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Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 8/3-6. All adults. MoE 2% (No trend lines)

How often do you watch ___; daily, at least once a week, a few times a month, rarely, or never?

          Daily  Weekly  Monthly  Never

FOX NEWS   12      13       5       66
Dem        11      12       5       68
Rep        25      27       7       38
Ind         7       7       4       76

Northeast   6       7       4       78
South      19      20       6       51
Midwest    10      11       5       70
West       11      12       5       68

          Daily  Weekly  Monthly  Never

CNN        15      14       7       61
Dem        26      25       8       37
Rep         8       7       8       74
Ind        12      11       6       68

Northeast  20      19       9       49
South       7       6       5       80
Midwest    19      18       8       52
West       16      15       7       57

          Daily  Weekly  Monthly  Never

MSNBC       6      10       2       77
Dem        14      21       3       53
Rep         2       7       2       89
Ind         3       7       2       87

Northeast  11      16       3       64
South       2       4       1       88
Midwest     7      12       2       75
West        5      10       2       78

Cable news networks have a level of influence that far exceeds their audience, since their actual audience is actually quite small. Most people simple don't watch cable news networks, but the ones that do are generally influentials.

Republicans watch Fox News and nothing else, Democrats split between MSNBC and CNN, and Independents watch nothing. MSNBC, in particular, depends on Democrats for the vast majority of its audience. One would think they'd realize this and get rid of Joe Scarborough to boost its morning ratings.

The South, unlike the rest of the country, appears to have their TV dials stuck on "FOX NEWS". Except for the youth, that is. 82 percent of 18-29-year-old respondents never watched FNC.

We then asked, "When it comes to accuracy and trustworthiness as a source of news would you say that [Media Org] is extremely reliable, reliable, unreliable, or extremely unreliable?"

Combining "extremely reliable" and "reliable", and "unreliable" and "extremely unreliable", Fox News clocked in at 35-41. Republicans (and the South) obviously think they're the word of god, while Democrats think it's shit.

CNN came in at 44-34. For Republicans, it was 20-61. They actually believe all that crap about the "Communist News Network". CNN garnered good numbers from Democrats (56-20) and Independents (48-30). Again, the South (28-53) was at odds with the rest of the country, which generally gave the network high marks for accuracy and trustworthiness.

As for MSNBC, Democrats gave it the highest marks (37-7), followed by Independents (24-16). Republicans, of course, think the network is crap -- 6-31. MSNBC was easily the least-recognized network of the bunch, with 60 percent of respondents unable to give an opinion. That "not sure" number was only 22 percent for CNN, and 24 percent for FNC.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:10 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sad to see such weak Numbers for MSNBC (12+ / 0-)

    Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why - Hunter S. Thompson

    by Kdoug on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:13:44 AM PDT

  •  FOX should be destroying (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckeyekarl, Fury, dougymi

    What, with Mr. "Integrity Personified" Brian Kilmeade.

  •  On the positive side (6+ / 0-)

    At least my neighbors here in the deep South don't seem to be watching Lou Dobbs.

    On the down side. They are the base for the uninformed screaming mobs who want nothing but the freedom to work against their own self-interests.

    "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

    by aggressiveprogressive on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:14:06 AM PDT

    •  Defenders of the rich. (4+ / 0-)

      It must be amazing for those wealthy people to see those drooling cretins so rabidly defending them. I wish these poor slobs could step back and see what fools they are being played for. Sad.

      No One In America Should Go Broke Because They Get Sick - President Barack Obama

      by kitebro on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:41:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't tell you how many 40,000 to 50,000 (0+ / 0-)

        earners in Texas were ranting about Obama's redistribution of wealth with Joe the Plumber, when they are being raped by the Repubs.  I could show them how they would have more money under Obama and tell them that their wealth had already been redistributed under Bush; it had allowed the rich to get richer.  

        No matter what FACTS you show them, they laugh at you and call you a bleeding heart.          

  •  CNN—Clinton News Network... (7+ / 0-) least, that's why my uncle always called it when Clinton was in office...not that I agreed.

    •  Down here they call CNN (6+ / 0-)
      The "Communist News Network"...Fox is Godlike though.

      ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

      by Kristina40 on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:15:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        deben, Kristina40

        that's what I've always heard detractors call it too.

        They even made a neato photoshop that replaced the "C" with a sickle.

        •  The "o" in Fox might as well be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          a Swastika.  How would that be as a retort?  Not that I'm a CNN fan, but Communists?  Wolf Blitzer is like Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot?

          •  Clinton News Network and Communist News Network (0+ / 0-)

            have become synonymous with CNN.  Why don't we have an equally catchy phrase for Fox?  Faux is cute, we all get it, but the "regular folks" in the south and Appalachia probably don't even know what that means.  Surely we can come up with something better which better reflects what they truly are.  How about Fake News?  If everytime we say Fox we instead say Fake News that would drive it home I would think. Sometimes we're just too cerebral here folks!  

      •  Even 51% of SOUTHERNERS Don't Watch It (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The political demographic of some southern old whites.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:42:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  unreported exposure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I strongly suspect much exposure to Fox went unreported.

          People may not choose the Fox channel, and thus they may not recall it to for a poll, but it's on by default frakkin' everywhere I go in North Carolina. My travels to surrounding states seem pretty similar.

          Darn near every waiting room, lobby, dentist's exam room (I kid thee frakkin' not), McDonalds, display TVs at electronics stores, anywhere there's a quasi-public TV, you can safely bet it's tuned to Fox News.

          So I strongly suspect folks are way too deeply hypnotized, mesmerized, drugged into stupor, to actually remember and report that they watch the abomination of Fox News.

          Fox is ambient down here. It's part of the humid haze. My experience suggests to me that more Southerners are exposed to Fox propaganda and influenced by it than polling is likely to reveal.

          Political compass goes 3-D: -9,-8,+10. The view looks different from "up".

          by etbnc on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:12:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  CNN had Bob Novak and Tucker Carlson (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kitebro, PorridgeGun, MPociask

      And now Lou Dobbs.  Big Clinton fans?  I think not.

      THIS... is CNN.

  •  I want to see these poll questions (11+ / 0-)

    Do you believe Hawaii is part of the U.S.

    Do you belive Medicare is a government program?

  •  No surprises there (8+ / 0-)
    I live in the South and Fox news is worshipped down here.  It is like some sick fascination for them, having their worst fears and sickest bigoted fantasies replayed for them 24/7.  

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:14:49 AM PDT

  •  The South really is a different country (15+ / 0-)

    that region has never really gotten over Civil War resentment

  •  Thanks for asking this question (5+ / 0-)

    It's about time somebody asked it. The truth is the only people who watch the news networks are the activists and journalists anyway. They're an echo chamber.

    •  That's nothing new (5+ / 0-)

      During the 1960's and 70's, my mom used to remark at the sheeplike behavior of newsmagazines like Time, Newsweek and U.S. News.   If one of them featured a particular story, the other ones would fall right in line, usually in the same isue.  And their editorial takes were pretty much whatever the evening newsmen (Cronkite, Huntley-Brinkley) were saying.    

      It is scarcely possible to conceive of the laws of motion if one looks at them from a tennis ball's point of view. (Brecht)

      by dotalbon on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:30:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The bottom line is... (2+ / 0-)

      ...something that I've been reporting for years:

      Most people don't watch any of the cable news channels. The highest rated program (O'Reilly) on the highest rated cable news net (Fox) has fewer viewers than the lowest rated broadcast network news program (CBS).

      O'Reilly draws less than 1% of the American population. It’s also less than World Wrestling Entertainment and SpongeBob SquarePants, By contrast, America’s Got Talent is seen by 12 million viewers - four times O’Reilly’s audience.

      ••• CELEBRATE with America's BAraCK Stickers And T-Shirts •••

      by KingOneEye on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:32:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's promote a culture (10+ / 0-)

    where people read their news instead of watch their news, and where people make up their own opinions based on what they have learned rather than listen to the opinions of the pundits on TV. Think of cable news as candy; it's entertaining, but for the "fruits and vegetables" of information, people should consider other sources.

  •  guess I'm a weird Southerner... (5+ / 0-)

    ...and a weird Independent as well, since I mostly watch CNN.  When Lou Dobbs comes on, I switch over to MSNBC.  I only flick to FOX once in a while just to see what hysterical bullshit they're saying at the moment; I don't consider them a credible news source.  They're just talk radio with pictures.

    I don't fully trust MSNBC, either, because they're definitely skewed left... and, while that's fun to listen to and I enjoy Keith and Rachel and agree with them most of the time, I try to get outside the echo-chamber and watch something that'll give me both sides... just so I'll know what Republicans are saying even though I disagree with 'em.  CNN seems to do the best job of that, although they're far from perfect.  (And Lou Dobbs doesn't count - that bastard oughtta be on FOX).

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:16:52 AM PDT

  •  End of a Medium (6+ / 0-)

    Telling how high the "never" numbers are across all three networks and all surveyed demographics.

    For every Daily Kos diary there is an equal and opposite Daily Kos diary.

    by hillgiant on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:17:40 AM PDT

  •  It is because they are too stoopid to use the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Dems and Independents find facts in other venues other than TV.

    The Republican Party is the most dangerous Militia Group, inciting violence among its followers.

    by cyeko on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:17:57 AM PDT

  •  I'm not buying that "indys watch nothing" (3+ / 0-)

    that's just a bizarre assertion, Nos. be damned.

    "He's like any other president -- he's a politician and he's got to do what politicians do." Rev. Jeremiah Wright

    by PhillyGal on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:18:11 AM PDT

  •  Morning Lawrence O'Donnell (9+ / 0-)

    If only ...

  •  Funny how the Ind numbers for Fox... (7+ / 0-)

    ...are lower than the Dem numbers.

    Two possible explanations (total guesses on my part):

    1. There are still a handful of very conservative Democrats in the South (I know, I live in Oklahoma).
    1. Some Independents are Independent 'cause they're fairly tuned out and never watch anything.

    Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House. - Bob Herbert

    by GreenSooner on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:19:25 AM PDT

    •  Three (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cskendrick, dotalbon, MPociask

      Democrats watch to see what they're saying, to know what to be able to rebut or just to watch a train wreck.  Kinda like the scene from Howard Stern's movie "Private Parts" where Stern's station manager and nemesis asks about the ratings and is incredulous at how high they are, and then asks "what about the Stern haters?" and is told they listen more.  He asks why and is told "top reason given: they want to see what he'll say next."

      "Bi-partisanship is a code word for 'We are gonna screw the peeps 'cause we are rakin' in the dough from our lobbyist pals'"--Tommymac, 8/4/09

      by Superribbie on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:25:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Four (0+ / 0-)

        Independents truly are independent: They want to hear views that don't conform to established orthodoxies. Whereas Fox News is nothing but orthodoxy, reinforced with the subtlety and regularity of a steam hammer.

