"We now have — here’s a fact from Morris Fiorina, Stanford political scientist: More people own ferrets than watch Fox News.”Can that be true? Do more people own ferrets than watch Fox news?
Awakened from my slumbers,
I wondered about the numbers.
Ferrets are estimated to reside in 505,000 American households.
Of course, that's households. How many owners in a household? The average American household size is 2.59. Is that also true for ferret-owning households? Anyway, assuming every man, woman, and child in the house is an "owner", this gives us an estimate of about 1,313,000 ferret owners.
Onto Fox news. For February 24, Nielsen lists them as having 1,360,000 viewers over aged 12.
It's close, but it looks like Fox news technically wins.
I hate to say it, Mr. Brooks,
but give that data a second look.
UPDATE: Speaking of second looks, that Nielsen number I quoted isn't actually a peak viewers number. The same page lists O'Reilly's evening show as pulling in 3 million people. That's easily twice the ferret-owner count.
UPDATE 2: The blogger known as General Patterico has tracked down the source Brooks cited, and it turns out Brooks has mis-remembered what was being said in the first place.