What Liberal Media?

i acknowledge that someone who’s name i don’t remember wrote a book i never read with the same title as this thread. i stole it because i think it’s a legitimate question. Obviously, some media are overtly liberal and others overtly conservative, but the general dominance of liberals over the news is something that died some time ago - and yet, conservatives still complain about liberal media domination. All the time.

Here’s how i started thinking about this: Fresh from browsing an ILP thread in which some conservatives were raising the topic of the storied “liberal media”, i was driving through Boston on my way to work and while i was stopped at a red light, i noticed this big, lighted ad on top of a cab for what i think was a radio network called “Freedom” something or other, with the tag line “Where Liberty Has A Voice”. Looking closer, i was able to see faces and read names of three celebrity hosts featured on the network: Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and some other vanilla looking dude i had never heard of. Clearly some FOX News spinoff thing. i was amused by the tagline AND the irony that as soon as i left the house after reading about liberal media domination i was looking at this big, expensive ad for a big, expensive right wing propaganda machine while sitting there in liberal Boston, built on union labor and capitol of blue-as-blue-can-be Taxachusetts, USA - the heart of fucking Obama Country (well, i suppose that’s technically Chicago, but i think the point is the same)*. Said point being conservative media is everywhere: FOX News is and has been for some time the most popular news outlet in the nation. Conservative radio hosts and talk shows are ubiquitous, unless the only thing you listen to is NPR. Podcasts and the blogosphere are certainly not lacking for conservative voices. Liberals still have most major newspapers, but that whole industry is going to hell, and most major liberal newspapers have local conservative counterparts (in Boston, The Herald, in New York, The Daily News, etc.). So when the conservative gets indignant over liberal media bias, i always think of that book title What Liberal Media?

*Perhaps my FOX News experience that day a fluke? No, there’s actually a small but stalwart population of conservatives in this fair city, and they make their presence known through local tabloids, “No Liberals” bumper stickers, anti-Obama signs (“Worst President Ever”), NRA license plates, so forth. i can even remember some guy proudly flaunting his NRA hat the day after the Sandy Hook shootings. But whatever, douchebags will do as douchebags will do. The conclusion to be drawn is that conservatives are hardly an oppressed group of underdogs as they like to portray themselves, and their complaints about liberal media bias are mostly just self-serving nonsense.

Foxnews had a very hard time getting recognition for a long time, and had to build up its reputation. My region of the country was pretty much dominated by ABC and NBC News, and we suffered badly for it, we didn’t get counter opinions in, despite old (and almost certainly unconstitutional) laws requiring both a left and right newspaper here… never worked out that way.

Most people now have a choice. Five years ago, it would of been just CNN on at the hospital or McDonalds, now it is Fox. It’s the change across most of the country I’ve seen.

However, the bulk of the journalists and actual media companies still steer left.

I try to get as much varied news as possible, but had to give up completely on NBC/MSNBC a few months ago, too many stories turned out to be fraudulent… I used to check their site a few times a day. CNN is getting exceptionally stupid, seems to be mostly foreigners watching it, informing us they watch our media… no one watches it anymore… just stuff on pot smoking and air malaysia. I still check it twice a day, but don’t linger… they don’t bother with indepth coverage, strongly to the left, and their international news is a far shadow of what it was 10 years ago.

Glen Beck started his own TV channel, its likely what you saw. Its as unreliable as NBC at this point.

Alot of the poor here only get NBC or ABC via free broadcasts. They are the percent voting democrats. Those lucky enough to get cable, or listen to talk radio tend to be republican… despite both left and right talkshows being on air here.

I called up a talkshow host a while back (state politics), and a bunch of people I never knew listen to such shows heard me, and brought it up.

But this can switch any time. I don’t think its a left or right thing, just Fox is hungry right now, while the left are complacent towing the government line. Once there is a republican in office, a few might take up reporting again, and one of the newsrooms might reorganize. These things happen.

Its sad when the BBC covers American news better than most US based media outlets.

Yeah, BBC, at least, is worth the time it takes to listen to it. They’ve got their bias, but sometimes a view from across the pond might be all the more objective than anything on FOX or MSNBC.

Look up what percentage of journalists vote for some democrat in any given presidential election vs. the general populace. It’s not a riddle, it’s not complicated.