        "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

        by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:19:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If Independent is a Proxy for Moderate (0+ / 0-)

      Then it's because moderates like me get a headache from all the screaming. Same reason for the low MSNBC number. It would be interesting to see comparative numbers for RM vs. KO wrt to Indies. I predict that RM would be far more popular since she doesn't do the testosterone-laden scream fest.

      •  Independent isn't just a proxy for moderate. (0+ / 0-)

        While the largest group of independent voters put themselves in the center, other independents (such as myself) are anything but centrist, but feel for one reason or another disaffected from the party that is supposedly on their side of the political spectrum.

        Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House. - Bob Herbert

        by GreenSooner on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 10:29:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This confirms what I think I knew (7+ / 0-)

    People on the two sides of the political spectrum are not even living in the same world any more.  It used to be that we all got our news from the same sources (Walter Cronkite or the other two network news channels).  Yes, we filtered it through our own political prism, but at least we started from the same point.  We were living in the same world.

    Now, what these numbers say to me is that conservatives and liberals/progressives don't even begin with the same reality any more.  Not only do Fox News and MSNBC cover the same story with a completely different spin, but many times they don't even cover the same things.  Stuff that is big news on Fox is barely mentioned on MSNBC, or vice-versa.  No wonder this counter is becoming more and more polarized.

    This also reinforces my view that Fox News prime time, and MSNBC prime time, are both nothing more than echo chambers.  Both are an opportunity for viewers to hear commentators reinforce their own views and bash the other side.  But -- and this is important -- neither does anything at all to change anybody's view.  Nothing.  That's because pretty much nobody who's conservative watches KO or Rachel, and nobody who's progressive/liberal watches O'Reilly or Hannity.  They are all just preaching to the choir, not changing anybody's mind.

    I know that Fox News has been very successful in its "echo chamber" model for conservatives, and MSNBC is trying to be the same "echo chamber" for progressives, at least in prime time.  That may be the commercially prudent thing to do, but I think it's not necessarily a good thing for our country, and only adds to the polarization.

    •  excellent analysis (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aaraujo, coffeetalk, dotalbon

      Times have definitely changed and only time will tell what the future holds.  With  well over 100 channels to choose from, I think it's no wonder that people would generally gravitate towards a forum that already reinforces their stagnant point of view.  The era of enlightenment and new thought is over.  I think with over 300 million Americans and over 7 billion people on Earth, it was bound to happen.

      "Not all Republicans are racists, but all racists are most definitely Republicans."-Bill Maher

      by djbender on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:32:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  False Equivalence (0+ / 0-)

      One does it with lies and complete shit, the other one uses truth. Huge difference. I think KO spends too much time taking FOX to task for the crap they do, and he should be careful not to appear too much the clown himself. But MSNBC does news.

      •  Partisan lens, of course (0+ / 0-)

        and I'm sure you know that Fox News viewers say exactly the same thing in reverse.  Which side you adhere to is directly related to your own political views.  How many conservatives think Fox News "lies"? That's exactly what I mean -- the viewers of each passionately believe that their side "tells the truth" and the other side "lies."  There are two different universes here.  

        •  Yeah but, I'm looking at the big picture. (0+ / 0-)

          I have no doubt the crazies believe. That is what makes them nuts.

          Have any outside society, like British, Canadian or Japanese look at your two worlds, and they would come down on the side that FOX are mostly a bunch of dishonest assholes. Now you can live in either world down there, but most people in the world will make a judgement that you are a regular normal person, or a jackass. If I meet an American like that guy who told Obama he watches Cable news (FOX) cause of that other stuff on TV (ABC, CBC and NBC), I walk away. Huge waste of time to even talk about the weather with a guy like that.

    •  That's been true for a long time. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've been hearing it ever since the rise of talk radio.  Notably, Fox is just the same talk radio buttheads spewing a somewhat milder version of that day's radio show, which was what they cribbed from Rush and GOP's AM faxblast.

      "I'm specificallly allowed to call people names and I don't have to use profanity to do so because I have a vocabulary unlike some of the morans on this site."

      by Inland on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:53:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most of our history in fact (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geenius at Wrok, Inland, etbnc

        Newspapers have always been partisan. The Lansing state journal, my home paper used to be the Lansing Republican way back in the 19th century, for example. The aberration has been NOT to be partisan, which is a fairly recent phenomenon.  People always gravitate to what they want to watch or read. This fair and balanced crap is just that: crap.

        I prefer fox news to cnn even though I don't watch fox because I disagree with them so vehemently. cnn is pablum, full of false equivalency. fox is at least honest in its view (not its reporting, though. that's a different problem, one it shares with cnn and msnbc).

        A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

        by dougymi on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:01:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

      Maddow's reporting on Dick Army's involvement with the teabaggers led to his resignation from the PR firm he was at.  

      Even if they're preaching to the choir, they can still have an effect outside of the church.  They can seed new ideas and perspectives among their listeners, who then go out and spread them amongst non-listeners.

      One could say that Fox News only preaches to the choir, but few would argue that Fox doesn't have a profoundly pernicious influence on US politics.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:49:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  terrifying-- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, dotalbon, PorridgeGun

    to think we could lose MSNBC and be stuck with the truly horrible CNN...with its utter conventional wisdom, its newsmodels, its hawkish foreign policy, oh my god I hate it the most of all for its utterly fake "objectivity"-=-we must do a better job of saving msnbc thru the netroots, yes?

    •  You're right (0+ / 0-)

      I'm convinced MSNBC won't last.  As soon as it becomes even more of a  money loser for GE than it already is, they  will  pull the plug.

      FOX News is owned by News Corp, a news/media conglomerate, and Fox News is their #1 money maker.  The second most watched network on all of cable tv (behind USA).  Their power and expertise in the media  world is the reason they are able to muscle the cable companies, and negotiate the best contracts.

      CNN will always be around, but I just dont think think MSNBC will last unless they can become  more competitive.

      I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places...arousing and persuading and reproaching you.-Socrates

      by The Navigator on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:53:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  shrill v. non (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon, annieli

    More than simply getting rid of Joe Scarborough, MSNBC needs to replace someone who is shrill with someone who is not.

  •  What is really interesting... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah, Fury, dotalbon, annieli

    is that less than half of people in this poll watch cable news at all! They need to do a poll and add other sources of news such as internet, newspaper, periodicals, chatting at the water cooler, etc. I am betting that more people simply care little about news unless it directly affects them and prefer to watch reality shows on TV.

  •  Its all noise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Agitprop for the barely awake.  Turn it off

    "What has science DONE!"-Dr.Weird

    by jds1978 on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:22:49 AM PDT

  •  Finally, some polls that make sense. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jds1978, dotalbon
  •  I don't understand... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon, PorridgeGun

    why any Democrat would watch CNN unless they wanted to punish themselves.

    Not only false but boring too.

  •  Numbers seem huge (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for the Never column.
    How do you reach these folks?
    Do they get their info from newspapers? Local radio and tv?
    Or do they intentionally stay out of the info loop altogether?

    Bible Death Scorecard: God 2,390,000 Satan: 10

    by A Runner on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:24:34 AM PDT

  •  The numbers for Independents are fascinating. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They dislike MSNBC more than they avoid FOX, which surprises me.  And they do, indeed, seem to watch very little teevee news.  That seems pretty independent-minded when you think about it.  

  •  In some ways this reminds me of history (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon, etbnc

    where early American newspapers were much more partisan, and they didn't even bother to label themselves as objective. The same thing is happening with cable news.

  •  Fox is surprising (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First off, Shep Smith has more integrity than anyone
    I've seen on cable news.  He talks from personal conviction from
    what I've seen.   I'm convinced he voted for Obama.
    Last night Chris Wallace had a decent show on healthcare.  I was
    pleasantly surprised.

    Yeah, there are tards galore, but I started watching again because
    CNN got race obsessive to the point of parody.  
    The relentless preaching wasn't helping anything, which I think they
    finally realized.

  •  Well someone has to be wrong (0+ / 0-)

    We could start by having a clarification of the meaning of words. Words like "communist", "socialist", "fascist", "corporate fascist", and so on...

    A public option will lead to communism.

    by plok on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:26:30 AM PDT

  •  Now it's been seven months that Barack Obama ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Front Toward Enemy

    ... has successfully protected us from terrorists.

  •  No Pubic Option!!! (15+ / 0-)

    A new classic Wingnut sign


    You've gotten it all wrong. The teabaggers were protesting a spa. They want to end the barbaric practice of the bikini wax.

    by lostmypassword on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:26:45 AM PDT

  •  Either MSNBC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon, PorridgeGun

    has a WEAK ass marketing dept or a LAZY marketing team.

    MSNBC cannot be seen at hotels, cannot been seen at lobbys of airports.

    MSNBC is allowing the providers to put them on the most expensive packages available which most people or companies cannot afford.

    Why should faux be free and available whereas MSNBC wants money. MSNBC can do the same type of marketing as faux but are either lazy or weak and gets outbid by faux.

  •  Should have asked about (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chikindolfin, etbnc, trumpeter

    Jon Stewart

    They don't win until we give up.

    by irmaly on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:32:29 AM PDT

  •  Redneck News Network (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    NASCAR, NFL, and Sean Hannity, baby!!!!


  •  Who the heck watches CNN? Seriously (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  Nobody since Katrina (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      when everybody tuned in.  CNN had a golden opportunity to turn from White House shill to a real reporting channel, and they blew it.  

      It is scarcely possible to conceive of the laws of motion if one looks at them from a tennis ball's point of view. (Brecht)

      by dotalbon on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:41:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  their documentary style programming (0+ / 0-)

      is orders of magnitude better than MSNBC's - well unless you really must know about the latest in gang trends inside California prisons.

      We have always known that heedless self interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. - FDR 1936

      by AndersOSU on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 11:28:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder what the numbers are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon, PorridgeGun

    for those who get their news from Comedy Central.

    I know I find Stewart and Colbert a lot more reliable than the other 3 news nets.

    My life is an open book, and I want a rewrite!

    by trumpeter on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:34:16 AM PDT

  •  Where has this been established? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmknapp, Diane95, dotalbon

    Cable news networks have a level of influence that far exceeds their audience, since their actual audience is actually quite small. Most people simple don't watch cable news networks, but the ones that do are generally influentials.

    Where is it demonstrated that cable has an influence beyond its audience, and how is the influence relative to audience measured?

    Where has it been established that people who watch cable news are influential (ie, more influential relative to people who gather news from other sources)?

  •  No reason to doubt thse findings at all. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon, JC from IA

    This is 100% accurate.

    Key findings:

       * Conservatives (and the South) watch Fox News and little else.
       * Independents watch little at all
       * Democrats split their dial between CNN and MSNBC
       * 18-29 year olds don't watch much cable news, but they particularly shun Fox.

