Congrats to Bret Baier and his superb team of producers, writers, correspondents, and round-table regulars. Well deserved.
Four years ago, it was impossible to imagine anyone sitting in Brit Hume's chair, much less retaining the quality that makes "Special Report" so, well, special. But Baier's transition was effortless, and now he's reached the milestone of being number-one in his time-slot for 50 straight months.
Since I became a junkie over a dozen years ago, one of the daily pleasures of "Special Report" has always been to see what the top story will be. Unlike every other straight-news telecast out there, Baier (like Hume) goes his own way. He's not a slave to what is supposed to be "the news."
People assume Fox News is number-one because conservatives have no place else to go. But more than one poll proves that Independents and Democrats tune in to the network in high percentages. I think that's because Fox covers stories the rest of the media complex doesn't. While CBSCNNABCPoliticoMSNBCNPRPBSNewYorkTimesWashingtonPost all report and emphasize the exact same stories in the exact same way, Fox offers a variety from that tedium -- in both topics and point of view.
Proof that great reporting and not being a Narrative Slave can pay off. (You listening, CNN?)
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC