Accuracy in Media

Don Imus  and Neil Cavuto had a very long and loud discussion on Friday morning about the inconsistent ratings of Imus in the Morning on Fox Business News (FBN).

Imus had previously criticized his viewers and called them “bastards” for not supporting his show on a regular basis.

Cavuto, who is also the senior vice president of FBN, took issue with Imus’ characterization of his viewers and told him that “people don’t like you” and that it’s not their fault that his show is “awful.”

Imus feels that his viewers have a responsibility to watch his show every day, which would probably come as a shock to viewers of any show. The responsibility clearly rests with the host to come up with an interesting and informative show for the viewers. The viewers have no obligation to watch, even though Imus thinks they do, because he drags himself to work every day despite numerous ailments. Cue the violins please.

Even though Imus was joking and his exchange with Cavuto was more tongue in cheek than a real argument, there is some truth to what Cavuto was saying.

Imus, for his part, should be thankful that he even has a show and an audience after his debacle at MSNBC. But it seems now that he has an audience, he thinks he deserves the kind of attention he previously enjoyed.

What really bothers Imus is not just his up and down ratings in the morning but the fact that FBN’s ratings are minuscule compared to CNBC’s, often attracting just one-sixth the audience of the older business network in the key A25-54 demographic.

Imus can rant and rave all he wants, but he can’t guilt viewers into watching a show that just isn’t that good anymore when compared to his days at MSNBC.

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