was boar pate before the Debussy opera. But it makes sense what you say. Ignorance, after all, liberal ignorance and stereotyping is the theme of this blog.

      Delete
    4. my name is Mark Godwin am here to share testimony of how i got back my relationship that was scattered for months. we got married for more than 7 years and have gotten three kids. things were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my wife started behaving in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way she treat me and the kids. for months she did not come home again and she called me for a divorce, i asked her what have i done wrong to deserve this from her, all she was saying is that she want a divorce that she hate me and do not want to see me again in her life, i was mad and also frustrated and do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 3 weeks i want to be reunited back with my husband in 2016 blog of her intention towards me. i love my wife so much and can do anything for her. i told my brother and he told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted DR Alexzander through his website, for the return of my wife to me, he told me that my wife have been taken by another man, that he cast a spell on her that was why she hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on her that will make her return to me and the kids, Dr alexzander cast the spell and after 1 week my wife called me and she told me that i should forgive her, she apologizes on phone and said that she did not know what happened to her. it was the spell that DR Alexzander cast on her that made her return back to me today,me and my family are now happy again. thank you Dr Alexzander for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for HIS great spell. i want all my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact {alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com or through his website http://alexzanderhightemple-com.webs.com} if you need a supernatural great wizard to cast a spell for you. email Dr alexzander and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.These are the few things he also do for people. *do you need rapid and undeserved promotions in your offices or work? Dr alexzander can bring back lost lovers on 96hrs and can cast all kind of spell. Dr alexzander is a healer that is here on earth to solve your problems just as he did to mine.this is your chance to be helped quickly by Dr alexzander.his an expert in distance healing, court cases even if one is convicted. he can do all manner of spell that you may need in life.he can also make you conceive a child and win money through gambling and other things you may desire to have in life. contact him and be the next to share his good work to the world. alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com or http://alexzanderhightemple-com.webs.com

      Delete
  2. MSNBC seems to be raiding Fox. Will those new hires present themselves as liberal or conservative commentators? They do seem to be mouthpieces willing to be repurposed, instead of independent actors, when it comes to the slant given their reporting. It depends on their writers, I guess.

    If MSNBC is more likely to present factual information while Fox is perceived as presenting propaganda, could the shift away from Fox be a desire to be more in touch with reality? Could it be that people are trying to avoid being lied to?

    Years ago, Somerby complained that conservatives are receiving more factual information about certain topics, such as what happened in Ferguson. However, surveys of media viewers show that those who watch so-called liberal stations are better informed about current events. Maybe people are just sick of all the fake news and trying to find a dependable source.

    I agree that Maddow's slant on Feb 15 events is odd, but you have to ask why McCabe was meeting with the President. Did Trump perhaps ask for a loyalty pledge on that occasion too? We need those tapes! What is to be gained by portraying McCabe as a compromised figure? Is Maddow angling for a special prosecutor or is she just generally trying to undermine our faith in the FBI? That seems like a conservative ploy, since it would set viewers up for disbelief of whatever charges emerge from their investigation. Is Maddow acting in service of Russian attempts to undermine confidence in our institutions? Experts on how to combat authoritarianism tell us that we must protect our institutions.

    Is Somerby suggesting that Maddow is someone who just gins up controversies for their own sake, without any consistent agenda? Or is he carping at her because she changed her interpretation of a past event, changed her mind about a figure involved in it? People can and should change their attitudes in the light of new information. Is Somerby arguing for rigidity -- that one's past statements must determine one's future beliefs? Has Maddow changed, or is she reflecting a new attitude at MSNBC as it remakes itself into the new Fox?

    Wish Somerby would say more plainly what he thinks is going on. Simply pointing out an inconsistency and calling Maddow some names isn't helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dave the Guitar PlayerMay 16, 2017 at 1:00 PM

      Bob repeatedly says that he doesn't know (can't know) the motivations of the media stars. I do think he has an opinion, but he is just trying to make the point that these media stars are not always the best source of unbiased, truthful and complete information. Beyond that, if you want to form an opinion about why these people behave the way they do, it is up to you. But keep in mind that it will likely just be an opinion and not based on the (journalistic) fact.

      Delete
  3. Of interest?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lawrence-odonnell-msnbc-future_us_59162d8ce4b00f308cf5534a

    "If O’Donnell’s contract is not renewed, the news would certainly be welcome to President Donald Trump, who has had a long-running feud with O’Donnell.

