Tucker Carlson: The Biggest Loser – Or Why Is this Show Still On?

Tucker February 2008Somebody tell me why Tucker Carlson still has a television show. Seriously! Is there anyone at MSNBC reading this? I want an answer. I just can’t figure out what’s going through their heads.

Tucker has been the worst performing program on the MSNBC primetime lineup for as long as he’s been on. And he rarely notches anything above last place versus his competition. That record of defeat has predictably repeated itself for February 2008.





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What does it take to get canceled by this network. Does Tucker have to insult a women’s basketball team to get the ax? There are many examples of him insulting women, like when he said about Hillary Clinton that, “there’s just something about her that feels castrating, overbearing, and scary.” Then there is the time he said Obama “seems like kind of a wuss,” and “sounds like a pothead.” Now he has taken to inviting the most repugnant guests he can dig up. Last month he hosted Jonah “Liberal Fascism” Goldberg and Roger “C.U.N.T.” Stone.

But the network doesn’t need a scandal to ditch Tucker. They just need a desire to get better ratings and make more money. Isn’t that what they’re in business for? Tucker’s show is an expensive flop and it is bringing down the shows adjacent to it. As I’ve said on many previous occasions, there is simply no business case for keeping this show on the air. And yet it’s still there.

It’s not like MSNBC doesn’t have some recent experience with success on which to draw. Keith Olbermann’s Countdown continues to surge and is the fastest growing program on cable news. Last Thursday it even scored a #1 ranking, beating its nemesis, Bill O’Reilly. But even when it doesn’t come out on top, it’s a more valuable asset. O’Reilly’s audience is not particularly appealing to advertisers. Only 17% of its total viewers are in the coveted 25-54 demographic. Countdown’s audience in the demo is 40%.

So what’s wrong with MSNBC? Why don’t they want to emulate their successes and eject their failures? Since there are no arguments from a business perspective for keeping him, then what are their arguments? There is good cause to suspect that their motivations are not wholly reputable. Either someone is doing someone else a favor, or some political bias is being exerted, or Tucker has photographs of an executive in a compromising situation. There is room for plenty of salacious speculation, but what there is little supply of is reason.

Any half-way sane television professional would have canceled this loser long ago. I think it’s time the viewers get involved and demand that MSNBC account for themselves. If, as I suspect, they are protecting Tucker due to some unsavory and secret compact, then they are violating a public trust and they need to come clean. Write to MSNBC and ask them to explain why Tucker is still on the air despite his dismal performance. Ask them why they are protecting a program that has never delivered for them. Feel free to cite the data in this article and ask for specific answers. In the pursuit of journalistic ethics and transparency, we have a right to know.

Email: MSNBC Viewer Services


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  1. …especially when they tools like Tucker.

    Now, somebody cancel this dork.

  2. Considering he’s bracketed by Tweety I’d say- “Yeah, why is he still there dragging down the ratings.”

  3. but i’d take double the carlson, if they’d get rid of joe scarborough.  

    also…rachel maddow used to be a regular on tucker (or at least my mom tells me she was…i try not to watch him), and…according to mom…is never on his show any longer.  maybe an email to rachel would enlighten you some…hmmmm…

  4. i don’t watch his show… never felt he was very watchable or informative

    the one i really want to crash and burn is tweety!

    tucker? bleech.

    but i do think your questions are instructive and informative. WHY? it is a wonderful dilemma… leaving losers on or drawing audiences with programming that runs counter to their own interests in order to make money but with voices like Keith it could be their undoing…

    • Pluto on March 3, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    He always has these smart Dems on for an hour, like Bill Press. And his guests crack up over Tucker’s silly agenda.

    I have no problem with him continuing.

    • OPOL on March 3, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    own shows and they’re not all MSNBC, but still…) like Bill Kristol, Howie kurtz, Joe Kline, Tom Friedman, Glen Beck, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Bennett, Sean Hannity, Robert Novak and etc. who never get anything right and who are complete asses but who never seem to get fired for their gross incometence.  Unbelievable!

    Credibility be damned.

  5. Yes although I know what these things are all of them are offensive.  I get all news from the net and I fear the commercialized propaganda crap from these blowhards is indeed spilling over into the blogosphere.

    I would much rather have an intelligent conversation with people who can grasp something longer than a 30 second sound byte and get into some semblance of history and who’s who.


    Why Obama is the devil’s spawn, now that is information, like it or not.

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