Another Monday, another weekend media feud to report. This time it’s between Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren and blogul Dan Abrams, who owns Mediaite and its related sites, including our personal favorite, Mogulite.
On Saturday, Van Susteren took to her blog to complain about the fact that she and Fox News had covered a serious, important story about how North Korea is about to run out of food in June, but when Mediaite covered her report, they focused only on how many viewers they had. This was their “silly” headline: “Among Viewers 25-54, Van Susteren Leads Cooper by Just 63,000 Viewers at 10 P.M.”
Van Susteren starts out by saying she’s upset that Mediaite chose this trivial angle to report on, and not the real North Korea story. But her point gets lost because she then seems more upset that Mediaite didn’t choose to report more flattering numbers:
I figure the website hates Fox since, although equally trivial when millions are dying, mediaite.com chose not to highlight that 1.6 TOTAL watched our broadcast
If the number of people who watched is so trivial compared to the story, Van Susteren, why keep quibbling over it? Moreover, Mediaite is a website devoted to reporting ratings. Comparing ratings between networks is their beat! They never purported to be a general news site. The whole thing is sort of maddening.
Abrams posted an annoyed response:
I was struck by the hypocrisy of your post. When you and Fox News crow about your own ratings do you put an asterisk when the ratings skyrocket for something trivial like the national obsession with Natalie Holloway? Of course not. What if during that same period, CNN is covering stories of far greater national significance?
A daily ratings post is just that, a summary of the Nielsen numbers for that day. If, however, you are saying that you would have appreciated more coverage on Mediaite about the fact that you did some important reporting in one of the most dangerous and significant countries on earth, I think that is a fair request and one that might have been addressed with a simple call or email…
Of course, as a busy and important blogul, rather than a lowly website editor, Abrams is also pissed that he got dragged into this in the first place:
I don’t edit the site, so while I appreciate having my name splashed in your headline, you ought to know better. Yes I created and own the site, and will ultimately take responsibility for what is published or not published, but I am guessing that if someone who writes for Mediaite blamed Roger Ailes or Rupert Murdoch for a specific story on your show, you and your executive producer would be thoroughly insulted. My seven web properties aren’t remotely comparable to Fox News or Newscorp but the point remains the same, you are disingenuously using me to try to make your point that much more sensational.
Seriously! Why do Ailes and Murdoch get all the respect around here?! So unfair.