Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Olbermann's "Factor Fiction"

On the May 9th Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Olbermann refuted O'Reilly's false claims about his ratings. See here and here for our two earlier stories about O'Reilly's false claims and his declining ratings.

As Olbermann noted, despite O'Reilly's claims that his ratings increased from April 2005 to April 2006, they actually declined 3%.

Olbermann also refuted O'Reilly's claims that his ratings for the 4:00 AM ET rerun were higher than Olbermann's 8:00 PM ET original, that that they actually had 85,000 more viewers.

Olbermann also refuted O'Reilly's claims from May 8th that MSNBC's 'smear guy', referring to Olbermann, "was doing nothing" in terms of ratings. In the same period that Olbermann's numbers increased 28%, April of 2006, O'Reilly's declined 4%.

And while the "money demo", viewers aged from 25-54, Olbermann's ratings increased 37% while O'Reilly's declined 12%.

Transcripts from Media Matters:

OLBERMANN: Speaking of somebody who also lives in a bubble and is also all wet, there's Bill O'Reilly. Back in the news for playing fast and loose with the ratings, again. So, once again we're in the position of having to address the third thing Bill O. shares with David Blaine, the ability to misdirect your attention. You know the drill, I will read Mr. O'Reilly's on-air remarks from the other broadcast, then translate and/or correct what he said in a little segment we call "Factor Fiction."

"The ratings for April are in, and for the nights I anchored the Factor, we improved our total audience over April 2005."

Unfortunately none of us gets to fudge the ratings like that. Geez, Bill, why not just subtract the time when you're playing the commercials. Those ratings are probably fantastic.

"A nice achievement ... so we thank you all very much."

Thank you for dropping The O'Reilly Factor ratings by three percent last month compared to April 2005. You can't just count the nights you're on. To try to finesse it that way is, well, let's just say on the schoolyard it would be greeted by chants of "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty." Well, let's return to Bill's ego already in progress.

"If you read some of the Fox-hating print press --"

Print press? As opposed to what other kind of press? Wine press? Bill Press?

"If you read some of the Fox-hating print press, you'd never know how well we're doing actually."

That's because you're not doing well, actually. Last month's audience was smaller than March, which was smaller than January, which was smaller than December, which was smaller than October -- the smallest since May of last year.

"The writers in the Los Angeles Times and Rocky Mountain News, among others, want to prop up our competition."

Props. Never mention props. Reminds people of loofahs and falafels. The audience for the competition -- that'd be us -- was up by a third from last April.

"And here's more truth. Last Thursday evening, the Factor's third rerun at four in the morning actually beat MSNBC's 8 p.m. original."

Well, here, when Bill O. says, "Here's more truth," what he means is he's lying. Last Thursday our 8:00 p.m. original had 85,000 more viewers. And by the way, thanks for calling us original.

"So, the next time you read nonsense about cable news ratings, please understand it is disseminated by people who despise this network."

Like the A.C. Nielsen ratings company or Fox News media relations.

"What counts is that millions of Americans continue to choose Fox News over the competition."

None of them under the age of 70. Bill O's average viewer is now over the age of 70. Ours just dropped to under 60, and here's what actually counts. The little secret Bill O. would pay to keep you from knowing. Not like he paid Andrea Mackris, but you know what I mean. In what Fox itself calls the "money demo," ages 25 to 54, The O'Reilly Factor averaged 412,000 viewers last month. Down again from March, the 13th month out of the last 17 months it has dropped, and that counts the month everybody went up when the hurricane hit. His ratings are the lowest they have been since August of 2001. Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.


You can view the video clip of Olbermann at Media Matters.