The way it breaks down is like this- you have Fox News, which is obviously conservative, and you have MSNBC which is obviously liberal (and thus nobody watches it). Then you have every other news outlet which is stealth-leftist, trying to hide the fact that they have a leftist slant while claiming objectivity, and they have been doing this since at least Vietnam. Yes, people have a choice now, but the fact is that anybody who just wants the news, and not the Fox spin or the MSNBC spin is in fact getting entrenched liberals who have made their careers out of concealing their biases.
So yes, it’s better than it used to be. What remains a problem is the image the mainstream media is trying very hard to portray in which Fox is a sham because it’s slanted, and the ‘real news’ is CNN, ABC, NBC, or CBS. In other words, what the left wants is to feed people leftist propaganda while denying that’s what it is- again, as they’ve been doing for decades.

Ucc, everyone but fox are liberals who are stealthy and making careers out of hiding their biases?

It’s clear that the American media is extremely culturally liberal. But, that they generally support the republican part over the democratic party is also obvious. This is not as strange at it seems when we realize that the republican party is only conservative in comparison to the extreme liberalism prevalent in America, and that cultural issues are barely even a concern of theirs. Besides the media’s constant overt displays of cultural liberalism are useful as propaganda for the republicans, who want people to think that the media is giving them the same degree of criticism as they are the democrats.

Well yeah, i mean the US is a culturally liberal place for the most part, though it varies from state to state, county to county, household to household. i’d say that politically though, it’s actually leaning right relative to most of its major Western counterparts.

Usually, people (especially conservatives) make the opposite claim . . .

Oh, cultural issues are a concern of theirs (gay marriage, abortion, guns, feminism), but we are also talking about politicians, so their primary concern will always be with fiscal issues. Obtaining and spending money. Cultural issues take a back seat to that. And add the fact that social conservatism in general is also a pretty lost cause in terms of majority public opinion. “Family values” don’t really win elections anymore. The “moral majority” has been over and over exposed for its hypocrisy. That’s because of the same cultural liberalism we see reflected in the media. That’s a freedom people want - and they see social conservatives as being the ones trying to take it away from them.

So, you really think the media sides with the conservative party? Can you point to examples?

What’s a “journalist”? If we look at what news people choose and are actually EXPOSED to (FOX news ((probably more people watch FOX News than all those other networks combined)), blogs, Radio Talk Shows - as opposed to the opinions of some Democrat-voting idealist liberal arts graduate hacking for a dying newspaper like the New York Times or reporting for an unwatched network like MSNBC) we can see said media is just as, if not more, conservative than liberal. So who cares if most OP-ed writers at newspapers vote Democrat? Newspapers are currently facing immanent extinction because people have stopped reading them. Whereas, when Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity say something, it actually gets heard by people everywhere.

all one needs to do is watch sunday morning talk shows and list the liberal speakers
and list the conservative and you will quickly see a three to one conservative to liberal
speaker ratio. The reason is simple as to why conservatives dominate the media,
the management of said media are conservative and so the viewpoint
listed will be conservative.


Op-ed writers at newspapers? Why stick those words in my mouth?

Look at the records of how journalists vote compared to the general population. Again, this isn’t a riddle or a matter of speculation. Journalism is far more left than the general populace. That people choose more conservative sources of media when they actually have one to choose actually makes that point for me.

Peter… the sunday morning talkshow hosts are exactly even here. It depends on your region of the country. My state, despite stereotypes from people who never visit, has leaned left, but with strong swing potential since Kennedy asked us to hear him out, and especially after the deep trauma Clinton inflicted here… but still balanced in terms of broadcasts on the radio.

You obviously live in a hardcore bluestate liberal enclave… it really shouldn’t be a surprise your radio ratio is lopsided against your programmed interests… its being heavily targeted by its opposition to get other viewpoints in for discussion.

I would hope the same for a heavily red state.

Democracy works best when people know of other ideas, in party politics, a informed understanding.

You Peter, should be exposed to a ratio of 10 cons to 1 lib from now on to balance you out a bit. Doctors orders.

Twenty feet to the right of twenty miles left, is still extremely liberal.

Republicans use abortion and guns as an issue to get support, they don’t actual fight for the issue. As for the other two, it’d be more accurate say they support them less than democrats, than to say they are opposed to them.

Yes, and the democrats are similar in that, though it’s hard to say to what degree.

It seems that a major republican leader hasn’t been outwardly socially conservative since the sixties. They have long been simply less socially liberal.

Nothing will ever compare to the hypocrisy of the democrats. In fact the formula is hardly more complex than saying the farther one goes to the left the more hypocrisy is overtly displayed for anyone who’s paying attention. If the republican party is really failing, it seems likely its because of what they did to the economy and with foreign policy.

That issue isn’t about liberals versus conservatives, it’s just about varying degrees of controlling people. If many people think that republicans are taking their freedom away more than the more liberal democrats, then their just being narrow minded - as is the norm.

