Right-wing pundits in Internet ratings freefall
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Friday June 30, 2006
Many well-known right-wing media figures -- including Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly -- are losing their Internet audiences, according to an analysis of Web site ratings by IPD Group and U.S. Politics Today.
On the other hand, traffic for Moveon.org has risen.
On Thursday, Shakespeare's Sister checked other sites from the right and left at the same tracking service, Alexa.com, used in the analysis.
According to the blogger, Free Republic, Hugh Hewitt, World Net Daily, and Pajamas Media have all suffered at least a 19 percent decline, while the traffic at Raw Story, Crooks and Liars, and Think Progress has risen.
A release issued by IPD Group reads:
An odd thing seems to have happened to mighty right-wing talking head media juggernaut. They are still talking, but fewer people seem to be listening -- at least on the Internet.
Alexa.com, which is owned and operated by Amazon.com, tracks online usage for all Web sites, large and small. At Alexa.com, you can check a site's activity up to the minute, or follow its trail back for many years.
At U.S. Politics Today, we thought it might be interesting to see how the right-wing media machine was doing. Not well, it turns out.
During the past three months, for instance, Rush Limbaugh's, traffic ranking has declined 18 percent. He still huffs and puffs away daily on radio, but advertisers might want to double check the size of his audience. If the bottom has dropped out on him online, it likely has had a similar trend line with his radio show.
Even Fox News, that gold standard of right-wing media, is down 13 percent. Here are the numbers.
Ann Coulter is coining money by attacking widows and orphans -- a new game for her since she's run out of Democrats, living and dead, to defame and verbally pillage. You would think with all of the attention the promotion of her new book has given her would raise visitor numbers at her Web site. Nope. Traffic there is down 10 percent.
The audience chart reversal seems to be common across the entire right-wing side of the Internet viewing board. Billoreilly.com has dropped 40 percent in the past three months. Townhall.com, that once popular center for right-wing news and commentary, has fallen by 24 percent. The Washington Times Web site is down by 27 percent. And Matt Drudge, once the hottest right-wing name in Internet sites? Alexa.com says DrudgeReport.com is down 21 percent.
Could it be that Internet users are getting tired of political sites in general? Maybe so. But MoveOn.org is up 13 percent in the same period.
President Bush's fall from grace has been well documented by poll-after-poll. The unpopularity of Congress may not be at historic lows, but those 20-something level of support numbers can't be comforting to those who manage things on Capitol Hill.
It seems logical that with enthusiasm draining from the right- wing movement that put the president and the current Congress in place, the media chorus that has lavished praise on them all these many years would be affected by the change in fortune.
And so it seems, looking at the Alexa.com numbers -- if they are to be believed. Those graph lines may not directly parallel the decline in GOP poll numbers, but they are all heading in the same direction -- down.