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Obama Skids in Another Ratings Count: TV Viewers

July 27, 2009
By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to Newsmax.com

President Obama received flack from all sides for his answer to a question at his healthcare press conference in which he said that the police officers involved in Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates' arrest acted stupidly.

But who could have predicted that Daily Show host Jon Stewart would do a presidential put-down?

I wasn't at the press conference last night, and I also don't have all the facts, but I think it's fair to say that Obama handled that question oh, what's the word I'm looking for stupidly? the Comedy Central star cracked.

In light of Walter Cronkite's recent passing, a Time magazine poll picked Stewart as the anchor now regarded as the most trusted newscaster.

Maybe it's a sign of the news-entertainment fuse, but Stewart actually topped the list.

Almost 45 percent thought the comedian was Cronkite's heir and disregarded the big-name network anchors.

Nearly 30 percent picked Brian Williams, 19 percent chose Charles Gibson, and only 7 percent selected Katie Couric as the most trusted newsperson.

Personally, I think the next Walter Cronkite has been right before our eyes for a number of years now.

How about a Nightly News with Britt Hume broadcast on Fox TV. The other networks would take it in the ratings shorts.

Just a thought.

Meanwhile, it looks as if the Fox television network made a wise business call when network execs decided not to air the Obama-care news conference. Instead, they made the decision to stick with regular programming, which included the reality show So You Think You Can Dance.

In the competitive world of TV ratings, higher ones equal more advertising dollars. Fox's dance show experienced a ratings increase of 8 percent in the 18-49 demographic and garnered 7.32 million viewers. For the first time in several weeks, Fox also beat NBCs juggernaut show, Americas Got Talent, by not airing the White House sales pitch.

The lap-dog networks aired the Obama show but suffered the consequences.

NBC had the largest Obama viewing audience, with 6.38 million viewers. ABC came in second with 5.83 million viewers. And CBS placed last with a meager 4.28 million viewers. Their combined audiences totaled 16.49 million TV viewers, 13 percent less than Obama's previous prime-time appearance on April 29, when 18.8 million people tuned in.

Maybe the ratings would have been better if the Obama show had been called So You Think You Can Wing It.

Reproduced with the permission of
NewsMax.com . All rights reserved


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Copyright © 2009
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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