Tilting At Windmills

Michael Kelly has a very smart column that debunks the notion that the media runs conservative. As he notes:

Let’s begin by considering the "major institutional voices" that Gore named as driving the entire national media rightward, ho.

There are precisely three, all openly conservative: Fox News Channel, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and the Washington Times.

Fox News has surpassed CNN as the news leader on cable, with, as of last week, 800,000 viewers to CNN’s 600,000. The evening broadcasts of NBC, ABC, CBS and PBS were viewed last week by, respectively, 11.4 million, 10.5 million, 8.8 million and 2.7 million people. In addition, there are the tens of millions who weekly watch the networks’ morning shows and news magazine shows.

The Washington Times has a daily circulation of 109,000. The top 10 newspapers in America — USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the (New York) Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Post and Newsday — reach roughly 9.8 million people daily. The second 10 largest newspapers reach another 4.3 million readers a day.

Not only are conservative media outlets still dwarfed by the liberalism of the major news networks and print media, but the media itself is still overwhelmingly liberal:

As to the first, there is no question that journalists as a group are much more liberal than conservative and much more so than the general public. The independent media analyst S. Robert Lichter looked at 10 major surveys on the political beliefs and voting patterns of mainstream print and broadcast journalists from 1962 to 1996. As Lichter writes, "the pattern of results is compelling." The percentage of journalists who were classified as "liberals" were, survey to survey: 57, 53, 59, 42, 54, 50, 32, 55, 22 and 61. The percentage classified as "conservative," survey by survey: 28, 17, 18, 19, 17, 21, 12, 17, 5 and 9. Voting patterns and findings on specific issues (for instance, regarding abortion, gun control or taxes) have consistently mirrored these general attitudes.

So where is this "fifth column" of conservatives in the media? Still confined to talk radio, FoxNews, and a newspaper that most conservatives don’t read and don’t consider credible. Such a brilliant takeover of the media, isn’t it?

What Gore wants is a media that freely feeds from the DNC trough and doesn’t actually challenge people like him. He’d much prefer a media that was once again unquestioningly loyal to the Democratic Party. Luckily for the country, there are finally a few outlets who are actually willing to give the Democrats are fight. What’s unfortunate isn’t that they exist, it’s that they are so few of them.

One thought on “Tilting At Windmills

  1. One of those top ten publications is definately of a conservative bent- The Wall Street Journal is anything but a liberal publication… just turn to the opinion page if you need proof. There isn’t a liberal voice on that page.

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