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5 items from 2009

Fox News set for best year yet

24 June 2009 3:01 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Fox News is on track to have its most-watched year ever, showing significant ratings growth despite having just come off a highflying election year.

With the second quarter coming to a close, Fox News averaged about the same number of viewers as the top three other cable news networks combined. And while rivals including CNN (-22%) and MSNBC (-18%) took hits following last quarter's inauguration-fueled boost, Fox News (-3%) remained nearly steady.

Compared with last year, the Fox News (averaging 2.1 million viewers, 509,000 adults 25-54 quarter-to-date) is up 35% over last year in primetime viewers and 48% in the demo. CNN (805,000 viewers, 210,000 in demo) fell 16% in viewers and 29% in the demo. MSNBC (787,000 viewers, 259,000 in demo) climbed 15% in viewers and about on par, -3%, in the demo. And CNN Headline News (553,000, 201,000) showed very strong growth, up 39% and 37%, respectively, and is on track for its best second quarter.

The new standings are strong enough to »

- By James Hibberd

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Charles Grodin Dares Fox News Host Sean Hannity To Be Waterboarded

30 April 2009 10:00 AM, PDT | | See recent CinemaRetro news »

By Lee Pfeiffer

Charles Grodin has long been known for his wit and sarcastic sense of humor since his star-making role in The Heartbreak Kid.. Both were were evident last week when the liberal Grodin appeared as a guest on the talk show hosted by conservative Fox News personality Sean Hannity. The two men good-naturedly sparred over whether waterboarding techniques employed on suspected terrorists constituted torture. Hannity has blasted President Obama for denouncing these techniques and promising not to employ them in his administration. Hannity, like his fellow Fox News show host Bill O'Reilly, has referred to the practice of waterboarding as "dunking" - implying it's virtually identical to a game played at a county fair. When Hannity continued to maintain that waterboarding is not torture, Grodin then challenged him to undergo the procedure. Hannity said he would be happy to do so, if it were done for a charity that benefited U. »

- (Cinema Retro)

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Olbermann Dogs Hannity Over Waterboarding

29 April 2009 5:29 AM, PDT | | See recent newser news »

Keith Olbermann isn’t letting up as he pushes Sean Hannity to follow through on an offer to be waterboarded for charity, the AP reports. On his show Monday, the MSNBC host again urged his Fox rival to make good on the pledge, though how serious Hannity was isn't clear. Olbermann said yesterday he still hasn’t heard back from Hannity: “I don't think he has the courage to even respond to this—let alone do it.” “The idea of putting somebody in a position they have volunteered for, for charity, to respond to their own unsupportable claims, is in many ways »

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A Grand for Every Second He's Tortured

24 April 2009 7:24 AM, PDT | | See recent newser news »

It may have been an attention-seeking stunt when Sean Hannity volunteered to be waterboarded. If so, it worked, at least to get the attention of Keith Olbermann, who kept the long-running MSNBC/Fox pundit-smackdown going last night by putting money on the table. Olbermann offered to give $1,000 to military families for every second Hannity is waterboarded, the Huffington Post reports. Olbermann said he wants Hannity, who denies that the procedure is torture, to have “reality literally forced upon him.” The MSNBC host also offered to double his donation if Hannity is honest about how bad it is, or as »

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Obama hadn't heard about 'Hannity' invite

9 February 2009 6:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

New York -- Maybe Sean Hannity shouldn't hold his breath. During a town-hall meeting Monday afternoon in Elkhart, Ind., carried live by the cable news channels, President Barack Obama said that he hadn't heard that the Fox News Channel host had invited him on "Hannity." An audience member asked him about it during the Q&A, which was carried live by cable news channels.

"I'll take that under advisement," Obama said.

Hannity, along with other conservative talk show hosts, hasn't been holding back in his criticisms of the president's first month in office. And Obama has shown a willingness to take on such critics in public, including telling Republicans on Capitol Hill: "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."

Hannity has also been an Obama target during the presidential campaign. "His opinion of me isn't very high, but I'm always good for a beer," Obama told the Indiana audience. »

- By Paul J. Gough

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