Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Last Call For MSNBC

Ratings are down big at MSNBC from this time last year, and for some shows it's by as much as half the audience.

Compared to August 2012, MSNBC was down -28% in total viewers and -32% in the A25-54 demographic in total day and -36% and -32%, respectively, in primetime. MSNBC was the only cable channel to see viewership growth last August, thanks in part to live coverage from the Olympics.
“Morning Joe” was down -9% in total viewers and -17% in the A25-54 demographic compared to the same month last year, which actually was a better result than many of the programs that came later in the day.

In primetime, “The Rachel Maddow Show” posted all-time low ratings in total and demo viewers, down -43% and -47%, respectively. “The Last Word” posted a low in total viewers, losing -40% of its total viewer audience and -42% of its demo audience. at 8 PM, “All in” was down -48% and -42% in total and demo viewers, respectively, placing behind CNN for the hour.

In dayside, MSNBC was down double digits in pretty much every hour in total and demo viewers, including 6 PM’s “PoliticsNation,” which was down -31% and -37% in total and demo viewers, and 3 PM’s “The Cycle,” which was down -15% and -18% in total and demo viewers. One of the few programs to improve year to year was “The Ed Show” on Saturday and Sunday, which was up both days in total viewers, and in the demo on Saturday. This may help explain why the channel replaced the 5 PM edition of “Hardball” with the former weekend program.

Part of that loss has been viewers like myself.  I've stopped watching Maddow.  I gave All In a month or so, but have stopped watching that as well.   Last Word really isn't much of an option for me, being that late at night (I'm up at 5 AM on weekdays.)

Much of this is the fact that I could basically turn on any other cable news channel and see the Village taking swipes at the Obama administration.   Joy Ann Reid has been pretty good the few times I've seen her guest host.  Ezra Klein remains abysmal in the same capacity, but for the most part there's nothing on MSNBC that differentiates itself from the other news guys, which I don't watch.

It's telling that the network's longest running show is Hardball, going on its 15th year soon.  All the other shows have increasingly become more like Hardball, not less.

And I hate to say this, but losing Olbermann was the biggest blow to the network so far.  Olbermann at least made for good broadcasting, and he was a pro.  Hayes, Maddow, O'Donnell, not so much.

The Names Remain The Same

As BooMan points out, the people behind the latest neo-con screed demanding President Obama authorize military action that would bring "meaningful consequences" to Bashar al-Assad's regime are the same neo-con assholes who got us into war with Iraq.

We urge you to respond decisively by imposing meaningful consequences on the Assad regime.  At a minimum, the United States, along with willing allies and partners, should use standoff weapons and airpower to target the Syrian dictatorship’s military units that were involved in the recent large-scale use of chemical weapons.  It should also provide vetted moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition with the military support required to identify and strike regime units armed with chemical weapons.

Moreover, the United States and other willing nations should consider direct military strikes against the pillars of the Assad regime.  The objectives should be not only to ensure that Assad’s chemical weapons no longer threaten America, our allies in the region or the Syrian people, but also to deter or destroy the Assad regime’s airpower and other conventional military means of committing atrocities against civilian non-combatants.  At the same time, the United States should accelerate efforts to vet, train, and arm moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition, with the goal of empowering them to prevail against both the Assad regime and the growing presence of Al Qaeda-affiliated and other extremist rebel factions in the country.

And guess who thinks this is a great idea?

The signatories on the letter addressed to President Obama inlcude Senator Joe Lieberman, Bernard-Henri Levy, Karl Rove, Bill Kristol, Elliott Abrams, Leon Wieseltier, and many others. Right now, 66 experts have signed the letter.  

Those "many others" include Tim Pawlenty, Norm Coleman, Dan Senor, Max Boot, Larry Kaplan and pretty much the rest of the neo-con jackasses who helped Cheney and his propaganda shop lie us into two decade-plus long wars.  There is no goddamn way I'm supporting Syria intervention of any sort if these bloodthirsty ghouls back it.

Please, Mr. President.  Reconsider.  These are people who think assassinating the entire Assad family will somehow end the conflict in Syria, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Let's not throw our lot in with them.

Orange Potatohead Pie

House Speaker John Boehner is on the road fundraising for his fellow House Republicans, which I guess is like holding up a big sign with an arrow pointing to Orange Julius that reads "I'm with Stupid! (Now Give Me $200,000)."  Monday he was in Boise, Idaho where he had some choice comments about taking the economy hostage again, because apparently it worked so well for them in 2012.

House Speaker John Boehner said Monday that getting the GOP-controlled House to agree to raising the U.S. debt ceiling will only come with a bipartisan deal to make cost-saving changes to Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, farm programs and government pensions.

Before becoming speaker in 2011, Boehner said, he’d watched leaders of both parties delay a long-term solution to a baby-boom-fueled benefit crisis.

“I made up my mind that we weren’t going to kick the can down the road any more,” Boehner, R-Ohio, told a Boise lunch crowd at a fundraiser for Idaho’s 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson. “We’re not going to inflict all of this pain and suffering on our kids and our grandkids.”

He's right.  The GOP is going to inflict all of this pain and suffering on the entire country instead.

“Now, it’s time to deal with the mandatory side,” Boehner said, winning applause from a crowd of 430 at the Boise Centre on The Grove. “I’ve made it clear that we’re not going to increase the debt limit without cuts and reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit.

“The president doesn’t think this is fair, thinks I’m being difficult to deal with. But I’ll say this: It may be unfair but what I’m trying to do here is to leverage the political process to produce more change than what it would produce if left to its own devices. We’re going to have a whale of a fight.”

Recalling the 2011 battle over raising the federal debt ceiling, Boehner recalled negotiations that spooked financial markets, prompted Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the U.S. credit rating and angered ordinary Americans. He warned the audience to expect more of the same.

“I wish I could tell you it was going to be pretty and polite, and it would all be finished a month before we’d ever get to the debt ceiling. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way,” Boehner said. “If this were easy to do, somebody over the last 20 or 30 years would have gotten it done. We’re going to do it this fall.”

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Good luck winning in 2014 with the strategy "We're going to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid or shut the government down trying!"  I'm looking forward to a Democratic House and Senate.

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