Don’t do too much navel lint gazing about metered-market numbers out today for the Sunday Beltway shows. Those preliminary ratings had NBC’s Meet The Press with a 1.8/5, CBS’s Face The Nation at 2.2/6 and ABC’s This Week at 2.0/5. A week earlier, MTP clocked a preliminary 2.1/6 metered market household rating to Face the Nation’s 2.4/6 and This Week’s 2.3/6.

And yet, when the dust settled, Meet The Press had delivered its biggest audience since Chuck Todd’s debut and moved up to second place in the genre — the first time the show did not finish No. 3 since Todd’s debut featuring his interview with President Obama. That broadcast had posted its week-to-week growth of 260,000 total viewers, and 141,000 news demo viewers, while Face hit a four-week low and This Week logged its smallest overall crowd since Todd’s debut.

HBO’s Bill Maher may have helped Todd’s show ratings when, last Friday, he referred to it as being part of an “unholy alliance of easily distracted voters and shameful pandering press,” singling out Meet The Press as a show that “used to have the integrity to filter out shit like” the recent Politico story about Kansas gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis and the “1990s strip club incident”:

http://youtu.be/hqDBz4M9Jkg
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