27 January 2011

Myths: Lots of people watch Fox News

We all know that Fox News' ratings are huge because of all the ranting and pandering that goes on appeals to a huge number of people.

Well, actually, not. Few people actually watch the network. Here's a small reality check from Conor Friedersdorf subbing for Andrew Sullivan:

And let's be clear on the size of the Fox News audience. In 2008, 59,934,814 Americans voted for John McCain. During election week, Fox News as a network averaged 3.54 million viewers. (Perhaps liberals would have more success trying to persuade the other 56,394,814 Republican voters.) That same year, Oprah Winfrey's show – just the one show – averaged 7.3 million voters (reported here as a ratings slump). Yes, among a certain demographic, Fox News is a huge ratings success. So is Rush Limbaugh. But where is the evidence that this rating success has translated into electoral victories or a friendlier policy environment for conservatives? There is none.

Define the demographic right and I probably could show you that Sententiae is a roaring success.

Of course, even fewer people watch the other news networks.

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At 03 February, 2011 12:20, Anonymous Jack Perry said...

I've always wondered why the mainstream media pay so much attention to Sarah Palin and Fox News. I've long half-suspected that the disproportionate attention paid to them by others serves merely whip up the bogeyman for liberal readers and funding sources.

You've now confirmed my suspicion that even most people of a conservative bent don't pay attention to them. My conspiracy theory looks better every day. lol

At 06 February, 2011 21:00, Blogger Clemens said...

I have said here that I think that most of the Tea Party thing was a charade: it worked a lot of people up to the point where they went to the polls, but even the people who called them forth aren't paying much attention to them.

But it certainly is not part of a liberal bogeyman type of thing. Or not completely.


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