This caught my eye in the wonderful Dylan Byers’ blog:
“For the two-and-a-half years that AC 360 served as the lead in to Piers Morgan’s program on CNN, it always delivered a higher rating than Piers’ program,” Rivers wrote. “And for the 7 months that Piers Morgan’s program led into AC 360, 360 always delivered a higher rating than Piers’ program. It is sad that Piers is trying to find a new job by misrepresenting how he performed in his old one.”
That’s pretty strong wording. Always is absolute. So is it true? I took a trip through the past to look at a few random days’ 25-43 (“in the demo”) ratings to see if Piers always lost to Anderson. Links are provided:
AC 360 @ 8pm: 214
Piers @ 9pm: 130
AC 360 @ 10pm: 115
AC 360 @ 8pm: 132
Piers @ 9pm: 108
AC 360 @ 10pm: 103
AC 360 @ 8pm: 119
Piers @ 9pm: 137
AC 360 @ 10pm: 155
Look, you can say that Piers, on general, got worse ratings than Anderson Cooper. Or you can say that I just happen to pick a few days where Piers did better than AC360. But you cannot say that Anderson Cooper always beat Piers. Because it’s factually wrong.
Piers offered a qualitative judgement, which is arguable, but CNN offered a quantitative riposte which failed to check out.