On his Wednesday radio show, Ed Schultz boasted to his listeners about his MSNBC ratings: “We had a record number of people watching on Monday night – 872,000 people. I have to start the program by saying thank you.”
“Record” by what measure? Certainly, not by comparison with Fox: TV By The Numbers has Special Report with Bret Baier drawing more than 2.1 million people (and Schultz with 858,000). Schultz played the Man-From-Fargo card, claiming his ratings “record” wasn’t appreciated by the media blogs:
The slick websites like Huffington Post and uh, Mediaite and TVNewser, I'm not their guy. You don't see any of my stuff on any of their websites, or they're never going to mention what I do. I'm from Fargo, I'm not from New York City. I only work here because the studio's here and I bring a different voice to MSNBC, and it’s one that I think is needed.
Again, the “slick websites” should do a story – headlined “Bret Baier crushed Ed again”? Schultz then claimed he was beating cable shows up and down the prime-time lineup:
And I appreciate all of the support that all of you have given us on this radio show and on the TV show. But to have a record audience, which of course beat every hour of CNN in prime time. You could put our show at six o'clock on MSNBC up against John King, we smoke 'em. Larry King, we smoke 'em. Anderson Cooper, we smoke 'em. Over on Headline News, Joy Behar, we smoke her. Who's the other one? Miss Tennis Shoes, what's her name, Nancy Grace? We smoke her too. I mean, we beat 'em all!
Schultz's hot story on Monday was the MoveOn lobbyist that stuck a poster in Rand Paul's face and was stomped on. Schultz is right that he beat all these other shows in the cumulative ratings: John King at 7, Larry King at 8, Anderson Cooper at 10 on CNN, and Nancy Grace at 8 and Joy Behar at 9 on HLN. But the TVNewser blog’s “Scoreboard” probably bothered him, because in viewers aged 25-54, the most prized demographic, Schultz was not on top of some of these shows he "smoked": his 188,000 viewers in the key demo lost to Grace at 8 (198,000), Cooper at 10 (198,000), and he even lost his own timeslot to Wolf Blitzer at 6 (226,000). TV Newser spotlights the key demo, but had the Total Viewers as well if you clicked on "Read more."
Of course, Schultz's "record" number never beat any evening hour on Fox from 5 pm through midnight, including the Hannity midnight rerun (1 million).