In today’s NYTimes, David Carr critiques Jon Stewart’s attack on the media as insignificant because “In even a good news night, about five million people take a seat on the cable wars, which is less than 2 percent of all Americans.” Based on that logic I can ignore his attack because the NYTimes has an “average weekday circulation of 877,000“.
To assert that only 2% of Americans watch cable on a particular night, therefore cable’s influence only extends to 2% of Americans, is an absurd deduction. Those 2% talk, post YouTube clips and create Tea Party rallies. The other media report on Fox’s outrages, pick up their theme du jour, respond to their positions. I’m not prepared to put a percentage on it, but to claim a 2% audience is to discount their influence.