    If you took CNN out, MSNBC and FOX would would have almost identical ratings, maybe FOX with a slight edge because they present a unified message. MSNBC, until they shitcan the likes of Doucheborough and Meek-ah, are still all over the place. It's only recently that they given progressives a voice in primetime. I maan, it was only 2 years ago that they had Doucheborough and Tucker Carlson in Rachel and Ed's time slot.

    Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

    by PorridgeGun on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:35:26 AM PDT

  •  Congress (0+ / 0-)

    Fox News
    Dem  70...75....80...10
    Rep 107..111...122....-7
    Ind    1......1......1......1

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:36:09 AM PDT

  •  Hey! The Midwest is in 2nd Place (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for the MSNBC numbers! That helps me think I come from a slightly less moranic place!! :D

    St. Sarah from Wasilla - poster child for Delusions of Adequacy

    by CityLightsLover on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:36:12 AM PDT

  •   cable "news" for affirmation, not information (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rp, dotalbon, JC from IA

    That seems the most important finding in the survey.

    People like to hear soothing tales that confirm their opinions.

    •  So do blogs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      North Coast Ohioan

      And this is why I support bringing back and modernizing the Fairness Doctrine. People have forgotten how to have civil, face-to-face dialog with people with whom they disagree. We all tend to gravitate to a medium that affirms what we believe to be true and are no longer interested in listening to other divergent viewpoints. This poll shows that very well I think. But the blogoshpere is even worse.

  •  You've hit upon the big story: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taonow, bwintx, dotalbon

    Cable news is really sparsely watched, relatively speaking.  

    Claims by networks to be the 'leader' in this horserace are therefor laughable.

  •  Thanks for the polls, Markos! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    airmarc, dotalbon, JC from IA

    I for one am almost ALWAYS very interested in the questions you poll, and don't see them anywhere else.  Thanks!

    Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

    by oscarsmom on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:44:08 AM PDT

  •  In the "old days", you watched the news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    because that's what you did.  It was a routine, like reading the morning newspaper.  You turned on the local news at 6 p.m. and Walter Cronkite at 7 p.m.  And you got a full hour of NEWS from each show.  National news had no "entertainment" segment whatever; local news shows added a separate gossip segment in the 1980's.  Of course local news is now 90% gossip crammed into a half-hour.  

    Most importantly, perhaps, everyone watched the same shows, so had the same sources of information.  That made watercooler debates about news of the day much more satisfying, because people knew what you knew.

    But most of the official news was, even then, mainstream.  With a brief exception during Watergate, coverage of the White House was whatever the White House wanted it to be.    

    It is scarcely possible to conceive of the laws of motion if one looks at them from a tennis ball's point of view. (Brecht)

    by dotalbon on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:45:24 AM PDT

    •  Network news was the loss-leader for the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      entertainment programming to follow.  The networks competed to be the most-watched news, because the numbers said that it was an indicator of what shows would do well just after.

      Of course, much of this was in the pre-remote control days.  One actually had to get up and walk across the room to change channels, which I'm sure had more to do with it than we would like to think!

  •  If MSNBC were smart... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977, bwintx, olo, vintagejulie

    and wanted to get more progressives and independents tuning in, they'd give Lawrence O'Donnell a more prominent role at the network, and offer the 10pm slot to Bill Maher.

    If I was president of CNN right now, I'd demote John King, Dana Bash and Candy Crowley, promote Erica Hill and Brian Todd, move Anderson Cooper to State of the Union, and during weekdays, get him back doing what he does best: REPORTING. And most importantly, apologize to Aaron Brown and bring back NewsNight at 10PM.

    Oh, and shitcan Lou Dobbs. Also, if he's feeling up to it, give Jack Cafferty the No Bias, No Bull slot, perhaps with Roland Martin as back up.

    Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

    by PorridgeGun on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:45:49 AM PDT

  •  Interesting that CNN, based in Atlanta... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geenius at Wrok, citizenx

    has so few Southern viewers.
    The NYC-based, Australian-owned, carpet-bagging Fox News wins their affections.

  •  Local Fox affiliate news: (0+ / 0-)

    Do polled people realize that the Q goes to the Fox cable channel and not the evening news on their local fox Affiliate?

    "I'm specificallly allowed to call people names and I don't have to use profanity to do so because I have a vocabulary unlike some of the morans on this site."

    by Inland on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:49:51 AM PDT

  •  Whhen M$NBC is not doing politics... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwintx, citizenx

    ...they do really shitty programing, like life in prison crap that just blows me off and likely blows off most of it's political viewers w/measurable IQs.

    "...Soon, that's going to be the only thing made in America, WAR." Dennis Kucinich. (D-US)

    by olo on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:49:53 AM PDT

  •  You know what the funny thing is? (0+ / 0-)

    Even wingnuts would totally take this poll at face value. In fact, they'd find it almost comforting.

    Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

    by PorridgeGun on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:50:02 AM PDT

  •  How many watch DemocarcyNow ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My favorite video news is Democracy Now. Interviews the healthcare workers, the teachers, the investigators, not mainly wealthy spokespeople.
    Not the trendy news but the news that makes sense in the long term.
    Also listening to MikeMalloy and Randi Rhodes.
    Good that Rachel Madow made it to MSNBC. I wish hilarious Sam Seder were on cable.
    Hurray that Al is in the Senate, he was great on radio with Katherine Lampfer.

  •  Haven't paid for cable (0+ / 0-)

    since the late 80s. Never had satelite. I have digital converter boxes, rabbit ears, dial-up online service and a survival radio that will run on solar or hand crank - Sorry about their luck.

  •  "The Ed Show" -- No wonder MSNBC is tanking (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    Have you seen "The Ed Show"? That guy is such an obvious Obama shill, he's embarrassing.

  •  I am not at all surprised by this.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hhex65, Fixed Point Theorem

    I travel quite a bit.  My own informal "poll" that I conducted over the past 10 years indicates:

    1. 85% of the hotels I had spent at least one night

      at in the Southern states of TN, VA, NC, SC, GA,
      FL would have Fox News on lobby TV, 5% CNN, 10%

    1. In IL, OH, MI, MN it was 45% Fox, 45% CNN,

      Balance ESPN

    1. In CT, MA, RI, it was 90% CNN, 5% Fox, 5% ESPN
    1. In NY, it depended on where I stayed.  If it was

      in an urban area, dominant news channel was CNN,
      if it was rural NY, then Fox or ESPN.

    I would make notes in my planner.  My poll goes along with the Research 2000 with the exception of ESPN being added to the mix.


  •  Needless to say... (0+ / 0-)

    CNN and MSNBC could learn a lot from this poll.

    FOX, on the other hand, already know who their audience is and how to hold onto them. And as proven with the hiring of Beck (from CNN, no less) and the punting of Colmes from Hannity's already right-wing talking point heavy unhinged WorldNutDaily-esque show, they're willing to go any lengths to bump their racist FReeptard following.

    I guess the logical next step for FOX is The Quitter getting her own show.

    Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

    by PorridgeGun on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:00:28 AM PDT

  •  And a liberal might live in the South why? (0+ / 0-)

    60 is SUCH a great number.

    by hcc in VA on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:00:47 AM PDT

  •  The South (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fixed Point Theorem

    I have said it before and will say it again, the South is stupid. Not all, but generally, they have all the dumb people. Glued to FOX, no shock there. They don't seem too concerned to change how they are viewed. Too stupid to know how stupid they are. The best thing in this poll seems to show as the old dumb farts die off young people are going to improve the South. Young people don't watch FOX and I bet they will keep their noses out of what Gays, Women and Black folks are doing. Big improvement, there is hope for them.

    •  And here I thought my username (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fixed Point Theorem

      was the sine qua non of ironic self-mockery.

      The South is the way it is for a reason. A strong, sound, understandable historical reason. And it goes back long before the Civil War.

      Read Albion's Seed. It's only about 900 pages long -- beach reading for a geenius, child's play for the Smartest Guy in the World.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:25:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually you're both right. (0+ / 0-)

        I've read Albion's Seed cover to cover.  It's a brilliant book and very true in its analysis - probably the best book on America since De Toqueville.

        But it does not disprove that the South is stupid.  It just explains why the South is stupid.

        Of course when I say "the South is stupid" I mean the region as a whole, politically. There are many very bright liberal Southerners whom I admire without reservation.  It takes a lot of courage and independence to be a Southern liberal. It's just that they are outnumbered by their stupid conservative brethren. And the stupids watch Fox.

        •  It explains why (0+ / 0-)

          the South seems stupid to Northerners who've been brought up with radically different premises and assumptions about nearly everything. It also explains, if you put yourself in different shoes, why said Northerners seem like "morans" to said Southerners.

          Yes, the Southern disregard for education, and grade school education in particular, is dangerous, and yes, the prevailing honor culture is also dangerous -- and taken together, they're far more than doubly dangerous, because they create a culture that's easily convinced of untrue things and is willing to fight to the death to defend them.

          But that doesn't mean we wouldn't make many of the same mistakes if we were brought up with the same assumptions.

          Inner-city blacks who came north during the Great Migration have many of the exact same experiences and assumptions woven into their culture as Highland Southerners do. By your argument, this means they're stupid also.

          "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

          by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 10:33:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  what's funny ... is that I live in NC and (0+ / 0-)

    most of the gun totin' right wingers that I know are transplanted from new york or new jersey.  I am a tranplant of the midwest.

  •  MSNBC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    needs some real leadership. The current honchos seemed to be satisfied with status quo and they are unwilling to take risks and make real changes. There is no fire in the belly. They need to get people who want MSNBC to  outperform CNN and Fox across the board, in all slots and all demographics.

  •  So where DO people get their news? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Newspapers  are dying. "Nightly news" is last century, as dead as Huntley, Brinkley, Jennings and Cronkite. Cable is all whiz-bang flashiness with no real numbers.

    Talk radio?
    The internet?

  •  I can't believe people are actually comparing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fixed Point Theorem

    what MSNBC does in primetime, particularly Ed Schultz, Olbermann and Maddow (remember, they had Doucheborough and Tucker Carlson in the these slots two years ago) to what FOX does 24/7. I guess the whole facts and truth have a well known liberal bias is lost on these individuals.

    Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

    by PorridgeGun on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:12:13 AM PDT

  •  It is frightening how many (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geenius at Wrok

    people, especially in the south, are willing to rely on inaccurate, half-baked information from Fox news for some of the most important issues in their lives.  I wouldn't care so much if they didn't end up inflicting their choices on the rest of us by sheer force and intimidation.          

    •  Oh, it's fully baked. (0+ / 0-)

      Problem is, it's not information, and it sure as shit isn't news. It'a PROPAGANDA, plain and simple.

      If anything, CNN, ABC, CBS are the ones throwing out half-baked information.

      Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

      by PorridgeGun on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:50:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem Fox has, though... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geenius at Wrok, Fury

    ... is they've become so polarizing that simply turning them on in an office environment is seen as barely one step above telling a racist joke or leaving a copy of Hustler on your desk.

    •  The more serious problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fury, etbnc

      is that, despite the above, there are still so many office environments (and public places) where to do otherwise is to invite trouble.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:26:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sky News (Murdoch) is #1 Highest Rated in U.K. (0+ / 0-)

    But believe it or not, despite the fact they've given primetime shows to right-wing arsholes like Richard Littlejohn in the past, FOX's sister network from across the pond is far more truthful, even progressive in it's reporting and analysis than the majority of what Americans see on CNN and MSNBC.

    That's how far FOX is to the right. Even Murdoch's own news networks from other countries would be viciously attacked by the right-wing in America.

    Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

    by PorridgeGun on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:31:41 AM PDT

    •  For example, right now on Sky News... (0+ / 0-)

      I shit you not, nothing but grieving families of British troops who were killed recently in Afghanistan, analysts re-assessing the objectives of the mission and what the feeling is among the British public. Sky News multi-screen has around five feeds dedicated to various aspects of Afghanistan, including flashbacks to Bush and Blair. They're taking a comprehensive look at the situation there. The top news anchor is broadcasting live from Kabul as I type this.

      Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

      by PorridgeGun on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:44:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  These results are dead on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I travel all over for my job and whenever I work in the southeast no matter where i go business, restaurant or hotel I would say 90% of the time they are tuned to Fox.  The people there believe what they are told on there like its gospel.  That is why they are so misinformed.  When I travel the rest of the country, I find it to be more balanced some have CNN, some FOX, even some msnbc.  CNN probably more often then the others.  The South is like its own little country.  Whenever there I feel disconnected from the rest of the country.
  •  There has been discussion in recent threads .. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sherri in TX, RustyCannon, etbnc

    .. about the fact that in many markets cable and/or satellite providers put MSNBC in a more expensive package than they do CNN and Fox.  The tenor of the threads suggests that this practice is very prevalent.  So I'm wondering to what extent the poll results are influenced by availability.  It seems reasonable to think that a large number of people watching CNN instead of MSNBC do so because they don't have a choice; they don't have MSNBC in their package and thus can't watch it.

  •  Comcast does not have MSNBC in its basic cable (0+ / 0-)

    but they do include fox and CNN. I would have liked to see c-span included as well.

  •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that anyone would think the Fixed Noise is a cable "News" channel.

  •  Always good news when the youth of this country (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    are tuning out the fear, demagoguery, and propoganda.

  •  Media Shock and Awe = More Viewership (0+ / 0-)

    = More money.
    Here's a polling idea. Follow the hit rates on the most craziest, most absurd titled diaries here. Compare to the common sense, reasonably  titled.

    Secrecy breeds fraudulence

    by North Coast Ohioan on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:44:59 AM PDT

  •  What I want to know is, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    why are so many democrats watching CNN and Fox news?

    I have MANY democrats tell me they watch CNN because it's "unbiased," citing as proof that it's "between" Fox and MSNBC.  So if one station is 20% lies, and one is 90% lies, then logically the station with 55% lies is the most truthy.

    It's very sad how easy people are manipulated by the corporate media.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:53:28 AM PDT

    •  MSNBC doesn't do (0+ / 0-)

      "straight news" nearly as well as CNN.

      I'm not talking about Wolf Blitzer and the election cycle, I'm talking about the people who are on between 9:00 am and 7:00pm.

      I'd rather watch whatever is on CNN than tweety or the ed show (but I'm glued to MSNBC for Keith, and especially Rachel.)

      That, and as I said up thread their documentary and weekend programming is horrendous.

      We have always known that heedless self interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. - FDR 1936

      by AndersOSU on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 11:40:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems like CNN should wake up (0+ / 0-)

    to who is watching their programming... and stop dissing us at nearly every opportunity.

    Frankly, if Cable, Inc. had a cafeteria plan, Fox and CNN wouldn't be on my tray! - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

    by chuckvw on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 09:58:16 AM PDT

  •  Microsoft's part (0+ / 0-)

    I know it'd be a bit of an obscure question to ask but I'd find it interesting to know if there are people out there that will not watch MSNBC simply because of Microsoft's involvement.

    I'm no fan of the great satin and cringe a bit when I see the MS part of MSNBC but that doesn't stop me from watching Keith and Rachel. Of course I also watch Football on Fox.

    I wonder if there is anyone who refuses to watch the channel for that reason.

  •  So the Fox/GOP white racist fringe is about 10%? (0+ / 0-)

    12% of Americans watch Fox Cable News.  Of those, 30% are Democrats (many from DKOS per a reading of the diaries here) who disagree with Fox Cable News' politics

    So we have 10% of Americans are wacky Fox News people.  Don't know that we'll ever eliminate the white, racist, uneducated in the US but keeping it to 10% sounds about right.

    The Fox News audience also mirrors the Southern geographic emphasis of the white, racist GOP.

    Fox News exaggerates it's own importance, as any business will do, but why is its fringe audience of 10% or less given such coverage outside of Fox News?

  •  Fox News is everywhere in Georgia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Visiting Macon, GA from Austin and it really is a different country. Went to a Vietnamese restaurant and Fox News was constantly on. Went to Lane Packing Company in Fort Valley, GA, a big peach grower tourist stop. Fox News was on in the guest area. Tried to change the channel but it's locked in.