The republican party is hardly conservative in the least, but not even to get into the last 15 years, just look at how the media characterized Clinton versus how they characterized Reagan. They both had so-called character issues (not to speak of the most important flaws characterizing both of them, liberalism as it really is, not as people pretend the dichotomy exists), and it’s difficult to say who had more, but Clinton’s character issues were, and are still, being constantly mentioned, while Reagan was largely given a pass.

for sunday aug. 4

ABC’S THIS WEEK: Terror. Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, plus House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY). Then, Glenn Greenwald. Roundtable: George Will, Matthew Dowd, Jeff Zeleny, Soledad O’Brien, Neera Tanden, Michael Chertoff, now chair of The Chertoff Group, and Jeffrey Goldberg.

CBS’ FACE THE NATION: Russia. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Then, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Roundtable.

CNN’S STATE OF THE UNION: Terror. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Then, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY). Obamacare Roundtable: Anita Dunn, Artur Davis, Donna Brazile, Alex Castellanos.

FOX NEWS SUNDAY: NSA. Michael Hayden and Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI). Then, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) on what he would change in Washington, DC. Roundtable: Bill Kristol, Howard Kurtz, Jim DeMint, Juan Williams.

K: by my count, you have 6 GOP types and 3 dems, with a couple of unknowns, like glenn greewald and
not including roundtable groups.


According to mediamatters: The spaces represent graphs they created but failed to copy here.

REPORT: The Demographics Of The Sunday Morning Political Talk Shows

Research January 30, 2014 9:20 AM EST ››› ROB SAVILLO

A Media Matters review of the Sunday morning political talk shows finds that white males largely dominated the guest lists in 2013. MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry and Up with Steve Kornacki achieved greater ethnic and gender diversity than the broadcast shows or CNN’s State of the Union. Overall, conservatives outnumbered progressives on the four broadcast Sunday morning shows.

Throughout 2013, Media Matters has analyzed guest appearances on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS’ Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, NBC’s Meet the Press with David Gregory, CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, and MSNBC’s Up with Steve Kornacki and Melissa Harris-Perry, political talk shows that often set the media and political agenda. Media Matters has previously released analyses of the first, second, and third quarters of the year. This item will be updated as Media Matters releases additional analysis of the 2013 gender, ethnicity, and ideological demographics of the guests.
:black_medium_small_square:REPORT: Gender Diversity On The 2013 Sunday Morning Political Talk Shows
:black_medium_small_square:Gender Diversity On Broadcast Sunday Shows Unchanged Over Last 5 Years
:black_medium_small_square:REPORT: Ethnic Diversity On The 2013 Sunday Morning Talk Shows
:black_medium_small_square:REPORT: Ideology And Partisanship On The 2013 Broadcast Sunday Morning Political Talk Shows

White Men Dominate Sunday Morning Shows

White Men Represented The Largest Proportion Of Guests On Every Show. On the four broadcast shows and CNN, white men represented a majority of all guests: 60 percent on This Week, 67 percent on Face the Nation, 67 percent on Fox News Sunday, 62 percent on Meet the Press, and 54 percent on State of the Union. On Up and Melissa Harris-Perry, white men represented a plurality of guests at 42 percent and 27 percent, respectively. Melissa Harris-Perry deserves special mention for having a much more diverse guest list than the other programs; 26 percent of guests were African-American women, 20 percent were African-American men, and 16 percent were white women. Up also featured significantly more women and people of color than CNN or the broadcast shows. Latino, Asian-American, and Middle Eastern guests continued to rank in the single digits or not at all among every show.

White Men Represented The Largest Proportion Of Solo Interviews. On broadcast and CNN, white men were the largest proportion of guests given a one-on-one interview with the host by a significant margin: 68 percent of solo interviews on This Week were given to white men, 76 percent on Face the Nation, 72 percent on Fox News Sunday, 73 percent on Meet the Press, and 73 percent on State of the Union. Only Melissa Harris-Perry featured a significant proportion of solo interviews with non-white guests, largely African-Americans. Few Latinos and almost no Asian-Americans or Middle Eastern guests received solo interviews. Up did not conduct enough solo interviews in the period studied to be included in the chart.

White Men Were Overrepresented On Broadcast And CNN. Using the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, white men were hosted at more than double their proportion of the U.S. population on the broadcast shows – 64 percent on broadcast compared to 31 percent in the population. White men were also overrepresented on CNN at 54 percent. Women of color were significantly underrepresented on broadcast – only 5 percent of guests were women of color compared to 19 percent in the population. Only MSNBC – due primarily to Melissa Harris-Perry - hosted its guests closer to their representation in the population. White women were underrepresented on all shows.

