Video: Bill-O victimized by vast viewer conspiracy

By Keith Olbermann Anchor, 'Countdown'
msnbc.com
updated 10/24/2008 9:12:18 PM ET 2008-10-25T01:12:18
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And now tonight's latest from the network whose executive Vice President has concluded that "Senator McCain's quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting"—Fox News.

Our Number One story on the Countdown: Billo the Clown has jumped the shark tank that is delusional paranoia. He has seen the ratings spike here at MSNBC and decided that it is the result of a fraudulent conspiracy perpetrated by: The New York Times, Barack Obama, GE, and the A.C. Nielsen Ratings Company.

As ever, I'll reed Bill's words, then translate them back into human.

"...a war, ladies and gentlemen, between the New York Times and FOX News has broken out into the open."

"The Times today used the announcement of my new contract to put forth that FOX News may be in trouble, ratings wise. The article, written by Bill Carter, raises questions about how much longer FOX News will be successful.

"In the body of the article, Carter raises the absurd contention that MSNBC is competitive with FNC."

Mr. Carter's article was actually about how the economic collapse will affect advertising in all of cable news. I know you only sort of skim the paper, Bill, to look for your own name but Carter's piece was 765 words long, and it isn't until 600 words in, that he mentions MSNBC, and then, only to note how we cleaned Bill's clock by 200,000 in the key demo on Tuesday night.

By this point, however, Billo is already at Stage Three "We'll Do It Live" Uncontrollable Anger.

"Hey, Bill, going to print that last night I beat their guttersnipe at 8 by two million viewers, 200,000 in the key demo? Are you going to print that, sir?"

Actually, talking about our big night Tuesday, Carter wrote "Mr. O'Reilly still dominated among total viewers, with 3.4 million to 2.2 million for Mr. Olbermann."

But Billo has long since eluded reason's grasp. Now he is at the "I don't even know what that means" stage.

"Are you going to print that, sir? Of course you won't. Why? Cuz you're corrupt and you oughta quit the business."

Now, I love it when Billo lets me do my impression of him angry, but there was an extra quality to his voice as he delivered that line that you must hear.

It doesn't lose that much in the original.

O'REILLY:  Are you going to print that, sir? Of course you won't. Why? Because you're corrupt and you ought to quit the business.

Ooooh, you should quit and die and I'm not going to play with you any more Bill Carter you big meanie!

Just buying your premise for the sake of argument, Billo: what does being corrupt have to do with quitting the business? You've been on the air since 1996. "The Factor" wins the 8 p.m. time slot 100 percent of the time in total audience and 94 percent of the time in the 25-54 demo.

Just not lately. And, Bill, didn't it used to be 100 percent of the time in total audience, and 100 percent of the time in the 25-54 demo? Hey! What happend?

"We don't just win. We more than double MSNBC in total audience and beat them by 32 percent in the demo."

Jeez, Bill, five years ago you had seven times our total audience and you beat us by 562 percent in the demo. Even two years ago you had three times our total audience and you beat us by 165 percent in the demo. Good thing evil old Bill Carter left that out.

"Now, the corrupt Bill Carter ignored all that. He is quite a guy. Comparing this October to last October, "The Factor's" younger viewer demo has increased 90 percent. Again Carter somehow missed that."

Hey, you know what else he missed? Countdown's younger viewer demo, October to October, is up 338 percent.

"While FOX News continues to rule, there are major problems with the Nielsen ratings system. There have been wild swings in the ratings that have benefited MSNBC. We've asked for an explanation of those wild swings."

"Nielsen can't explain them, and those swings are unprecedented in the television business."

Uhh, it's 'cause you suck.

"An examination of Nielsen shows that their personnel is overwhelmingly liberal. Twenty-six Nielsen executives, including CEO Susan Whiting, 26 have donated to the Democrats. Two to the Republicans."

Twenty-six donations to the Democrats, two to the Republicans. Have you seen any of the presidential fund-raising, Billo? That ratio isn't very far out of whack with, you know, America.

So America is conspiring against you, too? But jeez, Bill, exactly where are you going with this stuff about Nielsen?

"The bottom line on this is there may be some big-time cheating going on in the ratings system, and we hope the feds will investigate. Any fraud in the television rating system affects all Americans."

So, uh, the only possible explanation for your ratings shrinking and ours growing is a conspiracy in which... the Nielsen company compromises the only thing it has—the credibility of its ratings methodology—so that, what, MSNBC has some higher ratings so, what? Obama looks better? Or is it Obama gets higher poll numbers so MSNBC looks better, or you wanna flesh this out a little?

Or, do you just want to think back:

Ten and eleven years ago, when they first moved you to 8 o'clock, and things weren't going very well, and you never finished ahead of that goofy guy who was on against you on MSNBC, and then he quit, and then you tied his successor for a couple of nights, and then you were ahead for awhile, and then he was ahead for awhile, and then you broke away from the pack and it was all up-hill from there?

This is the same thing now, Bill. Except it's all down-hill from here. Sunrise, sunset. You know, swiftly fly the years or, you're right. It's all fixed. And Michael Mukasey needs to drop everything and needs to start a freakin' federal investigation into the TV ratings.

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