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Why Is Aunty Em Apologizing To Steve Doocy?

Reported by Aunty Em - October 28, 2011 -

Twitter has several problems. One of them is the 140 character limit. If I could keep my thoughts to 140 characters, I never would have become a professional writer. Another problem with Twitter is that when one starts to follow people (okay, these are problems I have with Twitter), it becomes so easy to snipe at them. Those two problems merged yesterday morning and the end result is an unreserved apology to my newest Twitter friend, Foxy Friend Steve Doocy. Maybe I should start at the beginning and, as with many other apologies, it all began with a non-thinking tweet:

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Let me explain. When Steve Doocy said “wildly successful” my (one track) mind went in one direction. When I think of a successful tee vee show, I consider all the on-screen and off-screen elements and then determine whether they “successfully” gel into a tee vee show worth watching. I have always thought The Five was a train wreck from Day One. It’s easily the worst show on any news network and, quite possibly, the worst show on all of tee vee. It has not gotten better since its debut; if anything the show is devolving into all the worst characteristics it displayed in its first week. This was what was on my mind as I tweeted at Steve Doocy yesterday morning. What I really meant was “You call that disaster ‘wildly successful’?”

As The Flying Spaghetti Monster is my witness, it never even occurred to me to think about Neilson ratings. In fact it didn’t occur to me until TypicalFoxViewer (Twitter name changed to protect the ignorant) angrily tweeted me to tell me how wonderful the ratings for The Five are. They may be. I haven’t looked up the ratings, nor do I plan to. Ratings are a useless metric to determine whether something is good. McDonalds has the highest ‘ratings’ of any burger joint. That doesn’t make it good, that just makes it food. Same with The Five. It has all the elements of a tee vee show: people, a set, cameras, graphics, opinions, commercials. It just lacks any of the elements of a good tee vee show. Yet, that doesn’t stop some people from watching and others from touting its ratings.

As TypicalAuntyFan (name changed) tweeted at me during the flame war: “The only people who care about ratings are Ad people/ Network exec.” To which I added: “And, oddly enough, Fox viewers.” Readers: Do you know of any other humans who cite tee vee ratings? Yet, that’s the very first thing—and often the only thing—you hear from a Foxifarian who is standing up for the network. They don’t defend Fox “News” for any of what are considered positive attributes in the news business: honesty, integrity, good news sense, intellectually stimulating, scooping the competition, clarity, compassion, good newsreaders, or high-caliber reporting. Nor dare they mention its laughable and demonstrably false motto of “Fair & Balanced,” because they know it to be an empty slogan. No, they simply tout the ratings, as if that has any meaning whatsoever. You’ll read it on the various comment threads here at News Hounds or any other Fox Truth Site. It’s also what Fox Defenders cite when the arguments about Fox News start on the coffee shop patio. Ratings. Ratings. Ratings. It’s all they’ve got because, let’s be honest, that’s all Fox has got. In fact, during the Twitter flame war I was able to sum up TypicalFoxViewer’s position thusly: “I believe Fox News tells the truth because it has the highest ratings and ratings never lie.” I wish I were kidding because I’m beginning to suspect that this is the hidden argument when Foxifarians defend the network using ratings alone.

However, my original tweet must have hit a nerve. I’ve been trying to get a response from a Foxite ever since I started on Twitter. Once I got a reply from Kirsten Powers to point out I misspelled her name (which I had already corrected), but nothing since. That is until yesterday afternoon. It might have taken him 5 hours, but:

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Go figure. A guy who lies for a living felt the need to correct the record when I intimated he had lied. To make matters worse, Steve Doocy was right. He was telling the truth based upon his understanding of “wildly successful” and my snarky little tweet was based on my understanding of what makes a “wildly successful” tee vee show. However, I realized I owed Steve Doocy an apology for intimating he lied when he was actually telling the truth, for a change. Therefore, I apologized on Twitter and will also do so here because that’s only fair (and balanced). And, if I could keep my thoughts to 140 characters, I wouldn’t have become a professional writer. Here, my contrition:

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