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Wednesday 3 August 2011

Nobody Wants To Know

Much has been made by some bloggers of the discomfiture of the appalling Piers Morgan at news of his past as editor of the Screws and Daily Mirror making its way across the north Atlantic. For the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer Henry Cole at the Guido Fawkes blog, this is A Very Big Deal Indeed. But the less than dynamic duo is not known for total accuracy.

So how much traction is Morgan’s backstory really getting? Well, one online source that has been running a feature on the affair is the original US Huffington Post. Their story was posted on Monday last, so it’s been available for two days. Staines got his mention, the Murdoch Wall Street Journal was quoted, and the number of comments at 1250 hours today was 153.

How does this compare? News of the return to MSNBC’s Morning Joe of Mark Halperin, the one who called Barack Obama a “dick” recently, posted yesterday, has scored 659 comments. A piece on the graphic front page image of a starving Somali child run by the New York Times, also posted yesterday, has generated 978 comments.

Yet more popular was news of MSNBC’s top rated host Rachel Maddow, who is reported to have signed on to an extension of her deal to host the channel’s 9pm Eastern weekday show – a direct competitor to Morgan on CNN – taking her contract into 2014, posted yesterday and garnering over 2,050 comments. And a post on the This Week argument on the debt ceiling deal between Paul Krugman and George Will, from Monday, has attracted more than 5,500 comments.

But way out in front on the HuffPost Media page right now is an item, posted only yesterday, on Monday’s “Special Comment” by Keith Olbermann on Countdown. At 1250 hours today, the number of comments posted on that item was over 8,500. This is not a particularly rigorous comparison, but Staines and Cole like to wave their numbers around, so it’s one they are more likely to understand.

Yes, what concerns many ordinary citizens right now is the economy – as always – rather than what is happening to the third rated 9pm Eastern cable news host. And because those of the political persuasion espoused by Paul Staines detest Olbermann for being liberal, articulate and effective, the video of the Countdown host at full throttle is included.

Just in case they’re looking in.

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