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Olbermann surprised a lot of people by pulling off a rare victory over Paula Zahn in the 25-54 demographic for the 1st quarter of 2006.  It was the first time that MSNBC was able to defeat CNN during that timeslot in almost 5 years.  Now it appears that the trend appears to be continuing.  Mediabistro has more.  

Three months ago, it was big news: In the first quarter of 2006, MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann beat CNN's Paula Zahn Now in the 25-54 demo. It was MSNBC's first quarterly primetime victory over CNN in almost five years.

The trend is continuing. MSNBC beat CNN at 8pm in the second quarter of 2006, as well, according to numbers out today. Olbermann averaged 156,000 demo viewers, narrowly beating Zahn's 153,000. MSNBC was up 32 percent from the same quarter last year, while CNN was down 20 percent. Bill O'Reilly averaged 401,000 demo viewers in the quarter, down from 450,000 last quarter and down 14 percent from the same quarter last year.

Among total viewers, MSNBC averaged 412,000 (up 26 percent), CNN averaged 605,000 (up 2 percent) and FNC averaged 2,077,000 (down 3 percent)...

How exactly did Keith Olbermann pull ahead of Paula Zahn?  For starters, Olbermann actually covers real news!  Paula wastes her time trying to exploit missing white girls for ratings and people are clearly getting tired of it.  In addition, The stories that are featured on Paula's show are extremely dull and uninteresting.  I honestly could care less about "The Mysteries of the Mind."  

But most of all, people are sick and tired of her stenography towards BushCo.  Media Matters has documented repeated examples of outrageous statements in support of a President who is on the verge of becoming the most unpopular President in the history of the United States.  Here are instances that I've tracked down.

    ZAHN: Your party is getting creamed as the party of cut-and- runners, the wobbly, the weak. Some Democrats want the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Some think they should be out a year from now. And some think setting a timetable, period, is irresponsible. So, do you understand why that divisiveness compromises the credibility of your party?

ZAHN: But security is still going to be a huge issue in this country, and whether you like it or not, you've got a lot of people out there saying, if you're Republican, we're going to keep the country safe, you know, if you vote for a Democrat, that basically you want to be bombed.

I don't understand how saying outrageous things in support of what a solid majority of Americans see as a failed policy is going to help you attract viewers.  I've never understood CNN's decision to try and cater to conservative viewers by hiring idiots like Glenn Beck.  For the past year, the ratings for Fox News programming have been directly proportional to President Bush's falling approval ratings.  You would think they would be able to take a hint.

Keith Olbermann on the other hand goes out of his way to present the viewers with the facts.  He pulls no punches, he's willing to call out the Bush Administration as they continue to screw up America.  He calls out the idiots in the right-wing media and holds them to account for some of the outrageous things that would've gotten a pass from "media critic" Howard Kurtz.  It is great news to see Olbermann's ratings steadily improve over the past two years.  This is a big milestone for Countdown.  Congratulations Mr. Olbermann, you earned it!

Originally posted to dumbya on Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 07:44 PM PDT.

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