On April 13, at a dog-and-pony show with advertisers, CNN's Jim Walton told participants: "We are the only credible, non partisan voice left, and that matters." True comedy gold.
An accurate offer by Walton to the attending advertisers, in a variation on an old Soviet joke about the wonders of their communist system ("We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us"), might have gone likes this: "We can pretend to do journalism, and you can pretend we have an audience."
It's gotten so bad that CNN's supposedly weak sister Headline News is routinely walloping it during prime time. Here's how the latest three available days as reported at Media Bistro (April 20, April 21 and April 22) turned out (all figures in thousands):
If you were a cable TV host whose audience size is obliterated by O'Reilly's, buried by Beck's, hammered by Hannity's and slam-dunked by Susteren's, would you really go around mocking someone else's ratings?
Appparently yes, if you're Ed Schultz. The host of the miniscule MSNBC program went out of his way this evening to belittle the ratings of Dennis Miller's radio show . . .
Schultz's snide comment came during his Psycho Talk segment.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann was Howard Kurtz's guest on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, and unfortunately, viewers were treated to a litany of hypocrisies from both media personalities, so much so that it seemed like a lengthy advertisement for the controversial "Countdown."
Although Kurtz did present his guest as being mostly liberal and decidedly anti-Bush, he never once mentioned "Countdown's" actual ratings, or how Olbermann is often in last place in his time slot behind "The O'Reilly Factor," "Nancy Grace," and whatever is being offered by CNN.
You would think that since Kurtz works for CNN, he might have mentioned this.
But that wasn't the only hypocrisy Sunday morning, for when Olbermann made clear just how biased he is, Kurtz seemed to be totally oblivious (video available here, liberal website warning):
On Monday, the "most trusted name in news" ran an advertisement for its Headline News program "Nancy Grace" dealing with "incredible crime stories" this fall.
In the fast-moving montage, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Kent.) picture was spliced in between what appears to be convicted dog abuser Michael Vick and missing Bolingbrook, Illinois, resident Stacy Peterson. A picture of her husband Drew, who is implicated in her disappearance, followed, with a final shot of OJ Simpson.
Earlier this year, a woman killed herself after being interviewed by CNN Headline News host Nancy Grace over the apparent abduction of her son. At the time (see this September NB posting for background), the relatives of Melinda Duckett were blasting Grace for her alleged role in driving the woman to suicide. They've since taken things a step further and launched a lawsuit against Grace:
Her parents in Lockport were outraged
by the talk show hosts harsh, accusatory line of questioning. The
segment aired just hours after her death.
Jerry Eubank: "It was 3-4 hours after I heard that Mindy died and I'm
watching this woman banging the table, and screaming about why aren't
you telling us this, I mean she was judge, jury and executioner."
mother, Beth Eubank: "She physically makes me ill. The night she aired
the show on September 8th, it was less than four hours since Mindy's
death, family members had not even been notified."
Is Nancy Grace, the crime-obsessed CNN Headline News host and
prosecutor, at least partly to blame for the suicide of a Florida woman
whose son has been reported missing?
According to the family of Melinda Duckett, a harsh interview Grace
taped with Duckett was one of the factors that put her over
Duckett shot herself a
day after taping an interview with CNN Headline News' Nancy Grace, who
frequently focuses on missing-persons cases. Stumbling on questions
like whether she had taken a polygraph test or where, specifically, she
was shopping with her son before his disappearance, Duckett, speaking
by telephone, became audibly exasperated.
Before it was over,
Grace was pounding her desk in a raised voice, saying, "Where were you?
Why aren't you telling us where you were that day?"
and the others, they just bashed her to the end," Melinda Duckett's
grandfather Bill Eubank said Tuesday. "She wasn't one anyone ever would
have thought of to do something like this. She and that baby just loved
each other, couldn't get away from each other. She wouldn't hurt a bug."
As you would expect, Grace denies this. On Monday's
show, instead of focusing on 9/11, she devoted basically the
entire program (except for a small mention of the terrorist attacks at
the end) to the Duckett case. Everything Grace said about the case, plus a comment, is below the fold.