Wednesday, August 31, 2005


The Conservative Media

Once again, a reference to that great neo-con shibboleth, "the liberal press," has challenged some readers.

Yes, yes, a majority of reporters are liberals, or voted Democratic. Ah, the core, the foundation, the cornerstone of the conservative myth.

What about their bosses, editors? Conservative or Republican, by two-to-one.

And their bosses, publishers? Conservative or Republican, by approximately five-to-one.

Talk radio? Fuggedabouddit. There are anywhere from 1200 to 1500 conservative, right-wing, or religious-right talks shows on radio. At last count, there was exactly one liberal one. Two, if you consider NPR's low-key broadcasts to be "liberal."

As Ted Rall says, right-wingers are the gatekeepers of the talk TV medium. No liberal hosts a national show on either broadcast or cable television.

Of the dozen top newspaper editorialists, the top three are conservative, and seven overall are identifiably conservative. Liberals? Only one of the top 12.

Avowedly conservative television networks? One for the conservative/Republicans (Fox), none for liberals.

Avowedly conservative major newspapers? One for the conservative/Republicans (The "Rev." Sun Myung Moon's heavily subsidized Washington Times), none for liberals. (Yes, yes, I know, the New York Times is supposedly liberal. Gimme a break. It's just serving a liberal audience, is all. There's nothing liberal about it in principle, in terms of its mission or charter.)

Here are the only possible ways anyone can possibly interpret the media in the United States as "liberal":

  1. If they don't know what "liberal" means.
  2. If they don't actually expose themselves to the media. I.e., read.
  3. If they're playing politics. The right has flogged liberals for so long with "the liberal media" that it's loathe to give up that cudgel.
  4. If they're so far toward the looney right that everything and everyone is to the left of them. Or,
  5. If they think every liberal viewpoint expressed in the media is the result of bias, and no conservative viewpoint is.
So where do liberals lead? Only one area: the funnies. Cartoons. There are still more liberal and lefty cartoonists than right-wing ones. (This hardly counts, though, because it's only natural. To be a cartoonist, you have to have a sense of humor. Ba-dum.)

The U.S. media is overwhelmingly conservative. The "liberal media" is a hoary, antique myth, a paper tiger. It doesn't exist.

The Quotidian Meander.

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