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medea
Feb 19, 2003, 08:13 PM
A liberal radio network in the United States that would challenge the current supremacy of conservative talkshow hosts could be on air by the autumn. The plan has been prompted by the success of the Republicans in last November's mid-term elections and a feeling that the national agenda has shifted to the right.
The idea is to create a radio network that would make use of the liberal leanings of the entertainment world to try to change the climate of political debate.
For years, the right, with the likes of the Rush Limbaugh Show or programmes hosted by Oliver North and G Gordon Liddy, have set the agenda, according to supporters of the new network. Now, they say, is the time to fire some broadsides from the left.
Behind the plan are venture capitalists based in Chicago, and Jon Sinton, an Atlanta-based broadcaster, who will be its chief executive. There is already $10m (6.3m) invested and there are hopes of raising up to $200m.
Two previous attempts to launch such a network, featuring the former New York governor Mario Cuomo and the maverick Texas politician Jim Hightower, failed, though those behind the latest plan are optimistic they will find listeners.
"We believe this is a tremendous business opportunity," Mr Sinton told Associated Press. "There are so many rightwing talkshows, we think it's created a hole in the market you could drive a truck through."
Al Franken, a satirist and writer, has been touted as a possible contender for the role of liberal talkshow host and he is said to be considering the idea. The hope would also be that big-name comedians or actors would also become involved.
Mr Sinton said the idea would be to entertain rather than preach. "We want to take an issue and make it funny and engaging," he said.
Rush Limbaugh reaches 15 million listeners with his syndicated show which taps into conservative issues, currently the French and their position on Iraq, and also such topics as gun control, affirmative action and gay rights.
National Public Radio, the closest thing in America to the BBC, is funded by foundations and subscribers and has 12 million listeners for its Morning Edition programme, and 10 million with All Things Considered, but these are news magazines that aim to give a voice to both sides of an argument. NPR is often accused by the right of having a liberal agenda, a charge routinely levelled at the US media by conservative commentators in much the same way that the Thatcher government accused the BBC of a leftwing bias.
There is already an established leftwing radio network - Pacifica Radio - which, for more than half a century, has given a voice to the left in Berkeley, Los Angeles, New York, Washington and Houston. It runs extensive news and discussion programmes and provided live coverage of the big anti-war rallies in the US last weekend. But Pacifica is short of cash and it is not possible to tune in in many parts of the country.
The left lacks a talkshow host with the charisma of Oliver North, who was convicted of lying to Congress over the Iran-contra affair and who turned his notoriety into a successful radio career with Common Sense Radio. As well as Limbaugh, there is G Gordon Liddy, the former FBI agent jailed for his role in the Watergate burglaries but now boasting a syndicated show broadcast on 232 stations.
Michael Moore, whose film Bowling for Columbine has been nominated for an Oscar, has been mentioned as someone with a liberal agenda who is also funny and can hold his own in an argument.
The plans for the new launch will provoke an argument about the definition of "liberal" - often used as a term of abuse by the American right. A series of best-selling books has claimed that the US media is in the grip of liberals but commentators on the left point to the increasing corporate control of the major media outlets and, for instance, their failure to report the growing anti-war movement until recent days.
http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/2-19-2003-35851.asp

mikulashek
Feb 19, 2003, 08:50 PM
I have been waiting for this to come about, I'm quite eager to listen to Al Franken and Micheal Moore dish it out on the radio, it is about time.
I can not wait to set this station on my radio.

Clark C
Feb 19, 2003, 08:55 PM
The left controls televsion and the newspapers. For some reason the right seems to dominate the radio and books. I've heard this is because the public has more of a choice in books and what radio to listen to. There is a very limited source of newspapers and 99% of tv has at least a slight liberal spin. Dozens of liberal radio shows have failed cause people don't like it. Maybe this new project can make it. Being a republican I know it sucks to listen/watch/read extremely bias media. I think its fair that the liberals have a voice on radio. I just wish there could be a neutral source of media so I could decide what I like and dislike.

mikulashek
Feb 19, 2003, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by Clark C
I just wish there could be a neutral source of media so I could decide what I like and dislike.
It's called NPR.
But I agree, it might not be a good idea to have a whole biased station that is all "leftist" but as you stated liberal shows often dont make it on their own and usually because of backstage radio politics. I know that there is enough of an interest for this project to work and stand.

rainman::|:|
Feb 19, 2003, 09:08 PM
i would totally tune in. i love al franken anyway... this is just cool, don't know if i like the celebrity backings...

pnw

Les Kern
Feb 19, 2003, 09:20 PM
Liberal media... what a concept. One of the greatest "memes" (sound-bites that embed into the natioanl conciousness) I've heard is "The Liberal Media". We know that's not true, don't we? Actually, I'd rather not listen to any far-leaning voice, left or right. What we need is, well, some voices of reason. Take the shrew-bi**h Ann Coulter and have her hold hands with, say, Harry Belafonte, and you might see a matter-antimatter explosion that would be heard in Europe. NPR is fine, I listen to it daily. So why isn't it more popular. It's the other part of the media I despise: news as entertainment.
(Wow am I angry tonight! Please no hate letters)

alex_ant
Feb 19, 2003, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by Clark C
The left controls televsion and the newspapers.
I thought the Jews controlled television and the newspapers.

alex_ant
Feb 19, 2003, 09:51 PM
The problem with liberal radio shows is that liberals can't use the same tactics conservatives use in their "discussion." Up against conservatives, liberals really do look like pansies, and Joe Blow doesn't like that. You can't go on an angry Rush-style tirade about environmentalism or social justice without looking like an extremist fairy, because it just won't work. Conservatives have succeeded in having their cake and eating it too, using their minority position to dominate government and still benefit from all the advantages that minorities enjoy - namely unity against a greater "evil." Conservatives see themselves as Apple and they see liberals as Microsoft. Have you ever seen somebody pro-Microsoft be successful in, say, a no-holds-barred OS debate? They can't be successful, because they look like fools. I can't even imagine a liberal Rush or O'Reilly, getting red in the face with anger over something.

etoiles
Feb 20, 2003, 01:19 AM
But Microsoft IS evil (getting red in the face with anger) !!!

:D

macfan
Feb 20, 2003, 02:16 AM
It's already there. What about Pacifica? That's a left wing radio network if there ever was one.

railthinner
Feb 20, 2003, 10:06 AM
The left "controls" television??? Have you seen CNN or Fox news?

MacRumorSkeptic
Feb 20, 2003, 10:18 AM
Conservatives see themselves as Apple and they see liberals as Microsoft. Have you ever seen somebody pro-Microsoft be successful in, say, a no-holds-barred OS debate? They can't be successful, because they look like fools.

Exactly! Apple users will win every time in an OS debate because they have the truth on their side. Same goes for Conservatives against Liberals.

Les Kern
Feb 20, 2003, 10:36 AM
Originally posted by alex_ant
The problem with liberal radio shows is that liberals can't use the same tactics conservatives use in their "discussion." Up against conservatives, liberals really do look like pansies, and Joe Blow doesn't like that. You can't go on an angry Rush-style tirade about environmentalism or social justice without looking like an extremist fairy, because it just won't work. Conservatives have succeeded in having their cake and eating it too, using their minority position to dominate government and still benefit from all the advantages that minorities enjoy - namely unity against a greater "evil." Conservatives see themselves as Apple and they see liberals as Microsoft. Have you ever seen somebody pro-Microsoft be successful in, say, a no-holds-barred OS debate? They can't be successful, because they look like fools. I can't even imagine a liberal Rush or O'Reilly, getting red in the face with anger over something.

Excellent post. And what LOOKS better on TV? Conservatives put on quite a show, and the sheep are falling for it.

ejb190
Feb 20, 2003, 10:41 AM
Which brings us to a whole 'nother debate. What is left, what is right, and where is the middle?

The media, be it TV, radio, or print, is time or space limited. It is simply impossible for a story to be done and not have one side or the other accuse the media of leaving out some key point critical to that side's arguemnt. Therefore, depending on which side feels they have been slighted the most, that media outlet leans the other direction...

vixapphire
Feb 20, 2003, 11:13 AM
Alan Colmes on the Hannity & Colmes talker on FNC provides a pretty good blueprint of what the left could muster in a counter-Limbaugh if they wanted to; at least he's able to smile and laugh while making cogent arguments.

Sad thing is, while Fox is preparing to go national with Colmes on syndie talk radio, many on the left are gritting their teeth and not supporting the idea because it's coming from Fox. That's about as stupid as conservatives discounting William Safire because he writes for the NYT, but it's no different.

D*I*S_Frontman
Feb 20, 2003, 01:00 PM
The times, they are a changin'...

There once was a definite left bias in most "mainstream" media outlets. Remember having once read a survey of tv/film/video professionals in which 85% considered themselves "somewhat liberal to very liberal." Broadcast and newspaper journalism framed their questions from an underlying assumption that to be conservative was to be anti-intellectual and backward, and to be liberal was to be well informed and noble. FLAMING NOTE: I am painting with an EXTREMELY wide brush here, and exceptions to this abounded then and now...

But fast-forward to today, and the complaint of a "left" press rings a bit hollow. I personally feel that balance has finally been restored. Fox has pulled CNN back toward the center by threatening them with comparable ratings. The increase in number and influence of truly conservative news outlets (World Net Daily et al) has evened things out very effectively.

America is becoming more conservative and there is nothing the left can do about it. Example: I don't really care for the"O'Reilly Factor" as Bill's histronics and knee-jerk populism bug me, but doesn't he get 500% better ratings for his show than Donahue's? Phil has the huge name recognition and a previous viewer base to draw from--why does he get SPANKED by O'Reilly in viewership? Simply because the public is weary of the shrill condescending diatribes of the liberal left.

I have to laugh at the actors banning together to protest the pending conflict with Iraq, especially when Martin Sheen confidently states that "inspections work." Every report from Hans Blix et al and nearly every UN resolution of the last 12 years has had to address the various and sundry ways that inpections haven't worked. Is anyone convinced by these posers? I think they do it to impress each other with their "compassion" and "involvement" with an issue other than their own careers (which are bolstered by the publicity anyway). They certainly aren't convincing the average American very much, I would guess.

Anyway, I am glad for a bit more political equity in the media as a whole.

Groovsonic
Feb 20, 2003, 01:27 PM
<sarcasm on>
Yah, Its about time for the libreals to have a voice...They have been denied it for so long.
<sarcasm off>

The "left-wing" people in this country basically run Prime time television, movies, music, and most major news outlet.

Groovsonic
Feb 20, 2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by Les Kern
Excellent post. And what LOOKS better on TV? Conservatives put on quite a show, and the sheep are falling for it.


Are you implying that conservitaves are mindless fools who get their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh? That is the single most insulting thing I have read on these forums. Grr...

<sarcasm on>
Yea, I agree. Besides, everyone knows that EVERY libreal voter is well informed and their views are well thought out and based in reality.
<sarcasm off>

Grr...again.

pantagruel
Feb 20, 2003, 02:47 PM
I'd say that yes, most conservatives are mindless fools, I mean you call yourselves conservatives meaning 1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change. Things do and need to change. Traditional views are flawed.

charboneau
Feb 20, 2003, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by Clark C
The left controls televsion and the newspapers.
Fox? CNN? NBC/MSNBC is owned by GE. Do you understand that "the left" implies a desire to change the distribution of wealth from its current top heavy state. When have you ever seen a call for the redistribution of wealth or an empassioned call for social programs on network television?

And yet because network TV shows some bias towards gun control and abortion rights we're hit with a constant barrage of talk about the liberal media.

When the corporations that own the networks start allowing, for instance, some pro-labor pieces it might reverse the current state of conservative media.

Groovsonic
Feb 20, 2003, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by pantagruel
I'd say that yes, most conservatives are mindless fools, I mean you call yourselves conservatives meaning 1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change. Things do and need to change. Traditional views are flawed.

Wow. I am a mindless fool?

While I agree some traditional values are flawed, I tend to think that certian people (like yourself, if I am to read anything into your post) are of a "throw the baby with the bathwater" mentality. I'd say thinking everything to needs to change is a very closed minded way to think.

Things have been changing for as long as there have been people, and will continue to change. In the political sense, conservatives are more about change than liberals. We want to change the tax policy. We want to change the way government deals with social problems. We want people to be more empowered to control their own lives.

I guess it was silly of me to try to respond (or have an intelligent discourse) with someone who goes around calling people of certian political persuasion names. I feel sorry for you, and your way of thinking that drags discussion down to a childish level. But whatever....



Smile. Think positive. Have a good day.

