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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Conservatives Ratings Fetish

She just reiterates what I've been saying for a long time.

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I've gotten into quite a few debates with conservatives on Twitter regarding their love for high ratings and their inability to understand that a higher Neilson score and the accuracy of the alleged reporting are mutually exclusive. To put it another way, conservatives believe that the more Fox"News" viewers there are, the more truth they must be telling.

This. Is. Not. True.

To follow conservative logic, as Rachel Maddow correctly points out, if your rating score is high, then your program - no matter what the subject matter - is proportionately true. So is there really a talking sponge under the sea that hangs out with a star-fish and has wacky adventures with celebrity guest stars? Of course there isn't. That's like saying since O'Reilly claimed that there wasn't a homeless Veteran problem that there isn't one.

Fox"News" enjoys it's ratings success largely due to the very nature of modern Americans. We are voyeuristic in nature. We crave entertainment, confrontation, and programming that is sensational. The consumerist nature of Americans is tapped into by Fox on virtually every program they air. It's info-tainment porn. We tune into Fox because of who they are and how they act. It's the proverbial car wreck that you slow down to take a look at, the fight in the school-yard that you know you can stop but are having too good of a time standing back and watching unfold.

The reality of it is that people watch Fox"News" for a variety of reasons. I would speculate that it's a minority within the country that watch Fox purely for informational purposes.

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