  •  the problem with "news" channels (0+ / 0-)

    is that they so rarely report news. CNN has been unwatchable for years--I remember being glued to CNN through Tienanmen, the fall of the Berlin Wall, then the first Gulf War. Every week they had a show called the International Hour with news reports from around the world. In the evening they had news with Bernard Shaw. The Headline News channel actually reported news every half hour.

    Sure, CNN had its moments back then, with entertainment news and the fun but insipid Crossfire (with "debates" between the so-called right and left, more like the right and left wings of the loony bin), but nowadays I don't watch at all, especially after the mugging Candy Crowley perpetrated on John Kerry in 2004.

    Anarchist bartender poets for Obama.

    by degreesofgray on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 11:21:11 AM PDT

  •  How many cable packages in South carry MSNBC? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The last two times that I visited my mom in Alabama (most recently in March) MSNBC was not in the extensive cable package to which she subscribes.  I went up and down every channel more than onece, and it is just not there.  

    Has anyone surveyed to see if this is common in the south?  I would not be surprised.  Whether this is a business decision by her cable company (no one would watch it anyway???) or a political philosophy, it is disturbing, because it filters what people CAN watch as well as what they choose to watch.

  •  A couple other questions would have helped. (0+ / 0-)

    A. level of education of the viewership (just because I would like to know)
    B. "do you actually get MSNBC as part of your package?" I'm sure that some of the "never" are people who can't watch MSNBC.

    The South, unlike the rest of the country, appears to have their TV dials stuck on "FOX NEWS". Except for the youth, that is. 82 percent of 18-29-year-old respondents never watched FNC.

    This is a very hopeful sign for the future of our country.

  •  There is a reason (0+ / 0-)

    Other than profitability that there are professional pollsters. There are skills involved.
    Framing questions in order to achieve desirable results,or interpreting results to support your position, are two.
    I would like to know how others feel on issues, however present polling methods I think are hit or miss, and like drug company trials, are not required to be published.

  •  MSNBC will probably now go even further right now (0+ / 0-)

    Instead of going further progressive, which is the right move.

    "Th abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power." - William Shakespeare

    by Rockpopple on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 11:59:52 AM PDT

  •  Wow, there are many who don't watch any of them! (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder if the respondants who said they never watch CNN, MSNBC or FOX, watch any news and if so, which network?

    I get so depressed by all the hateful lies FOX spreads (and CNN to a slightly lesser degree) but this survey gives me hope: Maybe these networks don't have quite the audience and influence I've been assuming.

  •  The American political culture clash (0+ / 0-)

    The fact that the audiences are small but consist of influentials suggests that watching cable news is something done by the more well-to-do upper class groups of people. The fact that the audiences are small confirms that the mass news media on cable TV has broken down into niche markets. So this is a report on an upper class (probably upper middle) consisting of influentials and it's also a report on which media outlets cater to the different categories in that class.

    The fact that the South is FOX territory tends to confirm my own belief that the conflict between what are politically labelled conservatives and liberals is actually a culture clash between rural traditionalists and urban modernists. These two cultures are socialized differently and in fact even think differently.

    It's clear from the political clashes between them that the two groups consider very different issues to be of greatest priority for America, and the way each group treats government is an outgrowth of those different ways of thinking and different priorities. I find it no surprise, for example, that the rural traditionalists are also exclusionists - thus the immigration issue, while the modernists support diversity.

    Traditionalists are not fact based. They think in terms of what the traditional authorities tell them is true. They will not be swayed by facts, no matter how obvious. I'd suspect that FOX News has made themselves into one of those authorities, along with Church leaders and high level political authorities like the President. This latter is probably why putting a liberal Democrat 0r worse, an African American, into the position of President is considered the equivalent to lese majeste or worse. That's why electing Clinton over George H. W. Bush, a member of an old-line upper class family, was so emotionally upsetting to so many conservatives. Clinton's enemies had to redeem the Presidency from his presence.

    No, I can't prove this, but it fits. It explains a pattern of facts that I have not seen otherwise adequately explained.

    Democrats stand for Liberty, Security, Support of Families and Opportunity Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

    by Rick B on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 06:35:12 PM PDT

    •  Demographics of Fox News VERY Revealing. . . (0+ / 0-)

      The fact that there is a culture divide pitting urban dwellers against rural dwellers doesn't explain why Fox News' audience is concentrated in the South.

      There are PLENTY of rural dwellers all across the country -- especially in the West. Yet CNN dominates the cable-news ratings in that region of the country, while it's a two-horse battle between CNN and MSNBC in the Northeast and Midwest. To be sure, the Rocky Mountain states, with the exception of "purple" Colorado,  are solidly Republican red states -- but their population is only a fraction of the South's.

      Vermont, where I live, is the most rural state in the Northeast, with a statewide population of only 620,000. But you'd be hard-pressed to find very many Fox News viewers here.
      And how do you explain the fact that -- alone among the cable-news channels -- Fox News' viewership is predominantly male, predominantly white, predominantly middle-aged and older,  predominantly Southern and predominantly conservative -- the very same demographics of the Republican Party itself (Not to mention the right-wing talk-radio audience)?  

      And so what if Fox News tops the cable-news ratings? Its number-one star, Bill O'Reilly, can't even begin to compete against the Fox entertainment network's "American Idol." And when was the last time O'Reilly outdrew Rush Limbaugh? O'Reilly folded his "Radio Factor" earlier this year because he couldn't compete against El Rushbo.

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