Nightline Tribute Rates with Viewers


Nightline got a big bump in the ratings for last Friday's telecast, which read the names and showed the pictures of the 700-plus military personnel who have died in Iraq since the start of the conflict there.

The show averaged a 4.4 rating in the Nielsen metered markets, up 22% from the Nightline telecast a week earlier.

That's according to the AP. ABC wouldn't comment and Nielsen couldn't confirm at deadline. The war dead episode sparked a controversy when Sinclair Broadcast Group accused Nightline and its anchor, Ted Koppel, of "polticizing" the war dead and reading their names on the air as form of protest to the war.

Sinclair pre-empted the telecast on its seven ABC affiliates. ABC and Nightline denied the charges, saying the episode was designed as a tribute to those who lost their lives.
Fox News personalities, for one (make that two)  have split views on the matter. Chris Wallace, a former ABC News correspondent said the Nightline telecast lacked context, which he intends to provide in a special tribute on his own Fox show this coming Sunday, the AP reported.

Fox commentator Bill O"Reilly, by contrast, gave Koppel's effort a thumbs up in a syndicated column appearing in newspapers Tuesday.