Maybe it was wishful thinking on his part when CBS Evening News host Scott Pelley informed Deadline Hollywood in an interview on Saturday that Fox News boasts a viewership of only 200,000 to 300,000. Pelley was attempting to make the case that, despite undeniable changes in the way people get their news in recent years, cable news still just doesn’t matter that much.
But in his comments — in which he stated that Fox has “decided to bite off one small part of the viewership and be happy” — Pelley also said something unintentionally hilarious:
[W]hen you are talking to 7 million viewers across the country [as CBS does], man, you have got to represent everybody’s views and have got to give them the impression that you are being as honest as you know how to be.
Dan Rather, the man who occupied Pelley’s chair until his career crashed and burned over a story fabricated entirely from whole cloth, could tell him a thing or two about “being as honest as you know how to be.” As for failing “to represent everybody’s views,” Pelley is himself a minor expert in that department, as he acknowledged last month in a speech at Quinnipiac University in which he lamented that journalists such as himself “are getting big stories wrong, over and over again.” The remark came shortly after Pelley was singled out as one of major network anchors who had been MIA with regard to the Kermit Gosnell abortion case.
- Fox averaged 1.5 million viewers per hour last Monday, 2.15 million in primetime.
- The O’Reilly Factor had 3 million viewers and Special Report had 2.2 million.
In order of magnitude, Sheppard notes, Pelley was off by only a factor of ten. But he also inflated his own ratings. Again, according to Newser, the CBS Evening News averaged 5.7 million viewers the week of June 3, and the network has not seen 9 million viewers (as Pelley claimed) in years.
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