It used to be that whenever an important news story broke, cable television viewers would quickly turn to CNN for must-see coverage of what was happening. However, according to a poll conducted regarding the five-day coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, that is definitely no longer the case.
The survey, which was conducted by the liberal Huffington Post website and the international marketing agency YouGov, determined that former titan CNN came in as far less trustworthy than Fox News over which was the most believable cable news channel.
During the poll, which was based on interviews of 1,000 adults last Friday and Saturday, the bad news for CNN began when people were asked how believable the news was from that channel during the Boston bombings. The biggest response was 35 percent stating “I don't watch CNN.”
Of course, all cable news outlets saw their viewership rise sharply because of their coverage of the bombing and subsequent search for the terrorists behind it.
As a result, 38 percent of the respondents said the channel was “very” or “somewhat” believable, and 21 percent said it was “not very” or “not at all believable.”
Also, MSNBC had no reason to smile since the poll indicated that 42 percent of the people polled “don't watch” the channel. In addition, the liberal channel fared poorly in the “very” or “somewhat” believable category with 35 percent.
However, the survey brought good news for the Fox News Channel, which had a 50 percent rating in the categories of “very” and “somewhat” believable even though 28 percent of those polled said they don't watch the cable news outlet, which is far less than its competitors.
In fact, Bill O'Reilly -- host of the top-rated news channel program -- stated that The O'Reilly Factor drew record ratings on Friday, April 19, when law-enforcement officials hunted for and captured 19-year-old terrorism suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
During the five-day manhunt for the bombers of the Boston Marathon, Fox News was the top-rated channel in all of cable TV, averaging 2.874 million viewers during prime time and 1.77 million for the full day.
While CNN came in a distant third with 1.985 million at night and 1.329 million overall, the period was particularly bad for MSNBC, which finished with a 19th place showing of fewer than a million viewers during the evening hours and fewer than 600,000 all day.
It didn't help when CNN stumbled several times during the five-day period, including a report from John King stating that a Saudi national had been arrested even though that hadn't happened. King later called his mistake “embarrassing.”
As if that wasn't bad enough, the network posted a story on its website entitled “Boston Marathon bombs have hallmarks of 'lone wolf' devices, experts say,” in which an anonymous senior U.S. counter-terrorism investigator was quoted as saying that pressure cooker bombs have been “a signature of extreme right-wing individuals in the United States.”
This turn of events isn't a surprise to readers of NewsBusters who learned in January that the Fox News Channel ended 2012 with top ratings for the 11th straight year.
Nevertheless, it's a pleasant change for those of us who watch Fox News to hear something positive about the channel and its viewers, as opposed to the "studies" and "hoaxes" accusing us of being "misinformed" or "stupid" even though the ratings show that millions of us prefer our news to be "fair and balanced" instead of just leaning in one direction.