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Posts Tagged ‘Robin Williams’

Fired Up Bill O’Reilly Helps Put Fox on Top

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After CNN’s back-to-back ratings wins Monday and Tuesday, Fox News Channel returned to its familiar perch atop the cable news ratings scoreboard. FNC drew the most total viewers and A25-54 demo viewers in both total day and primetime Wednesday. While FNC was up in both dayparts, CNN and MSNBC were both down from Monday and Tuesday.

The host of the channel’s No. 1 show was also back in his chair. Bill O’Reilly cut his vacation short to return to host last night’s “O’Reilly Factor” much of which was devoted to Ferguson, including a Talking Points Memo targeting “charlatan” Al Sharpton and a fiery debate with Bob Beckel and James Carville. And it paid off. O’Reilly had his best numbers since since last Monday, which included breaking news coverage of the death of Robin Williams.

Other Wednesday highlights include a new demo high for daytime show “Outnumbered,” and a new 2014 total viewer high for “Real Story with Gretchen Carlson.”

CNN managed demo wins from 3-5pmET. Fox News took all other hours of the day.

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Dr. Drew on Media Coverage of Depression: ‘Stop Thinking About It As a Sensitive Topic’

Dr-Drew-Pinsky_t580Celebrity deaths — especially the sudden kind — often produce wall-to-wall coverage on TV news, but the root causes behind these tragedies don’t always get the coverage many think is needed.

As Robin Williamssuicide has taken over TV news this week, the not often talked about issue of depression has been thrust to the forefront on many networks. And one cable news host with expertise on the subject has a message for TV news talent and journalists.

“Stop thinking about it as a sensitive topic,” Dr. Drew Pinsky told TVNewser in an interview this afternoon. “Think of it like a topic like any other medical condition, like a cardiac problem, or a lung problem; it just happens to affect the brain.”

“It’s disturbing to me we talk about things like inner demons, which, for God’s sake, is sort of a language that comes out of the Middle Ages. They’re not inner demons; it’s a brain state precipitated by complicated interactions with the environment and it’s a biology that has a medical treatment.”

The coverage has surprised Dr. Drew in another way. “Michael Jackson [death] for some reason didn’t create an ongoing conversation about addiction and pharmaceutical drugs and drug abuse. Somehow, the joy Robin Williams brought us, and the love that everyone feels for him, and the body shot we’ve all taken hearing about his demise, has really given people permission to talk about depression.”

Bill O’Reilly ‘Not Real Annoyed’ Networks are ‘Overdoing’ Robin Williams’ Death Coverage

Last night, Bill O’Reilly and guest Bernie Goldberg discussed the media’s coverage of the death of Robin Williams.

“This story I think is legitimate; I’m not real annoyed that the people are overdoing it,” O’Reilly said, adding that wall-to-wall media coverage of high-profile figure deaths began with the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1999. “Robin Williams deserves the adulation he’s getting, he deserves the attention he’s getting, and hopefully the depression thing will become forefront.”


Shepard Smith Explains Use of the Word ‘Coward’ During Robin Williams Coverage

The hours-long cable news coverage of the death of Robin Williams last night included some reporting, and much eulogizing. And as often happens during unscripted live TV news coverage, the words used are interpreted in different ways.

Case in point: Shepard Smith. At the end of his hour-long special, the Fox News anchor read a quote from the late actor/comedian about his children. Smith then surmised: “They’re inspiring you and exciting you and they fill you up with the kind of joy you could never have known. But something inside you is so horrible, or you’re such a coward, or whatever the reason, that you decide you have to end it. Robin Williams, at 63, did that today.”

Smith was immediately criticized for using the word “coward.”

“The last thing I would ever suggest about a man I know nothing about personally, is that he’s a coward,” Smith tells TVNewser. “That goes against everything I am. If those words, I used so innocently, offended his family, from the bottom of my heart, I could not be more sorry.”

Nischelle TurnerOver on CNN, entertainment reporter Nischelle Turner got some pushback for using the word “demons” when describing Robin Williams’ mental state. She apologized on air.

“I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from the mental health community in using that word,” Turner said. “A lot of times when we’re doing live coverage we say things and we’re talking and we don’t realize what we’re saying. They’re absolutely correct. That it is a disease, so I apologize for using the word demons.”

ABC News also got some social media pushback for promoting a live feed of aerials of Williams’ home on ABCNews.com.

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Robin Williams Dead at Age 63

RobinWilliamsThe death of Robin Williams has taken over as the lead story on cable news. Williams took his own life this morning at his home near Tiburon, CA in Marin County. He was pronounced dead at 12:02pmPT. The official cause of death is asphyxia. The actor and comedian had been battling severe depression, his representative said in a statement.

The news broke just before 7pmET. CBS News anchor Scott Pelley reported the news at 6:58pmET at the end of “CBS Evening News.” CBS produced special reports at 7:04 and 7:22. Fox News’s Ed Henry, sitting in for Bret Baier, also reported the news at 6:58. CNN reported the story at 7:06. Don Lemon, filling in for Erin Burnett, then went into rolling coverage. MSNBC’s Richard Lui broke in to “Hardball” at 7:16pm.

ABC News’s David Muir anchored a special report at 7:13pm and NBC’s Brian Williams anchored a special at 7:14. All three evening newscasts will update for the leads of their west coast editions at 8:30pmET.

More: Shepard Smith will pre-empt “Hannity” at 10pm for a Fox News special on Robin Williams; ABC’s “Nightline” will devote tonight’s show to Robin Williams, and there will be a special edition of “20/20″ tomorrow night at 10pm, anchored by David Muir.

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ABC Slates Barbara Walters Heart Surgery Special

ABC has scheduled a new primetime Barbara Walters special focusing on people that have undergone heart surgery.”A Barbara Walters Special: A Matter of Life and Death” will air Friday, February 4 at 10 PM and will feature interviews with former President Bill Clinton, Robin Williams, Charlie Rose and Regis Philbin. It also features an interview with late night host David Letterman, who rarely sits down with interviewers.

‘That’s the Way it Was: Remembering Walter Cronkite’ to Air Sunday on CBS

CBS will preempt 60 Minutes this Sunday for a special on the life of Walter Cronkite, who died earlier this evening in New York.

Some of the biggest names in politics, news and entertainment – including Pres. Barack Obama, CBS News colleagues Mike Wallace, Morley Safer and Don Hewitt, Katie Couric, George Clooney, Robin Williams and Spike Lee will share their own memories of the industry’s elder statesman as part of the special.

Susan Zirinsky, who once produced for Cronkite, is the executive producer of “That’s the Way it Was: Remembering Walter Cronkite.”

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