Common Sense: Sweeps' Holy Grail

In case you didn't notice, we're in the middle of something called sweeps. 

That's when the television networks roll out their best, some would say, most outrageous stuff to get the highest ratings.  And the network with the highest ratings generally gets to charge the highest advertising rates.

The Holy Grail for network executives are younger viewers.  If you can court them and win them, then you're set. 

I say, "bull."

I'll probably get in some trouble for saying this, but hello?  Are the only eyeballs that count younger eye balls?  I say that's stupid and here's why.  You're telling older viewers that you don't count.

Now, there's another news network out there — all I'll say is their name begins with "M," and ends with "C" — that are running an ad campaign that says "we've got hip twenty-somethings watching us."  What they fail to point out, of course, is this "but we have no one else watching us."

Don't get me wrong.  Getting younger viewers into your broadcast tent is important.  But getting "all" viewers into that same tent is more important. 

And since when is it a crime to be old?  Last time I checked, older folks earn more.  Last time I checked, older folks did more.  Last time I checked, older folks meant more.

Who the hell decreed that the lines on an older person’s face are a sign of weakness?  To me, they're badges of honor.

Let me tell you something, program executives, you are getting old too.  So look in the mirror — better yet, look in your heart.  Some day, some one, some where will label you undesirable and it will hurt.  But not as much as I'm tempted to hurt you now.  Wake up and smell the coffee!  You need it a hell of a lot more than the older viewers you disdain.

The game isn't to draw some viewers, it damn well better be to draw all viewers.  Our planet is small and our time here, smaller still.  So show a little character, by showing a little respect.

Your ratings will be better for it, and more important, you'll be better for it.

- Watch Neil Cavuto's Common Sense weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on Your World with Neil Cavuto.  And send your comments to: