Lou Dobbs’ Ratings Drop Like They’re Hot

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Media, Memes

Perhaps CNN will take note and boot him? After all, it seems the cable newsers will allow nearly anybody on air if it’ll boost ratings.

But once ratings drop, well, sayonara.From New York Observer:

Mr. Dobbs’ first began reporting on Obama birth certificate conspiracy theories on the night of Wednesday, July 15. In the roughly two weeks since then, from July 15 through July 28, Mr. Dobbs’ 7 p.m. show on CNN has averaged 653,000 total viewers and 157,000 in the 25-54 demo. [...]

Mr. Dobbs’ ratings over the past two weeks, during the height of the “birthers” controversy, are also down significantly compared to his overall numbers during the second quarter of 2009 when he averaged 769,000 total viewers and 222,000 in the 25-54 demo.

Is Dobbs’ credibility forever tainted by this birthers nonsense?

This entry was posted on Friday, July 31st, 2009 and is filed under Media, Memes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

13 Responses to “Lou Dobbs’ Ratings Drop Like They’re Hot”

  1. Chris Says:

    Trying to figure out who he had credibility with….

  2. Steve Says:

    I feel his credibility is tainted, but not shattered. Nobody intelligent wants to watch conspiracy theories during a news broadcast. That’s like if he questioned if we really went to the moon during the 40 year anniversary show. I think someone already used that analogy, but it’s apt.

  3. Doug Mataconis Says:


    Remember this is the guy who was telling us two years ago about the Mexican lepers coming to kill us all.

    He has no credibility.

  4. Tully Says:

    His ratings fall far enough, he’s gone. Simple enough. But given the time slot and such, they’re going to have to fall farther than that. Even with the drop, he’s still beating hardballin’ leg-tinglin’ Chris Matthews in that time slot.

    Credibility has nothing to with it. It’s all about the ratings. But cheer up, he’s still pro-gay-marriage and pro-choice….

  5. Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Lou Dobbs Goes Birther, Sends His Ratings Even Lower Says:

    [...] H/T: Donklephant [...]

  6. Mike Says:

    I used to watch him all the time, but during the election, it became quite obvious that he didn’t care for Obama. This is just more Obama hate from him. So much for CNN being 24 hour news. They are drifting closer to Fox all the time.

  7. kranky kritter Says:

    My measure of Dobbs was already that he is a complete idiot, a halfwit populist with no real moral or intellectual center.

    While it is indeed curious that Dobbs seems to have wandered off his target demographic’s reservation on this issue, it’s sure not possible for his credibility to drop in my eyes. The guy has no insight to offer me. None. Period.

  8. James Thomas Says:

    Lou has said on a few occasions he dont believe the conspiracy crap,but he is covering the story because alot of people do believe this because Mr Obama wont release his birth certificate.So if anyones at fault here its Obama.

  9. Paul Says:

    Have Lou’s chickens come home to roost ? These birthers are barking up a dead tree !

  10. Tully Says:

    Checking on ratings trend, I noticed that CNN’s overall news ratings have dropped over the last few months in a predictable post-election slump. But so have MSNBC’s and Fox’s. Moreover, both CNN and MSNBC have dropped farther than Fox. (Per Nielsen, see last graph for trend.)

    So, what worth if any is there in noting a short-term ratings drop for one show and trying to assign a specific causation to it when the overall trend for ALL shows and networks is downward? Shouldn’t it be compared to the competition in the same time slot, and to the oerall network trends? Or is ideological cherry-picking the entire order of the day?

    For example, Justin doesn’t seem to have noticed that Olbermann’s ratings trend are not exactly on an upward march, while blustering Bill O’Reilly’s have actually gone up a bit over the same period.

    Context counts, doesn’t it?

  11. Chris Says:

    What’s your point tully? i guess you could link the fact that crazy bill actually has called out the birthers to his rising ratings?

  12. Tully Says:

    Point being that Justin is trying to ascribe a causation (Dobbs birfer* airtime) to an observed event (Dobbs ratings drop). BUT … correlation does not imply causation, and there’s been no evidentiary showing at all that the two are causally related. (Nor any for your straw man either.)

    Testing the Justin “birfer” hypothesis by observing the wider sample of all cable news shows on the top three cable news nets, we find all three top cable news nets show declining overall ratings and most cable news shows exhibit similar drops in a reasonably similar time period. Which argues very strongly indeed against Justin’s “birfer” hypothesis for Dobb’s ratings decline.

    Extending to Justin’s implied assertion that Dobbs should be fired (a subject he has previously visited on other grounds) for his ratings drop, a comparison of Dobbs’ ratings and his nearest direct competition (Matthews, Hardball) is apropos, and shows that Dobbs is still winning his time slot over Hardball. Even accepting the ratings drop hypothesis (and it’s not a bad one) CNN is not going to dump Dobbs until/unless he tanks in his time slot against Hardball.

    Likewise, O’Reilly’s kicking Olbermann’s ass in their time slot, gaining viewers while Olbermann is losing them, yet Olbermann is not on the chopping block when by Justin’s logic or as a strict take on the ratings/competition hypothesis he should be. This strongly suggests something wrong with the hypothesis, some bad assumption either overt or implied.

    I’d venture the implied assumption is that they are actually in direct competition for viewers, when they are not. They are aimed at different target demographics. Fox right, CNN mixed populist/centrist, and MSNBC left. So CNN is marginally competing for viewers against both Fox and MSNBC, but Fox and MSNBC are not directly competing with each other. At least, not for the same viewership — all are of course competing for advertiser dollars.

    [* -- Why, yes, I am mocking Birfers. Also Trufers.]

  13. Chris Says:

    The way I was reading it, he was implying that Lou should be fired for having no journalistic integrity… but that may just be my opinion slipping through.

Leave a Reply


You must ALWAYS fill in the two word CAPTCHA below to submit a comment. And if this is your first time commenting on Donklephant, it will be held in a moderation queue for approval. Please don't resubmit the same comment a couple times. We'll get around to moderating it soon enough.

Also, sometimes even if you've commented before, it may still get placed in a moderation queue and/or sent to the spam folder. If it's just in moderation queue, it'll be published, but it may be deleted if it lands in the spam folder. My apologies if this happens but there are some keywords that push it into the spam folder.

One last note, we will not tolerate comments that disparage people based on age, sex, handicap, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry. We reserve the right to delete these comments and ban the people who make them from ever commenting here again.

Thanks for understanding and have a pleasurable commenting experience.

Related Posts: