Conservative commentator Sean Hannity was interviewed in the most recent issue of Playboy magazine, and not surprisingly, he was hit hard and hit often from the left.
Yet of all the questions asked by contributing editor David Hochman, potentially the most absurd was when he tried to beat Hannity up with - wait for it! - Rachel Maddow's plummeting ratings:
PLAYBOY: Let’s move on. Fox News’s ratings are down, and your show in particular has taken a hit this year.
HANNITY: No, actually, our ratings are back up.
PLAYBOY: Your ratings were down 35 percent in February.
HANNITY: Well, from the year before, which was an election year.
PLAYBOY: Rachel Maddow has beaten you in your time slot.
HANNITY: Never! Not once!
PLAYBOY: She has in the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic.
HANNITY: But overall, we’re at double her ratings. You’ve got to be careful how you make these comparisons.
It really makes you wonder if Hochman or anyone at Playboy has been paying attention to what's been happening at MSNBC this year.
Yes, there were some days last year, and at least one that I could find in 2013, when MSNBC's Maddow beat Hannity in the demo. But it's an infrequent occurrance, and hasn't happened since January as far as I can tell.
As for the broader audience, Hannity demolishes Maddow.
On Tuesday, Hannity beat Maddow in the demo 235k to 187k. In total viewers, he won 1.667 million to 0.667 million.
That's right. Hannity had a million more viewers than Maddow Tuesday evening.
The rout was even larger Monday when Hannity took the demo 275k to 142k, and total viewers 1.686 million to 0.654 million.
As Noah Rothman observed Tuesday, "Since February, Hannity’s viewership [sic] grown 14 percent in the demo and 17 percent in overall viewers. In May, his show was the second highest rated program in all of cable news. Just two weeks ago, on June 5, Hannity more than doubled Maddow’s ratings in the demo."
You were saying, Mr. Hochman.
As for Fox News's demise, I guess Playboy's contributing editor missed that in April, FNC was the number two cable channel in primetime and number three in total day.
Compare this to MSNBC whose ratings as NewsBusters has been reporting are in total freefall.
After attracting its lowest number of viewers in seven years a number of weeks ago, MSNBC was the lowest-rated cable news network in the nation in May actually coming in fourth behind FNC, CNN, and HLN.
As for Maddow's May, her show delivered its lowest-rated month since it debuted in September 2008 (717,000 total viewers) and its second lowest in the demo (210,000).
This didn't prevent Hochman from asserting, "Fox News overall hit a 12-year ratings low in January and recently had a record low in a poll on viewer trust. The perception among many is that Fox News is out of it."
No, that's the perception amongst people that have absolutely no idea of the actual ratings numbers and apparently don't care.
But what should we expect from Playboy? If you recall, in 2009 the online version of the magazine actually published a top ten list of conservative women the author wanted to "hate-f**k."
Many of these women either worked for Fox or were contributors.
So much for Playboy's "perception" when it comes to the number one cable news network in the nation.