You can prove anything with ratings -- as long as you don't have to provide the ratings

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Here's Politico's Mike Allen, in his article about Fox boss Roger Ailes supposedly weighing a presidential campaign:

It was Ailes who recently held a private meeting with top White House adviser David Axelrod to ease tensions. The meeting was not a success.

Shortly after, the White House stepped up its attack on Fox - and Fox has proudly fired back.

Fox executives are relishing the public spat - so much so that virtually every on-air personality talks about it, and Sean Hannity has made it a central part of his show's promo.

The biggest reason: ratings at Fox are through the roof.

Allen doesn't provide any evidence that ratings are, in fact, "through the roof." And as Eric noted this morning, it isn't actually true.

This is something you see often -- a reporter wants to justify the media's behavior, or suggest that politicians' criticism is backfiring, so they claim ratings are up. But they don't actually provide the numbers. They just assert it. It's weird -- it's as if reporters think ratings are a matter of opinion, and you can just assert what you think must be happening.

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