'South Park Conservatives' Author Questioned On Numbers
Testy On-Air Exchange With Brian C. Anderson
During a testy, but polite, interview with 'South Park Conservatives' author Brian C. Anderson, Air America host Al Franken asserted that radio ratings aren't available to the public!
That apparently was Franken's way of deflecting unpleasant questions about Air America's recent poor performance. It was likely also to suggest that Anderson was using incorrect, or outright phony, data!
I heard from Anderson a few minutes ago, he says the Radio Equalizer was cited as a source for ratings information (thought it seemed like a lot of liberals were crawling around here today).
Anderson mentioned some specific figures, from various cities, which seemed to catch Franken off-guard.
Remember, our pieces regarding radio ratings are carefully detailed, with links back to actual Arbitron data available at radio industry trade sites.
How could Franken not be aware that radio ratings are in fact available to the public? Has he not ever seen them in the New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, or the dozens of other papers in large cities that publish them on a regular basis?
And is it really possible that Franken never reviews industry trade websites, even though they fawn all over him, nearly every day?
Also, how did he not realize that Anderson would surely bring up this white-hot topic during the show?
Franken actually asserted that Anderson was wrong, that he couldn't possibly know how Air America was doing, because the data is a secret!
He's either delusional, or was afraid of the subject and needed a way to change it, quickly.
Anderson felt that contrary to how some other liberal hosts might behave, Franken treated him professionally, but was deflective at times.
Franken faulted Anderson for asserting that Air America broadcasts anti-American material. After what Randi Rhodes pulled on the air yesterday, with her simulated shooting of the President, isn't the case closed on this issue?
He also cited the instance of Rhodes claiming that the country is no better led today than if it were half-slave and half-free, which to Anderson, borders on Anti-Americanism.
Should conservatives such as Anderson bother to appear on other liberal talk shows? That's a subject of internal debate among radio and political types. Franken let Anderson get a word in edgewise, I'm not sure some of the others would be as accommodating.
Watch here for updates soon.
Update: Michelle Malkin, using her superior investigation skills, tracks down a web link to the audio of the show.
How can Franken really expect us to believe he's never heard of Radio & Records, All Access, RadioDailyNews, Inside Radio, or any of the other trades that publish ratings? He's in the business, these mags are probably stuffed in their mailboxes and sitting on the coffee tables in the office lounge.
A verbatim excerpt from Malkin's site:
Anderson: Listen Al, it's finally there for anybody to see. They can just check out the Arbitron ratings and uh...
Franken: Well they can't because they're they're the Arbitron ratings aren't public.
Anderson: No, they are. The quarterly ratings are public. You can look at them on this Radio Equalizer blog. He's posting them.