Media Blog

Pew Poll Update: Mantooth Was Mistaken

Wes Mantooth is a fictional character played by Vince Vaughn in the movie “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy.” So no, the update to the last post was not seriously an e-mail I actually received. However, I know a lot more about how Nielsen ratings work than I did two hours ago. One insider both got the joke and clarified a few things about the Pew poll v. the Nielsens. He writes:

Although I know some of your comments were probably a joke, I just want to let you know that you’re exactly right when it comes to questioning the Pew poll’s findings about CNN and then comparing it to what Nielsen Media Research says folks actually watched. With some of my professional credentials out on the table, I can tell you that, despite its many flaws, the Nielsen sample does indeed measure homes with multiple television sets. In fact, they measure practically every device in a home including, just recently for their local samples and in their national sample on January of ‘06, Digital Video Recorders.
Additionally, I can honestly say that when we argue with NMR about sample methodology problems and how it impacts viewing measurement we are often talking about small, but very important, errors in ratings. That said, something as large and robust as a cable ranker that shows so many FOX News programs in the top 40 isn’t something any reasonable research or programming executive would quibble about. I mean you could argue that FOX should maybe only have 25 shows in the top 40 if the national sample were truly representative of US TV homes but why bother? FOX News dominates CNN whether its 35 of the top 40 shows or only 25.
So, you’re right, the Pew sample is garbage and the ratings directly contradict Pew’s findings. Of course, Ron Burgundy would know all that.

Take that, Mantooth.

Most Popular

White House

For Democrats, the Party’s Over

If the Democrats are really tempted by impeachment, bring it on. Since the day after the 2016 election they have been threatening this, placing their chips on the Russian-collusion fantasy and then on the phantasmagoric charade of obstruction of justice. The attorney general accurately gave the ingredients of the ... Read More
PC Culture

TV Before PC

Affixing one’s glance to the rear-view mirror is usually as ill-advised as staring at one’s own reflection. Still, what a delight it was on Wednesday to see a fresh rendition of “Those Were the Days,” from All in the Family, a show I haven’t watched for nearly 40 years. This time it was Woody Harrelson ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Democrats’ Other Class War

There is a class war going on inside the Democratic party. Consider these two cris de couer: Writing in the New York Times under the headline “America’s Cities Are Unlivable — Blame Wealthy Liberals,” Farhad Manjoo argues that rich progressives have, through their political domination of cities such as ... Read More

The Deepfake of Nancy Pelosi

You’ve almost made it to a three-day weekend! Making the click-through worthwhile: A quick note about how National Review needs your help, concerns about “deepfakes” of Nancy Pelosi, one of the most cringe-inducing radio interviews of all time, some news about where to find me and the book in the near ... Read More