MSNBC President Wants Investigation into Surging Numbers For Fox

Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, is crying foul over a huge increase over a 24 hour period for Fox News prime time shows in the key 25-54 demo.

Monday we had a really good day in the key demographic. On the night that Fox News debuted their three shows, we either tied or beat them in those hours," Griffin said at a briefing, according to TVNewser.

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"Tuesday -- you guys should be doing some investigations; I have never seen it in all my years of cable -- same overnight, same everything. And they doubled their ratings in a day? It is impossible." Griffin continued, "I have never seen it. They did election-night numbers in the demo Tuesday."

The Nielsen numbers Griffin refers to include MSNBC beating Fox News on Monday in the adults 25-54 demographic at 7 p.m. and tying Fox News at 10 p.m.

At 9 p.m. on Monday, MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show beat Fox News' new The Kelly File, hosted by Megyn Kelly, by a slim 10,000 viewers in the key demo.

By Tuesday, though, Fox News was back to its dominant self, with 573,000 in the key demo compared with 261,000 for MSNBC between the hours of 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Perhaps most dramatically, Kelly's narrow loss to Rachel Maddow from a night earlier was significantly reversed, with Kelly drawing an audience of 623,000 in the key demo compared with Maddow's 291,000.

Nielsen has not yet responded to Griffin's remarks.

On Wednesday, Kelly beat Maddow 384,000 to 299,000 in the key demo, with CNN's Piers Morgan Live at 117,000. And on Thursday, Kelly beat Maddow 376,000 to 288,000, with Morgan at 157,000.

Nielson hasn't commented on the outrageous suggestion -- and probably won't. It's kooky to suggest that the tens of thousands of boxes used by Nielson to gauge ratings were somehow redirected over 24 hours. I suppose it could be a computer glitch at Nielson but you would expect internal controls that would be triggered when such a discrepancy occurred would easily have caught something like that.

Griffin's real whine is that MSNBC has dramatically changed it's programming and still can't make a dent in the lead of Fox News. The ratings troubles at the network highlight just how few liberals have the stomach to watch 4 hours of prime time featuring hectoring, lecturing hosts whose open hate for their political opponents gets tiresome after a while.