Cable viewers love them some Fox

As usual, the Fox News Network dominated cable ratings for the second quarter. That’s the 38th straight quarter of Fox dominance, going back to the first quarter of 2002.

Of the top 30 cable programs, the top 12 air on Fox — and the No. 15 slot is filled with a Fox show, as well. “The O’Reilly Factor” once again captured the top slot — and the 11 p.m. repeat of the show ranks eighth. “Hannity” and “Special Report with Bret Baier” round out the top three.

“Fox and Friends” was up 8 percent year over year in adults 25 to 54, beating MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and CNN’s “American Morning” combined.

Some top talkers like Chris Matthews and Joy Behar — infamous for making news as often as reporting it — draw in a surprisingly small number of viewers. Matthews, whose program ranked 20th, has just 698,000 viewers, while “The Joy Behar Show,” which ranked 30th, attracts a thin 488,000. Compare that to O’Reilly’s 2.824 million viewers (add another 1.246 million for his repeat) or Hannity’s 2.043 million.

Of left-leaning cable news programs, Rachel Maddow’s fares best. The Rachel Maddow Show was unlucky No. 13. The queen of sarc reaches 1.022 million viewers.

Also of note: MSNBC exhibited steady ratings in the wake of Keith Olbermann’s exit and HLN’s non-stop coverage of the Casey Anthony trial boosted its ratings considerably.

These rankings obviously don’t include network news, which still carry an arguably undue amount of weight. But the list of popular cable news programs and Fox’ ongoing popular appeal hint at just how hungry the public has been and continues to be for reporting and commentary that tells both sides of the story and grants the conservative perspective at least as much credence as the liberal worldview.

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