24 Jan 2011

Have the Wingnut Talking Heads Hit Their High Water Mark?

John Avlon, on over at The Daily Beast, has a great post showing that, as much as they may garner a huge portion of the national mind share when they make outlandish statements… the ratings show that some of the big names in extremist political commentary are losing a heck of a lot of their viewers:

On January 20th of last year, Olbermann reached an estimated 251,000 people aged 25-to-54 at 8 p.m., according to data kept by TVNewser.com. Exactly one year later, this past Thursday, he reached only 198,000—a decline of nearly 20 percent.

Beck’s collapse was even steeper over the same period. On January 20th of 2010, he was flying high at a point of maximum influence coincident with Tea Party enthusiasm, reaching 965,000 in the 24-to-55 demographic. On 1/20/11, Beck reached roughly one-third that number at 5 p.m.—only 377,000.

To be sure, even at their reduced rates of viewership, both men were leaders at their respective networks. But the trend lines are clear—both hosts were trending down by double digits in the first four months of last year—and comforting from an independent’s perspective.

I couldn’t agree more. Its also comforting to see Sarah Palin’s polling numbers fall, and both parties at near historic lows of public support. The center of the electorate certainly hasn’t won many battles lately (Lincoln Chafee winning the governorship of Rhode Island is a good example of one of them), but there are a number of indicators that point to the possibility that the ideologues may indeed be nearing their high water mark. Avlon’s post lists several other indicators to be hopeful about.

Here’s to hoping he’s right…

Read on at The Daily Beast »

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0 thoughts on “Have the Wingnut Talking Heads Hit Their High Water Mark?”

  1. I’ve been getting a bit of a gut feeling that such a trend might be coming since last summer. Mostly because the right seemed to be so blithely misinterpreting the real message behind their renewed support. They missed the “reject the status quo” message and heard only ‘they really like us.” This was a rapid repeat of what democrats misperceived when Obama was elected. Remember “republicans are now irrelevant.”
    While I am far too suspicious of Lincoln Chaffee’s opportunism to be too cheered by his election, I’ll take any port in a storm. I am hoping that perhaps  2012 could bring the election of a decent handful of independent candidates to congress. Just enough so that non-partisans could make the usual shenanigans more difficult. For example, 3-5 senators could conceivably have enough power to determine whether or not a filibuster  would work. That would give independents the power to tell partisans on both side to stop demagoguing and threatening procedurals, and get to work.
    That’s the most universal message, I think, for congress. Stop pissing and moaning. Shut your mouths. We want to see asses and elbows.

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