Bill O’Reilly’s Bald-Faced Lies About His Ratings

On his program Monday, Bill O’Reilly had another episode of Ratings Derangement Syndrome. I first reported this malady exactly one year ago when O’Reilly became unhinged at what he believed was a conspiracy by Nielsen to destroy him:

“The bottom line on this is there may be some big-time cheating going on in the ratings system, and we hope the Feds will investigate. Any fraud in the television rating system affects all Americans.”

Of course the Feds have no oversight authority to investigate private polling firms. And O’Reilly had no evidence of wrongdoing anyway. It’s also interesting to note that O’Reilly has no problems with Nielsen’s data now that they are reporting a rosier picture of his program’s performance. But he still has his knickers in a twist over any media critic who dares to question his primacy. This most recent outburst began with a declaration dripping in hyperbole and delusions of grandeur.

“Fox News is now the most powerful news organization in the United States of America, and that means in the world.”

It is statements like that that require linguists to create new adjectives, because supercilious, delusional, and narcissistic, simply don’t cut it anymore. O’Reilly still doesn’t get that Fox reaches a mere 1% of the American public. The vast majority of news consumers are opting to watch programs other than his. O’Reilly was responding to criticism from Time Magazine’s Joe Klein, who raised O’Reilly’s ire by saying that, “Fox News peddles a fair amount of hateful crap.” O’Reilly ought to be grateful to Klein for being so gentle. The truth is Fox News peddles a huge amount of hateful crap. But instead, O’Reilly’s misguided indignation led him to spew a batch of unmitigated lies:

“Look what’s happened. Fox News thirteen years on the air, OK?. Wipes out every other cable network, OK?. It’s not even close. Now, we’re approaching, the Factor is approaching Katie Couric numbers. We’re real close to Katie Couric numbers. We beat everybody else. Good Morning America. Nightline. I think the Today show is a little bit ahead of us, but it’s close.

First of all, Fox News does not wipe out every other cable network. They lead only amongst cable “news” networks. TBS, ESPN and USA, routinely beat Fox News (it’s not even close), but O’Reilly failed to make that distinction.

Secondly, O’Reilly’s contention that he is approaching Katie Couric numbers is laughable. Primarily because it wouldn’t be that much of a feat. Couric is the worst performing broadcast news program. But to compound his comedic dishonesty, he doesn’t come close to Courics ratings. Couric’s average of approximately 5.5 million is almost twice O’Reilly’s 3 million viewers. and the top rated NBC News brings in about 8.5 million, nearly triple O’Reilly.

Finally, O’Reilly doesn’t beat Good Morning America. Nightline, or the Today show. Setting aside the fact that these shows don’t even compete with O’Reilly, and their time periods have an entirely different potential audience, he still fails to best them. In fact, the Today Show also nearly doubles O’Reilly’s numbers even though it is on in the early morning hours while O’Reilly is on in primetime.. He could have claimed a victory over CBS’s perennial loser, The Early Show, but for some reason didn’t bother.

In the end, this is just another display of O’Reilly’s dishonesty and arrogance. And despite his objections, and his egotistical fantasies, he is only illustrating why knowledgeable observers do not regard Fox as a news network. It is merely a platform for self-serving propaganda, manic paranoia and partisan disinformation.


15 thoughts on “Bill O’Reilly’s Bald-Faced Lies About His Ratings

  1. wow. you seem pretty self serving and paranoid yourself.

    How do you justify comparing them to the Today Show when it’s an ‘entertainment’ show????

    Oh, and there is plenty of partisan disinformation going around on BOTH sides. Don’t pretend like it’s just the right that is partisan.

    Personally I’ve never seen a MORE partisan and secretive government ever.

    • I didn’t compare O’Reilly to the Today Show – HE DID! I agree with you that it was a stupid and irrelevant comparison. And yet he still lied and said he beat them.

      How does that make me self serving or paranoid?

    • Personally I have never seen a stupider statement than this,were you asleep during the entire GW Bush debacle,now there was a dishonest,paranoid,dangerous Govt,but you must have missed it

  2. Excellent post. Facts never get in his way.

  3. Your number on O’Reilly’s viewer count is not accurate. It reflects only the 8PM ET (5PM PT) show. Add in the 8PM Pacific/11 Eastern repeat and O’Reilly is around the 5 million he claimed.

    Nice cherry picking of data on your part.

    • Nope. Your analysis is wrong. It is improper to compare cumulative ratings data for programs that have multiple airings with data from programs that have a single airing.

      Any media research intern would know that.

    • why would you compare a combination of ratings from oreilly’s TWO programs to ONE of couric’s?

  4. “Unmitigated gall”? Admittedly, since the description comprises two words, that’s cheating. But I also find it accurate, and the English language already has so many more words than most of us mortals can keep track of.

  5. O’Reilly’s spew is also an excellent example of bait-and-switch, or the misleading non-sequitur. Assuming his ratings are higher than any other cable news program, on his network included, so what? It has nothing to do with what percentage of his “crap” is “hateful” (my response: all of it). It only suggests that the audience for willfully hateful crap is alarmingly high.

    • I think your talking about that guy on Msnbc. Umm I think his name is Rachel Maddow.

      • Yea, Rachael Maddow is really hateful…. You might want to look up the word hateful in the dictionary.

  6. When you really are number 1 you dont need to repeat it every show (like bill does). Billly O’ the manchild who cried wolf.

  7. In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States……..During their appeal, FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves.

Comments are closed.