Olbermann Mocks the Elderly as '65 to Dead' Demographic

On Friday's Countdown, during the show's "Worst Person in the World" segment, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann tried to characterize the ratings of his show as more admirable than than those of FNC's highly watched O'Reilly Factor by narrowly citing viewing figures among younger demographics. Olbermann, who has a history of quoting the viewing figures for those 25-54 years old -- citing their value to advertisers -- to make himself appear more competitive with O'Reilly, on this occasion dismissively referred to older viewers as "65 to dead." Olbermann: "But don't worry, Bill, you're still dominating that important demographic, 65 to dead." Notably, in June 2006, Olbermann gloated that O'Reilly's viewers are "dying off."

And, although Olbermann vaguely claimed that Bill O'Reilly "crows about the ratings and then gets them wrong again," the MSNBC host in no way contradicted O'Reilly's numbers as Olbermann merely cited the statistics for the specific younger demographics, which did not disprove anything the FNC host stated.

TVNewser reported on the July figures: ""The top rated program was again The O'Reilly Factor at 8pmET(2,252,000 viewer average). For MSNBC, the top program was Countdown with Keith Olbermann at 8pmET in 9th place (959,000) and for CNN it was Larry King Live tied for 10th (940,000)." The TVNewser report can be seen here. (Transcript follows)

Even though his ratings are relatively lower than those of O'Reilly, Olbermann referred to O'Reilly's ratings being "down" as he plugged the segment: "And Bill-O, the Clown gets caught with his ratings down."

In another plug, Olbermann claimed O'Reilly got the ratings "wrong": "Bill-O crows about the ratings and then gets them wrong again in 'Worst Persons.'"

During the "Worst Person" segment, Olbermann quoted O'Reilly's words about the July ratings for CNN, MSNBC, and FNC, informing viewers of their performance in relation to all cable channels. Olbermann, quoting O'Reilly: "'The ratings for July are in. The TV ratings causing a true reality check for CNN and MSNBC. Fox News ranked number six in prime time. That's among all cable channels. CNN, 22, MSNBC 30, right behind the tomato channel. Since I was off for a few days in July, I want to thank Laura Ingraham, John Kasich and E.D. Hill for keeping the numbers up.'"

Although O'Reilly seemed to be talking generally about all primetime shows in citing the numbers, conveying the cable news rankings' place among total viewers of all cable channels, Olbermann switched to talking exclusively about his own show versus O'Reilly's, only citing numbers for younger viewers, and comparing cable news shows only instead of including all cable shows -- presumably to make the numbers sound as different as possible from those O'Reilly used without explicitly contradicting him.

Olbermann: "I've got your reality check right here, goober. In July, Countdown was the number three rated show in all of cable news, adults 25 to 54, behind Bill-O and Hannity. We were the number two rated show in all of cable news adults 18 to 49, and we were the number one rated show in all of cable news, adults 18 to 34. And Bill-O was third. Since I was off for two weeks in July, I want to thank Rachel Maddow for kicking the asses of Laura Ingram, John Kasich and E.D. Hill. But don't worry, Bill, you're still dominating that important demographic, 65 to dead."

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Friday, August 1, Countdown show on MSNBC:

KEITH OLBERMANN, DURING COMMERCIAL BREAK AT 8:17 P.M.: And Bill-O, the Clown gets caught with his ratings down. You are watching Countdown on MSNBC.
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OLBERMANN, BEFORE COMMERCIAL BREAK AT 8:34 P.M.: Bill-O crows about the ratings and then gets them wrong again in "Worst Persons."
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OLBERMANN: But first, time for Countdown's number two story, tonight's "Worst Persons in the World." Number three, Bill-O the Clown ventured into the audience estimates again, and, in the process, caught stepping on his loofah. "Finally, finally the ratings for July are in. The TV ratings causing a true reality check for CNN and MSNBC. Fox News ranked number six in prime time. That's among all cable channels. CNN, 22, MSNBC 30, right behind the tomato channel. Since I was off for a few days in July, I want to thank Laura Ingram, John Kasich and E.D. Hill for keeping the numbers up."

I've got your reality check right here, goober. In July, Countdown was the number three rated show in all of cable news, adults 25 to 54, behind Bill-O and Hannity. We were the number two rated show in all of cable news adults 18 to 49, and we were the number one rated show in all of cable news, adults 18 to 34. And Bill-O was third. Since I was off for two weeks in July, I want to thank Rachel Maddow for kicking the asses of Laura Ingraham, John Kasich and E.D. Hill. But don't worry, Bill, you're still dominating that important demographic, 65 to dead.