FNC’s Greta Van Susteren is steaming about CNN’s recent attempt to attract publicity for its coverage of Japan’s tsunami. She questions whether it was “crass” of CNN to pitch their coverage to The Hollywood Reporter. On her Greta Wire blog this week, she fired off a post she called, “CNN even went Hollywood with it.”

The former CNNer wrote, “It is one thing to put out your success early when the event is a political event where no one died…and another completely…when more than 10,0000 are dead. …You can see that CNN phoned up Hollywood to talk about themselves.” The Hollywood Reporter‘s headline: “Earthquake and Tsnami Boost CNN Friday.” An updated headline online reads: “Japan Tsunami/Earthquake Coverage Lifts CNN Ratings.” The story includes a line about CNN beating FNC. It says: “In primetime (8-11 p.m.), CNN came close to beating perennial cable news leader Fox News, averaging 2.6 million total viewers to FNC’s 2.7 million. CNN did beat FNC in the demo, 1.1 million versus 757,000.”  Story facts: The Japan tragedy sets a new record for CNN.com with more than 60 million viewers watching. But alas, the Chilean minor rescue comes only in third place with 11.5 million hits.

In an update, Greta further skewered CNN, writing, “I was told that the other day CNN promoted a show about Japan calling it ‘Countdown to Meltdown’ as if it were a sporting event. If true, I just don’t get it.” (This is true. Numerous searches confirm CNN, Japan’s tragedy and “Countdown to Meltdown.”)

FNC did not send out ratings material last Friday. However, the ratings were slightly above average that day.

CNN declined to comment on the matter.

Greta’s big complaint…

is that CNN sent out numbers on Friday that are typically released Monday. “There are times when you compete and enjoy your success (I enjoy success and you should, too and it is great to talk about it and take a bow) and there are times when it is indecent and tasteless to brag.  This is one of them.   More than 10,000 are dead in Japan and millions  and millions of broken hearts and CNN seems to think it is important to brag about their ratings to the point where they are even sending them out (and even sending them out a day early to get attention.).”