Dear Bill O’Reilly, Thanks For All The Free Publicity. Love, Keith Olbermann

By Brian 

I’m not really implying that Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann‘s most recent tiff has actually helped Countdown’s ratings. But something has.

On Wednesday night, O’Reilly delivered 309,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic, while Olbermann had 231,000. Countdown had 75 percent of the Factor’s demo numbers — on third-place, also-ran, insert-your-cliche MSNBC. Paula Zahn had just 81,000 demo viewers.

> Update: 1:46pm: An Olbermann fan writes in: “Wednesday’s number was most likely the result of Keith’s interview with Buck O’Neil regarding his much publicized snub by the Baseball Hall of Fame.”

Last month, Hardball and Countdown were beating The Situation Room and Paula Zahn Now pretty consistently in the demo at 7 and 8pm. Many observers credited the Olympics — but this week, the trend seems to be continuing. Update: 1:49pm: On Monday, Matthews had 144,000 and Blitzer had 165,000. Olbermann had 154,000 and Zahn had 164,000.

But on Tuesday, Hardball had 202,000 and Blitzer had 156,000. Olbermann had 155,000 and Zahn had 96,000.

On Wednesday, Matthews had 205,000 and Blitzer had 129,000. Olbermann had 231,000 and Zahn had 81,000…