Cable’s 10pmET demo battle between CNN’s Anderson Cooper and FNC’s Greta Van Susteren is made infinitely more interesting because both anchors are frequent bloggers. This afternoon, Cooper praised Van Susteren on his blog, while taking a veiled shot at…other anchors, and Van Susteren seemed to make the same point (although, less veiled):
I know it’s popular to attack one’s competition in cable news. Some people seem to spend as much time trashing their rivals as they do reporting the news. I understand why they do it, I get it, but I don’t want to take part in it, and I respect the fact that my competition on FOX, Greta Van Susteren has chosen not to do that as well. She has her program, I have mine. They are very different, but I respect her hard work and intelligence. I think the competition between us makes both our broadcasts better.
When you are not #1, and you can’t get there by yourself, by your own work, you go to “Plan B” — you make it your habit to attack the #1 in hope of getting attention (viewers) to yourself. It is an effort to skim off some viewers from the #1…the best example is Keith Olberman and Bill O’Reilly. Olberman knows that when he can find a reason to put up Bill O’Reilly’s picture (and even insult him), he gets the channel surfers with a remote in their hands to stop. They see O’Reilly and stop. Plus the constant obsession with a competitor also attempts to create “buzz” in the print side of news…print journalists think there is some big media war going on…and thus more free publicity for Olberman.
Well, good thing we’re not technically print. Oh, and Greta, speaking of print, Olbermann is with two n’s.