news cycle

MSNBC Sees Decline in Ratings

MSNBC -- Maddow, O'Donnell, and Matthews

At a time when President Barack Obama and his administration are under fire for the various scandals that have emerged, MSNBC, which presents its coverage with an unabashed Leftist slant, has seen a pretty significant ratings drop:

In May, MSNBC, which generally runs second to the dominant leader, Fox News, among cable news channels, plunged all the way to fourth place, dropping behind not only its closest rival, CNN, but also that network’s sister channel, HLN (formerly Headline News).

At a time of intensely high interest in news, MSNBC’s ratings declined from the same period a year ago by about 20 percent. The explanation, in the network’s own analysis, comes down to this: breaking news is not really what MSNBC does.

“We’re not the place for that,” said Phil Griffin, the channel’s president, in reference to covering breaking events as CNN does. “Our brand is not that.”
A broader question is whether MSNBC is being damaged by a perception that it is not really a news channel anymore. “MS has stopped doing news so you don’t really think of them when there is a breaking news story,” said a producer who has worked in both cable and broadcast news, who asked not to be identified because of continuing relationships with one of the networks.

More comes out about bin Laden kill

Let’s be honest, the Osama bin Laden story won’t end in the next few hours.  The biggest victory in the war on terror has got to be good for more than one 24 hour news cycle.  As we learn more about the operation, there are more questions that are asked.  Some of them aren’t easy questions either.

For example, the tidbit that started the whole thing, the nickname of the courier, was learned via water boarding.  The “enhanced interrogation technique” has been the subject of much criticism, including the fact that information learned that way was often unreliable.  Yet, this little tidbit obtained just that way snowballed into the intelligence that lead us to bin Laden.

Other questions stem from how long it took to finally launch an operation.  In President Obama’s defense (and I hate defending him), military operations take time to plan.  Teams specially train for just that mission, rehearsing it over and over and over, just to make it automatic.  It’s not like the movies where they learn something and launch a mission the next day.  They’ll do it if they have to, but there wasn’t a need.  Osama had been in that house for six years.  He wasn’t going anywhere.

Obviously, there are more questions.  Some I could probably answer, some I can’t.  However, for the time being, we just need to be glad that there has been a victory.  We need to hope that this does as some say and cripples the terrorist organization to a point when they’re no longer a threat.  We need to pray that this is over and that now there will never be a repeat of 9/11.

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