Comments: Oh No! Dearth of Gays on Network Tube!

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A comment purely on the logic of the study you use to back up what you're saying about the networks:

If I understand this typical type of study correctly, they're comparing the couple hundred ad-supported cable outlets -- put together -- with seven broadcast networks put together, and reasoning that these several hundred outlets put together are now only losing to these 7 networks by a little bit. And this is impressive why?

Let's say the presidential ballot in 2008 included Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani and then 100 or so qualified independents. The voting might break down like this:

Giuliani 29%
Clinton 28%
Each independent: 0.3% (or whatever it comes to)

Would it be logical to say that the independents are nearly as popular than the major candidates? Well, yes, I suppose, in a technical way. But does that actually mean voters now like Independents more than the major candidates, in any real sense?

Obviously networks' share of the market is going to shrink as there are more outlets available. This is evidence of....well...not much, except that there are more channels now. If there were 300 other networks showing varied, quality programming, the Big Three's influence would wane in the same way. People care about the "Big Three" (well, Four) because people still watch the se individual networks -- and their shows -- more than any others -- by hefty margins.

Posted by dan at September 24, 2007 10:00 PM

On the other hand, LGBT representation on the mainstream cable networks is skyrocketing with 57 characters this year, including 40 regular, up from a total of 35 (regular and recurring) last year.

To be clear: you view this as "bias" by the AP, and I view it as both terrible reporting AND quite possibly disingenuous whining by GLAAD!: If there are 57 gay characters on 300 cable channels, and 7 gay characters on 5 broadcast networks...who's featuring more gay characters?

Posted by dan at September 24, 2007 10:07 PM

I remember similar crises a decade or so ago. First there weren't enough minority characters. Then when there were enough, they weren't portrayed in a flattering light. You can't win these "studies."

Posted by soccer dad at October 3, 2007 12:38 AM