Posted by: davidrcollier | August 1, 2009

Lou Dobbs’ Ratings Not Helped by Birther Coverage

According to the New York Observer:

Mr. Dobbs’ first began reporting on Obama birth certificate conspiracy theories on the night of Wednesday, July 15. In the roughly two weeks since then, from July 15 through July 28, Mr. Dobbs’ 7 p.m. show on CNN has averaged 653,000 total viewers and 157,000 in the 25-54 demo.

By contrast, during the first two weeks of the month (July 1 to July 14) Mr. Dobbs averaged 771,000 total viewers and 218,000 in the 25-54 demo. In other words, Mr. Dobbs’ audience has decreased 15 percent in total viewers and 27 percent in the demo since the start of the controversy.

Arguably, interest in cable news has slumped across the board since early July when attention over Michael Jackson’s death was still at a fever pitch.

But, that said, Mr. Dobbs’ ratings over the past two weeks, during the height of the “birthers” controversy, are also down significantly compared to his overall numbers during the second quarter of 2009 when he averaged 769,000 total viewers and 222,000 in the 25-54 demo.

In summary, if Mr. Dobbs’ affinity for “birthers” is a ratings ploy, it’s a pretty ineffective one.

I wonder if this means Dobbs will now drop – or be forced to drop – the birther coverage and look elsewhere to stem his ratings decline.

*UPDATE – a recent poll by Research 2000, and commissioned by the left-wing website, Daily Kos, finds that only 42% of Republicans believe Obama was born in the US, compared to 93% Democrats and 83% of Independents.

**UPDATEan email exchange between Fox News and Lou Dobbs’ publicist has been obtained by, which shows efforts being made to bring Dobbs on to the O’Reilly Factor to talk about the birther situation. As this never materialized, despite both parties being keen, Mediaite wonder if it was CNN themselves who prevented the deal…

***UPDATEMedia Matters have purchased ad time during the Lou Dobbs’ show to run commercials criticizing him. The transcript is here. Lou Dobbs has already responded, calling it a “swift boat of the left“.



  1. I think this issue is relevant. Although many news networks are not covering this story, more should. It should matter where the president was born when he has not proven such. The cert. of live birth is simply not enough. Recently, a poll came out, not sure if we can trust them but it showed where a good percentage of rep. did not believe that Obama is an american. This is stunning. The so called facts don’t add up. Obama just needs to come out and prove them wrong. he should have a copy. I believe he is American, Dobbs has been recorded saying this but he is getting the jab of reporting on this issue. It appears those who are against the President will be ridiculed and made look silly because of his opponents.

    Dobbs is simply doing his job. When many people do not care about border security, health care, etc Dobbs does.

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