    In 2011, O’Donnell called on NBC to fire Trump, then the host and executive producer of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” for pushing his racist and inaccurate “birther” conspiracy against President Barack Obama. In 2015, he also claimed that Trump was lying about his wealth. Trump threatened to sue O’Donnell for making false statements but never followed through on his threat (which O’Donnell had predicted).

    According to three sources, Trump has pressured MSNBC President Phil Griffin to fire O’Donnell on multiple occasions. Griffin alluded to Trump’s push for O’Donnell’s ouster in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter last month, saying, “[Trump] started calling me all the time in 2011 to say Lawrence O’Donnell was a ‘third-rate’ anchor.” Griffin and O’Donnell enjoy a cordial relationship but Griffin’s power as the President of MSNBC has been diminished by Lack since he returned in 2015. As a result, Lack will be the one to decide whether O’Donnell stays and under what terms.

    There is a fear, among some at MSNBC, that Lack is making programming decisions in an effort to appease the Trump administration (an accusation that has been made of CNN and Fox News), which may lead to more access to the White House and in turn, conservative viewers."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Maddow herself is the Biggest Villian.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emulating his own peerless logic, one deduces impeccably that the fly regards Somerby as the Importantest Writer.

      Delete
  5. I need a recommendation for a good skin ointment.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  7. my name is Mark Godwin am here to share testimony of how i got back my relationship that was scattered for months. we got married for more than 7 years and have gotten three kids. things were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my wife started behaving in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way she treat me and the kids. for months she did not come home again and she called me for a divorce, i asked her what have i done wrong to deserve this from her, all she was saying is that she want a divorce that she hate me and do not want to see me again in her life, i was mad and also frustrated and do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 3 weeks i want to be reunited back with my husband in 2016 blog of her intention towards me. i love my wife so much and can do anything for her. i told my brother and he told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted DR Alexzander through his website, for the return of my wife to me, he told me that my wife have been taken by another man, that he cast a spell on her that was why she hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on her that will make her return to me and the kids, Dr alexzander cast the spell and after 1 week my wife called me and she told me that i should forgive her, she apologizes on phone and said that she did not know what happened to her. it was the spell that DR Alexzander cast on her that made her return back to me today,me and my family are now happy again. thank you Dr Alexzander for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for HIS great spell. i want all my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact {alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com or through his website http://alexzanderhightemple-com.webs.com} if you need a supernatural great wizard to cast a spell for you. email Dr alexzander and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.These are the few things he also do for people. *do you need rapid and undeserved promotions in your offices or work? Dr alexzander can bring back lost lovers on 96hrs and can cast all kind of spell. Dr alexzander is a healer that is here on earth to solve your problems just as he did to mine.this is your chance to be helped quickly by Dr alexzander.his an expert in distance healing, court cases even if one is convicted. he can do all manner of spell that you may need in life.he can also make you conceive a child and win money through gambling and other things you may desire to have in life. contact him and be the next to share his good work to the world. alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com or http://alexzanderhightemple-com.webs.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Are you going through a break-up or divorce?
    Do you need your Ex back fast? Dnot cry anymore, contact Dr .Goodluck for powerful Love spell that work fast now!! I was hurt and heart broken when my Husband breakup with me, and i could not know what next to do again, I love my Husband so much but he was cheating on me with another woman and this makes him break up with me so that he can be able to get marred to the other lady and this lady i think use witchcraft on my Husband to make him hate me and our kids and this was so critical and uncalled-for,I cry all day and night for God to send me a helper to get back my man until i went to Texas in USA to see a friend and who was having the same problem with me but she latter got her husband back and i asked her how she was able to get her husband back and she told me that their was a powerful spell caster called Dr .Goodluck that help with love spell in getting back lost lover back, and i decided to contact the same Dr .Goodluck and he told me what is needed to be done for me to have my man back and i did it although i doubted it but i did it and the Dr told me that i will get the result after 17hours, and he told me that my husband was going to call me and i still doubted his word, to my surprise my husband really called me and told me that he miss me so much, Oh My God! i was so excited, and today i am happy with my man again and we are joyfully living together as one big family and i thank the powerful spell caster Dr .Goodluck for bringing back my man and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr .Goodluck is best spell caster online who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, If you have any problem contact Dr .Goodluck and i guarantee you that he will help you,Email him at: goodluck05spellcaster@gmail.com ,you can also call him or add him on whats-app: +2348138654465
    http://goodluck05spellcaster.yolasite.com

    ReplyDelete