More Than 70 Percent Of Broadcast And CNN Guests Were Men. Men were fully three-quarters of all guests on the four broadcast shows and 71 percent of the guests on CNN. By contrast, on the MSNBC programs, men made up 56 percent of guests.

White People Were An Overwhelming Majority Of Broadcast And CNN Guests. On the four broadcast shows, 84 percent of guests were white. On CNN, 73 percent of guests were white. White people still held a majority on MSNBC, representing 54 percent of guests.

Top Ten Solo Interview Guests Are All Men, Only One Person Of Color. The ten guests who received the most solo guest appearances on the Sunday morning shows were all men (the list below includes 11 individuals because three guests tied with eight appearances each). Only one non-white guest, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), made the top ten.

Ideological Gap: Conservatives Outnumber Progressives On Broadcast Shows

White, Conservative Men Were the Largest Demographic Group On The Broadcast Sunday Morning Shows. On the four broadcast shows, white, conservative men represented more than a quarter of all guests at 29 percent. White, progressive men represented close to half that amount at 15 percent. White, neutral men represented 23 percent. All other groups were in the single digits.

On Broadcast Shows, Republicans And Conservatives Hosted More Often Than Democrats And Progressives Overall. On three of the four broadcast shows, Republicans and conservatives were brought on as guests more often than Democrats and progressives: 49 percent of guests on Fox News Sunday were from the right while only 27 percent were from the left, 28 percent of guests on Face the Nation were from the right while 21 percent were from the left, and 37 percent of guests on Meet the Press were from the right while 34 percent were from the left.This Week was the only show to host guests on the right and left evenly at 31 percent for each.


We reviewed every edition of ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS’ Face The Nation with Bob Schieffer, NBC’s Meet The Press with David Gregory, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, and the Sunday editions of MSNBC’s Up with Steve Kornacki (previously Up with Chris Hayes prior to April 13, 2013) and Melissa Harris-Perry during 2013. Guest appearances for all seven programs were coded for gender, ethnicity, and whether guests appeared in solo interviews or as part of a panel. Guests appearing on the four broadcast networks were also coded for whether they were journalists, administration officials, or elected officials and for their partisanship or ideology. Not all percentages add up to 100 due to rounding.

These classifications do not represent an analysis of what guests actually said when they appeared on a show on a given date. Coding each guest’s comments for their ideological slant would have introduced enormous difficulties and opportunities for subjectivity. Instead, we simply classified guests based on their own ideological self-identification or public affiliation with an openly partisan or ideological organization or institution.

In the vast majority of cases, guests are clearly identifiable by their party or ideology (or as having none). Of course, in a few instances, these decisions were not as simple to make. We therefore constructed rules that could be applied as strictly as possible. Where a guest’s identification was in question, Media Matters chose to err on the side of listing that guest toward the left.

Following are some of the principal rules coders employed in classifying guests:
:black_medium_small_square:The party designations (Democratic and Republican) are reserved for current and former officeholders, candidates, campaign staff, political consultants associated with one party or the other, and administration officials. All others are labeled conservative, progressive, or neutral.
:black_medium_small_square:The neutral category does not necessarily imply strict ideological neutrality but, rather, might better be understood as neutral/centrist/nonpartisan – we use the term “neutral” for the sake of brevity.
:black_medium_small_square:When guests served in both Republican and Democratic administrations in the past, they were coded as neutral barring any compelling reason to do otherwise. In a few cases, however, a former official who had served under presidents from both parties became clearly identified with one ideology and were coded accordingly.
:black_medium_small_square:Our “Journalist” classification applies not only to daily reporters but also to opinion columnists, magazine writers, etc.
:black_medium_small_square:In the case of foreign officials and journalists, we labeled all as neutral – even though the political ideology of some might be identifiable – to avoid the need to analyze the politics of other countries. Foreign nationals were also excluded from the diversity analysis.
:black_medium_small_square:Active duty members of the armed forces were classified as members of the Obama administration. Retired officers were coded as neutral absent any other affiliation.

Charts by Oliver Willis and Ben Dimiero. Hannah Groch-Begley contributed research to this report.

Because i’m trying to imagine who all these journalists are that are so much more liberal than the general populace!

What does journalism consist of then? There are just as many if not more conservatives blogging online than liberals. Just as many if not more hosting and appearing on talk shows. If you’re just talking about people specifically with journalism degrees, then i suppose they might be more liberal, but it doesn’t have much effect on the overall ratio of liberals to conservatives in those forms of media people actually use and rely on nowadays.

