Approval Ratings of Obama And Top Republican Contenders

If you listen to the right wing media and blogs you would think that Obama’s popularity is tanking and the Republicans are on a rebound. The polls show a different story:

Obama is basically back where he was before a huge bounce around the election, and trending upwards. In contrast, the three Republicans mentioned the most for the 2012 nomination are all trending downwards. (This is not to mean that the nominee will be one of these three but I doubt that any other Republicans prospects have enough national name recognition to even have meaningful poll results.

Republicans also lag well behind both Democrats and Independents in party identification:

The voters tomorrow and a year from now are likely to be older and whiter than those who turned out to vote a year ago. The Republicans might have a couple of decent elections ahead with more motivated voters in the off year elections, but once we get to 2012 the Republican Party is in serious trouble.

Many DVR Users Still Watch Commercials

I’ve noted in the past that networks are starting to consider viewing of shows on DVR’s when evaluating the success of a show. Advertisers are also finding that DVR’s are actually helpful. It was easy to predict that having the ability to watch television shows whenever someone wants was going to increase overall viewership when DVR viewers are included. I even doubt that continuing shows such as Lost would do very well without DVR’s as more people would give up on them when unable to catch every episode as aired.

While it was expected that DVR’s would increase total viewership, it was previously felt that they were harmful to advertisers as people would fast forward through the commercials. It turns out that this is not the case.  Viewing of commercials increases along with the viewing of television shows due to DVR’s:

Against almost every expectation, nearly half of all people watching delayed shows are still slouching on their couches watching messages about movies, cars and beer. According to Nielsen, 46 percent of viewers 18 to 49 years old for all four networks taken together are watching the commercials during playback, up slightly from last year. Why would people pass on the opportunity to skip through to the next chunk of program content?

The most basic reason, according to Brad Adgate, the senior vice president for research at Horizon Media, a media buying firm, is that the behavior that has underpinned television since its invention still persists to a larger degree than expected.

“It’s still a passive activity,” he said.

This is different from how I use a DVR. Most of the  prime time shows I watch are viewed at different times, and often different days, from when originally aired. I always skip through the commercials, except in the rare cases when I’m actually doing something else with the television on and don’t have a free hand to operate the remote. In these cases having the commercials shown is not of any benefit to the advertiser as I’m likely not paying any attention. Even on days that my family watches television at approximately the time a show is broadcast, we will often plan to start watching fifteen minutes late so we will not have to see the commercials.

While we are the nightmare scenario that advertisers worried about when DVR’s (and previously VCR’s) became available, I’m not surprised that nearly half the country watches television so passively that they don’t even bother to skip through the commercials.

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Matrix Producer Plans Movie on Muhammad

The Guardian reports:  Matrix producer plans Muhammad biopic

If by chance the producer of The Matrix is doing a trilogy on the life of Muhammad, I’d recommend watching the first movie only.

Blog Back Up; Some Pictures Temporarily Down

We’ve been down since Sunday evening. Should the site go down again I will temporarily use the emergency site at:

One problem might have been excess load on the server from some of the larger pictures in some blog posts. Until I have time to go through them and resize them (hopefully tonight or should be by late Tuesday night at the latest) I have taken down some posts. This includes the screen grabs from The Plan which have attracted a number of hits. If you reached here from a link to a picture which is not now present, you might check back in the next day or two. Some posts have also been left with the pictures temporarily removed.

I have also disabled the new plugins which show links from Twitter in case they are contributing to the problem and will reevaluate this soon.