Earlier in the week, Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly concluded that MSNBC’s ratings were “catastrophic” and the network was in “collapse.” On his “O’Reilly Factor” Thursday, O’Reilly detailed MSNBC’s ratings woes–and compared how MSNBC fared against some of FNC’s juggernauts in prime. “At 9 p.m., Megyn Kelly slaughtered her opposition three-to-one,” said O’Reilly.
That “slaughtered” opposition is Rachel Maddow, who responded on her show Friday. “Yes, your ratings are great,” Maddow said. “Stipulated.” But Maddow noted despite O’Reilly’s giant numbers, there are low-profile shows on cable doing even better, including a show about guys in Alaska who pan for gold and a post-“Walking Dead” recap show, which both deliver “millions” of viewers. “Out of all of us in cable news, you get the closest to the zombie after-show and the gold rush guys.”
Maddox described O’Reilly’s ratings boast as a lame distraction from the questions surrounding O’Reilly’s reporting–about which she had asked the network for comment. “But seriously, that cannot be the response of a news network to substantive allegations that your talent is lying repeatedly on the air about news stories. Repeatedly, and recently, and did I mention repeatedly?”
The segment expands on a growing dispute between MSNBC and Fox News, which disputes Maddow’s recounting of the Fox News response to an earlier segment Maddow did on O’Reilly. Fox insiders say Maddow has distorted the network’s response to questions about O’Reilly. A source at FNC dismissed Maddow’s Fox-focused segments as an effort to boost her own ratings by “punching up.”