Yes, but the starting point you’ve chosen is arbitrary. Relative to some minute segment of the population that exists on the fringes of right wing in the US, then the Republican party is perhaps “extremely liberal” - but relative to the median attitude of the general population in this country, it is a conservative party, and has grown increasingly so over the past couple decades.

Oh, i wasn’t trying to imply that Democrats are any different in that regard.

It’s seems you’re working from some absolute standard of what qualifies as socially conservative - if so, what is that standard?

Nah, righteous people on both sides are hypocrites. And the “moral majority” movement was especially righteous. Fact is though, we each and all tend to ignore the hypocrisy on our own side and focus on the hypocrisy of the opposing side.

i don’t think it’s failing - it’s just taking a long time for it to get over the fact that it lost two presidential elections to Obama.

Sure, i have no doubt that conservatives are also concerned about liberals taking away their freedoms (like the freedom to own an AR-15 with a high capacity magazine, as opposed to the freedom to marry someone of the same sex).

Yeah, but the thing about Clinton is that the country was actually doing pretty darn well while he was President, so the only thing for the media to focus on were his character issues. They needed to sell papers and talk about something. There was a lot more newsworthy domestic stuff going on when Reagan was in office.

This is a difficult subject because of all the varying ways terminology is defined here. To keep it simple, what was meant was culturally conservative. One must forget the “blank slate” theory. A cultural conservative has a culture (nurture), which is harmonious with his genetics (nature), understands what separates his culture from those around him, and how in relates to his genetics (or call it a specific subgroup of race), and wishes to preserve both his culture and genetic integrity.

Prominent American leaders of the past, when to openly state these views didn’t have dire political consequences, have rarely managed this without some deviation. For example, to have a culture largely revolving around Christianity is to already have a corrupted culture. But, to give them credit, the cultural conservatives of the past and the “everyday” cultural conservatives of the present (though now largely lacking respectable leaders), have rarely taken Christanity, as it actually is written, very seriously.

Those are mostly just the talking points. The issue of freedom that is effecting everyone with the ability to think for themselves (in a sense, the only people that matter), is through attacks on free speech through political correctness and attacks on constitutional rights in general.

If you want to get a clear picture of the media’s favor towards republicans just look at the number of “character” related reports against by prominent republicans versus prominent democrats in the last 30 years and see what got the most attention (and as to your objection; when). Of course, its hard to find accurate information on this, but the best advice is go to sites extremely favoring one party or the other, list the accusations they make, quantify and rank them based on your own criteria as to what would consistently qualify as a scandal, then look these scandals up on more respected, formal and supposedly less biased news sites to verify that they aren’t just completely fabricated, and then note the level of exposure.

Interesting, so you see Christianity as being a corrupting force in culture? Do you consider yourself a cultural conservative? And how do you see cultural liberalism?

Well, they’re talking points, but they’re also the practical ways in which these supposed freedoms manifest themselves.

Each side has it’s own version of political correctness. Also, i don’t see the US Constitution and the entitlements it grants as being the end all be all of freedom, and i think one can discuss and debate the essential meaning and practical applications of this or that constitutional freedom without it necessarily qualifying as an attack. Ultimately, it’s only political correctness which makes criticism of this or that portion of the Constitution an act of heresy.

It’s not that i don’t believe you, it’s just that i’ve almost never heard anyone who is not a liberal say what you’re saying. That said, one might also propose that the reason the media reports more often on scandals involving Democrats is because Democrats actually get involved in more scandals than Republicans. i have no idea whether or not that’s the case, but it might be.

Christianity and Judaism have both long been extremely corrupting forces within many cultures. The difference is that Christians actively convert the religious aspect to many peoples, while Jews simply let the underlining ideology of their religion infect cultures.

Yes, but keep in mind when a cultural conservative has lived mostly among typical liberal Americans he must first find, then isolate, what little of his culture is worth preserving, slowly attempt to disregard what isn’t and then work towards finding or creating what is lacking. A process that may never be complete even if one lives to old age.

What’s considered cultural liberalism today borrows from Judaism and Christianity the idea of weakness being a strength, words being above action, absolutes (God or secular versions such as “humanity”) being more important than family. Its a sickness.

That’s true.

Yes, it is almost unheard of.

It seems obvious just based on paying attention to the mainstream media over the last 20 years and occasionally looking into small political websites, but it would take a lot of research to establish for one with doubts.

Again, interesting - but that form of cultural conservatism seems pretty far removed from politics of any sort. How do you relate what you’re calling cultural conservatism to political issues, and how does it inform your political viewpoints?