Monday, February 13, 2012

Quote of the Day

Note the time and date on Oprah's desperate plea for ratings and continued cultural relevance, via Twitter: Just after 8pm last night, a few minutes into the Grammys broadcast. So by doing this, not only did she attempt to draw viewers away from what would almost certainly be a three hour-plus tribute to Whitney Houston but she also violated Nielsen's rules about trolling for eyeballs.

For those who don't know how the ratings system works, Nielsen makes the shows it rates agree in writing not to directly solicit viewers, particularly during, oh say, the February sweeps period. Granted there are plenty of creative ways around this rule and just about every television station and network has tried them out at one time or another, but to flat out beg for Nielsen families is both unethical and monumentally stupid. Why the latter? Because by panhandling so shamelessly, Oprah has now probably forced Nielsen to exclude all of last night's OWN programming from its February ratings breakdown.

Which means that now last night will show up as nothing more than an asterisk in the book for OWN. In other words, it'll be what it was going to be anyway.

Official Glenn Greenwald Honorary Update (1st of 13): Oprah is now saying she's sorry for the tweet. She removed it from her feed and says, "I intended no harm and apologize for the reference." Still pending: an apology for the rest of her career.

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