NYT Puff Piece on Olbermann Makes No Mention of Poor Ratings

July 11th, 2006 12:43 PM
The New York Times ran a sycophantic story on the "success" of "Countdown" and how it has become the "centerpiece" of MSNBC's lineup. Throughout the article, columnist Bill Carter discusses Countdown's ratings only by its growth and not by actual numbers. An ignorant reader would come away thinking that Olbermann is some television star who is a real competitor in the cable news race. The only indication Carter gives of Olbermann's ratings is when he calls "Countdown" a "dot in the rearview mirror of Fox News."

He is either the leading man of MSNBC or its leading agent provocateur, but Keith Olbermann has no problem embracing either role.

“You can’t spell momentum without Olbermann — or something like that,” he said in a telephone interview, with a typical sprinkle of wry in his voice.

The momentum reference related to MSNBC’s recent aggressive positioning of the program “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” as the centerpiece of this all-news cable network’s latest effort to become more competitive with Fox News Channel and CNN.

Speaking of sycophants, here is TV Newser's cable news ratings for Wednesday, June 29. I choose June 29 because O'Reilly was on vacation during the July 4th holiday week. As you can see, Olbermann gets about 1/5th of the viewers O'Reilly does on any given day, something The New York Times would not want you to know. It should be noted these numbers come from a biased source, as TV Newser is known for toeing the Keith Olbermann line.

Too bad Olbermann's inflated opinion of himself doesn't reflect his ratings.