Archive for November 7, 2012

Of Rove and FNC’s Decision Desk

Posted in FNC on November 7, 2012 by icn2

If you watched it last night as I did, it was one of the more interesting sideshows on cable news election night coverage. New York Magazine’s deadly danger man Gabriel Sherman goes behind the scenes of last night’s FNC Rove vs. FNC’s Decision Desk bruhaha. More amazing than Sherman’s story is the fact that FNC commented on the record at all. I thought Sherman was permanently radioactive for FNC…

Shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday, Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes assembled his network’s election team in a second floor conference room at Fox’s midtown headquarters to discuss the night’s coverage. He prepared them for the worst. “Guys,” he told them according to a source familiar with the exchange, “if things don’t go your way tonight, don’t go out there looking like someone ran over your dog.”

Six hours later, American Crossroads co-founder and Fox News contributor Karl Rove was on-camera seeming to ignore his boss’s orders. Shortly after 11 p.m., Bret Baier went on-camera to read a script written by Fox’s Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, based on an analysis by the network’s decision desk, announcing Ohio for Obama. “That’s the presidency, essentially,” Baier said.

Instantly, Fox phones lit up with angry phone calls and e-mails from the Romney campaign, who believed that the call was premature, since tallies in several Republican-leaning Southern counties hadn’t been been fully tabulated. “The Romney people were totally screaming that we’re totally wrong,” one Fox source said. “To various people, they were saying, ‘your decision team is wrong.'” According to a Fox insider, Rove had been in contact with the Romney people all night. After the Ohio call, Rove — whose super-PAC had spent as much as $300 million on the election, to little avail — took their complaints public, conducting an on-air primer on Ohio’s electoral math in disputing the call.

Preliminary Election Night Numbers…

Posted in CNN, FNC, MSNBC on November 7, 2012 by icn2

CNN is noting how well it did last night in the ratings. These numbers are not final so it’s possible that somewhere Karl Rove is questioning the Nielsen Decision Desk’s call…

CNN IS TOP-RATED CABLE NEWS NETWORK ON ELECTION NIGHT; WINS TOTAL VIEWERS, KEY DEMO 25-54 AND YOUNGER VIEWERS (18-34)

CNN Breaks Four-Year Traffic Record Online, Earns More Social Media Buzz than Any TV News Brand

According to Nielsen Fast National Ratings data, CNN ranked #1 among the cable news networks last night in total viewers, key demo 25-54 and younger viewers (18-34) from 7pm-2am (when first polls closed thru both candidates’ speeches).

Election Night (7pm-2am), Tuesday, November 6, 2012:

CNN 8.836 million total viewers/4.387m adults 25-54/2.711m adults 18-34

FNC 8.708 million total viewers/3.494m adults 25-54/1.214m adults 18-34

MSNBC 4.604 million total viewers/2.021m adults 25-54/785k adults 18-34

CNN Digital:

CNN.com breaks four-year traffic record:

On Tuesday, November 6, 2012 CNN.com broke four-year traffic records by delivering 203 million page views and reaching more than 23 million unique visitors. Accounting for half of the day’s page views were the CNN Politics section and CNN Digital Election Center which boasted 101.5 million page views collectively. In addition, CNN.com delivered nearly 6 million video starts and 382,000 live streams for Election Day 2012. (Source: Omniture Site Catalyst)

More buzz than any other TV news brand:

CNN was the most cited TV news brand in measured social media yesterday, more than doubling that of second place – Fox News (Source: Sysomos). CNN’s flagship Facebook fan page garnered more than 145,000 actions yesterday while daily total actions across the CNN flagship Twitter accounts, @CNN and @CNNBRK, totaled 68,000 (Facebook API and Twitter Analytics).

“CNN”, “Watching CNN”, “Anderson Cooper” and “Wolf Blitzer” were all worldwide trending topics on Twitter during primetime election coverage (Twitter Analytics).

Free for All: 11/07/12

Posted in Free For All on November 7, 2012 by icn2

Well it’s over. So what’s on your mind now?

Election Night Reviewing…

Posted in CNN, MSNBC on November 7, 2012 by icn2

The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik contrasts last night’s election coverage between CNN and MSNBC…when Obama had been declared the winner…

When that happened at NBC News and CNN, viewers were offered as clear a snapshot as I have seen of the difference between a news gathering operation like CNN and an ideologically driven enterprise like MSNBC.

“We’ve got a really major projection to make right now,” CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer said. “CNN projects that Barack Obama will be re-elected as president of the United States. He will return to the White House for four more years, because CNN projects him as the winner in Ohio. … They’re excited in Chicago. They’re excited in Times Square. They’re excited around the world. Let’s listen in to their excitement.”

And then, all the the anchors and analysts at CNN remained silent as the cameras and microphones took viewers from Los Angeles to Boston, Chicago, Kenya and Las Vegas — letting those of us who were watching experience the sights and sounds of victory. CNN reported the moment rather than editorializing.

On MSNBC, by contrast, Rachel Maddow, who was anchoring that channel’s coverage, followed the announcement of the projection, which was based on work done not by MSNBC, but rather NBC News, by declaring, “a point of privilege.”

“I would also just like a point of privilege to say that is an important moment for policy,” she began.

“This was a consequential presidency not just because Barack Obama was the first African-American president. And not just because America turned to the Democratic party after eight years of George Bush and Dick Cheney. This is a consequential presidency because of policy.”

Maddow went on to describe those policies, saying, “in terms of civil rights matters like don’t ask, don’t tell; in terms of the president supporting marriage equality; in terms of economic policy like the stimulus; in terms of historic, historic change like health reform, like health reform, and some of the other reform like Wall Street reform, credit card reform, student loan reform measures that this president was able to pass. I know I’m forgetting something in this historic moment.”

Such repeated words and phrases as “historic” and “like health reform” are not typos. That’s what she said. But she wasn’t through.

Instead of hearing supporters of the president or from reporters on the ground with supporters of the victor, we got to hear more of Maddow’s point of privilege.

Zurawik isn’t understating things here. I watched Maddow’s oratory. This is precisely what I feared would happen eventually from MSNBC if it kept putting its pundits in the anchor chair instead of journalists. A pundit isn’t going to be able to stifle their natural inclination to opine forever. Eventually they’ll lose control. Last night Maddow lost control and drove home the point I and others have been making for years about why we need journalists and not pundits anchoring news coverage.

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