Mar 1 2004

The Ratings Mirage

Why Fox has higher ratings--when CNN has more viewers

Reporting on the ratings rivalry between the Fox News Channel (FNC) and CNN is often misleading–and almost always over-hyped. “Fox Tops CNN as Choice for Cable News,” declared one typical headline (Chicago Tribune , 3/24/03). “Fox News Channel Continues to Crush CNN ,” reported Knight Ridder (Dallas Morning News , 2/3/04) in a column comparing the rivalry to a party primary: “Fox News Channel is winning the Nielsen caucuses.” Last summer (8/17/03), the New York Times Magazine declared, looking back at the period of the Iraq invasion, “Fox was–and still is–trouncing CNN in the ratings.” After exposure to countless similar […]

Dec 1 2003

O’Reilly Brags About Fox’s Lack of Skepticism

In an October 4 interview with CNBC‘s Tim Russert, Fox News star Bill O’Reilly made a puzzling boast about his network’s Iraq coverage. He said, “Well, I think Fox News Channel was lucky because we were less skeptical of the war, and the war went very well. So we won.” O’Reilly treated his network’s lack of skepticism as a point of pride, something to brag about. Is that really what people are looking for in a news source–credulity? If you believe that a journalistic enterprise “wins” not by cheerleading for the more powerful side, but instead by informing its audience, […]

Jan 1 1998

Media Moguls on Board

Murdoch, Malone and the Cato Institute

Last fall, when News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch joined the board of directors at the Cato Institute, the announcement went unreported in major media. Perhaps it seemed routine for one of the world’s most powerful media moguls to take a leadership post at one of the most influential think tanks in Washington. At future meetings, Murdoch can count on rubbing elbows with his fellow media titan, John C. Malone–president and CEO of Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI), the largest U.S. cable operator–who has been on the Cato board since 1995. The two men are well acquainted, and their companies have long been […]