I never imagined that I’d find myself quoting Bill’s one-time heart throb (okay, eons of time ago), but using her just happens to suit my purpose. (Guess Bill and I aren’t so different after all….)
A persistent (make that constant) theme I have extolled in both writing and speaking is that as Conservatives we should not fall prey to the ingrained habit of referring to the all-but-obsolete establishment media as “the mainstream” or “MSM.” Could anything be further from the truth? Stop and think about it for a minute….
As I like to tell audiences, “You’ll never see [David Gregory or Katie Couric, et al.] at a Denny’s!” It isn’t going to happen!
Back during the Roger Staubach Era, the Dallas Cowboys were affectionately referred to as “America’s Team.” As one might imagine, such a moniker would be considered the gold standard in the world of marketing or PR.
Imagine that you are starting a new grocery store chain, and through a stroke of luck you become known as “America’s Grocer.” Could it get any better than that?
Imagine, on the other hand, that you are one of the “Big Three” television and news networks – NBC, ABC, or CBS. Imagine also that over the past 50 years your viewership has plummeted from a virtual collective dominance of 100% to, say, 25% of the “news”- viewing public.
That would still represent one out of four American adults watching, but put in perspective, three out of four “news”-watchers would have rejected your collective “news” coverage. Not very good!
While that was merely a hypothetical construction on my part, here are some actual numbers for “Evening News Ratings,” obtained at MediaBistro.com:
NBC – 9,640,000 (Total Viewers)
ABC – 8,628,000 ( ” ” )
CBS – 7,482,000 ( ” ” )
Those numbers combined make 25,750,000 out of the current U.S. Population of 315,497,649. The annual population increase is estimated elsewhere (by extension) to be .76%. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the number of adults 18 or over to be 234,564,000 in 2010, which would be roughly 240,000,000 today, in 2013.
Thus the “Big Three” viewers among the total U.S. adult population (over 18) would be approximately 10.7%…far less than my “guesstimate” of 25%.
One site I came across seemed to indicate that some 74% of adults watch at least some news program weekly. According to this site, “CNN (20%) and FOX News (18%) are the television channels adults most often turn to when they want news or information related to politics or public affairs. These are followed by the networks, including ABC (9%), NBC (8%) and CBS (7%). Other channels include MSNBC (5%), C-SPAN (3%), PBS (3%) and CNBC (1%).”
These figures – for those who watch news or “political/public affairs” programs, as opposed to strictly the “Nightly [Network] News” – show an aggregate of 24%of Adults watching the Big Three.
Getting back to the Nightly Network News (America’s staple before Cable and the Internet)…it would appear that my hypothesis was spot on among viewers ages 25-54, whose numbers looked like this:
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