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Corporate Press Release Theater: If Only Barack and Hillary Sang

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One hitch in the theory that the media are in cahoots to get Hillary out of the race—ratings numbers like these, from MSNBC:

MSNBC’s telecast of last night’s Democratic candidates debate drew 7.8 million viewers (9-10:36 p.m. ET), becoming the most watched broadcast in the eleven year history of the network, according to Nielsen Media Research. The debate, between Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, was moderated by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, joined by “Meet the Press” moderator and NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert. It is the third most watched debate this season and the second most watched on cable.

[hortatory executive quote redacted]

The debate was the #4 program of the night, broadcast or cable, in total viewers and ranked second only to “American Idol”/”Back to You” on Fox in its time period. The debate was also the #1 cable program of the night among total viewers and Adults 25-54. Last night’s debate averaged 3.24 million Adults 25-54, also a record for the network. Last night’s debate shatters MSNBC’s previous total viewer high, 3.7 million viewers (8-11 p.m. on March 19, 2003, the beginning of the Iraq war).

Equation: War < Politics < Fleetwood Mac covers.