Once You Start A Car Chase…

By Brian 

As noted earlier today, Shep Smith‘s Fox Report was the #1 show on cable news in the 25-54 demo Wednesday thanks to an L.A. car chase. But FNC dropped the car chase at 8 p.m. for Bill O’Reilly‘s taped Factor. Some viewers were disappointed by the sudden shift in programming. Joann writes to TVNewser:

“I’ve seen many car chases, but that one was extremely thrilling, for some reason. I called my mom and my sister and got them hooked, too! But imagine our horror (and that of the rest of the country, I presume) when they DROPPED the chase at 8 p.m. ET, for O’Reilly. I LOVE O’Reilly, but I couldn’t believe they dropped the chase entirely. Couldn’t they have split the screen, with the chase on half, and O’Reilly on the other half? I checked around and finally saw that the chase was being shown on Nancy Grace‘s program. But I was FURIOUS at Fox for leaving us hanging like that.”

A second e-mailer offers this analysis: “It was the most compelling carchase I’ve seen. This guy was barreling down city streets and had already ‘survived’ a bump from a squad car. He then began to weave through rush hour traffic on the 405. It looked like a Burt Reynolds movie! At 8 p.m. – directly to O’Reilly. And Shep sounded very uncomfortable doing it. If they continued the chase, it would have been an acknowledgment it was news. By stopping at 8 p.m., they instead signaled it was news porn. The decision to dump was much more telling than deciding to cover it in the first place. Is O’Reilly feared that much that content decisions are made based on his wrath?”

After the jump, a third e-mailer’s reaction…

> Another e-mailer says: “What kept me glued to Shep was how he and his fellow co-speaker (the name escapes me) kept predicting how the chase would soon hit heavy 5 pm traffic and the suspect would be caught. Yet time and time again, the dude found a way through. It was actually pretty amusing. I’ve never seen two news people be so wrong, so often. Yet Shep was funny and made several amusing quips. I actually hated to see Bill come on and end the show.”