The PJ Tatler

It's Been Said Lawrence, That You Have a Funny Sense of Cynicism

Now is the time at the Tatler when we juxtapose:

Yahoo.com, last week:

“I think if you’re a regular viewer of Fox News, you’re among the most cynical people on planet Earth,” [New York Times executive editor Bill] Keller snarled. “I cannot think of a more cynical slogan than ‘Fair and Balanced.'”

Roger Ebert on Twitter, yesterday:

Another way to look at these great CNN ratings. MSNBC viewers shifted, but Fox News viewers were indifferent to Japan.

As Big Hollywood notes, comedian and voice-over artist Gilbert Gottfried was fired by Aflac today for making insensitive tweets about the earthquake. Fortunately though, the veteran Chicago Sun-Times movie critic is able to insult his customers with impunity.

(Headline via Claude Rains; lede via SDA.)

Update: Frequent PJM contributor Tom Blumer of BizzyBlog quotes Ebert’s caustic tweet and responds, “You Stay Classy, Rog: Ebert Misreads Cable Ratings, Bashes Fox Viewers as ‘Indifferent to Japan:'”

Specifically, comparing Media Bistro’s cable news scoreboards for Friday, March 11 to Friday, March 4, one sees that while CNN’s viewership went up astronomically, Fox’s viewership went quite substantially (all figures presented are March 11 vs. March 4).

After running the numbers, Tom adds:

Further contradicting Ebert’s claim, MSNBC’s numbers compared to the other two cable networks barely budged. Each of MSNBC’s four audience metrics grew by less than 25%.

If Ebert has a point, it’s escaping anyone who looks at the numbers. Ebert also seems to think that the mere act of turning the TV on is some kind of proof that you care, i.e., that you’re not indifferent. Zheesh.

To be fair, turning on a television set is nearly as difficult as pinning a ribbon to the boutonniere hole of your tuxedo on Oscar night.