IJ Reilly
Feb 20, 2003, 07:34 PM
Conservatives seem to need this liberal media myth. It works very much like a church -- all information coming from sources which does not support The True Way must be declared Hopelessly Biased and Utterly Wrong. The other prong in this attack on the acquisition of knowledge and free thinking of all kinds is the implication that the information we are feeding you is The Complete Unvarnished Truth, and there's no need to look elsewhere, ever. It's probably the most cowardly propaganda strategy in the world, but it seems to work wonders. Clearly it's got great "legs." Machiavelli would have loved it.

chrisfx811
Feb 20, 2003, 09:50 PM
liberal bias in the media is soooo completely obvious, the problem is most of the people associated with these media outlets are whole-heartedly liberal and don't see anything wrong with reporting from their perspective, rather than an objective one. there are so many books about this topic, to argue against it is hilarious. check out the book by bernard goldberg, who himself primarily votes democratic, he even raised serious questions about the liberal bias and was basically black-balled by his peers for daring to speak about it. it really makes you question the way you view news reports.
liberals should have a podium on the radio waves to spew their rhetoric.... the problem is, and why it has failed in the past, the average joe who listens to talk radio just isn't buying what the liberals are selling! no audience, no ratings, no advertising dollars, and you've got no radio show!

Les Kern
Feb 20, 2003, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by chrisfx811
liberal bias in the media is soooo completely obvious, the problem is most of the people associated with these media outlets are whole-heartedly liberal and don't see anything wrong with reporting from their perspective, rather than an objective one. there are so many books about this topic, to argue against it is hilarious. check out the book by bernard goldberg, who himself primarily votes democratic, he even raised serious questions about the liberal bias and was basically black-balled by his peers for daring to speak about it. it really makes you question the way you view news reports.
liberals should have a podium on the radio waves to spew their rhetoric.... the problem is, and why it has failed in the past, the average joe who listens to talk radio just isn't buying what the liberals are selling! no audience, no ratings, no advertising dollars, and you've got no radio show!
Gee, you know... I'm a pretty reasonable person and a strong moderate. I also hate dissing anyone, I honestly do. I come to these forums to try to help me understand things. I'm no brain surgeon and have never claimed to be. I read this post and thought "Okay Les, you're not the sharpest tack in the world, but you don't have to be particularly smart to see that this post is a load of crap". Everyone deserves opinion, but at least you have to try to prove it with something resembling a "fact" or at least a reasonable facsimile, instead of hinting at "books", quoting one book and filling the paragraph with flawed observations. Hell, I don't even know which sentence to begin with... they're all so... dumb. I for one await your analysis on the above statements before I tap the ignore button... (I'm expecting to be ignored myself, but so be it. Maybe I'm just growing tired of fighting and subconsciously want it. If anyone watched Frontline this evening, you might feel the same way.)

jelloshotsrule
Feb 20, 2003, 11:13 PM
which way does nbcmsnbc slant? i tend to like it more than most news channels. for whatever reason

i like brian williams. seen him on some talk shows where he's not so stiff and he's funny as crap. i dno't even know what channel he's on these days though

job
Feb 20, 2003, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by pantagruel
I'd say that yes, most conservatives are mindless fools, I mean you call yourselves conservatives meaning 1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change. Things do and need to change. Traditional views are flawed.

I could say the same things about "liberals."

1. Never happy/satisfied with the way things are; constant change and turmoil, etc. The desire for constant change results in socio-political turmoil and can destablize a country.

2. Isn't saying "traditional views are flawed" almost an oxymoron? Through time, even the most "liberal" views become "conservative." Examine the ideals of the Enlightenment, which, although very liberal for their time, have become associated with the conservative section of today's society.

I agree that change is neccesary, however the way you instantly pigeon-hole every conservative is insulting and derogetory. It would be similar if I called every "liberal" left leaning person a commie-pinko/socialist.

:rolleyes:

alex_ant
Feb 21, 2003, 01:14 AM
Originally posted by jelloshotsrule
which way does nbcmsnbc slant? i tend to like it more than most news channels. for whatever reason

i like brian williams. seen him on some talk shows where he's not so stiff and he's funny as crap. i dno't even know what channel he's on these days though
I think MSNBC is just NBC News with an MS in front of it for whatever reason. That would make it pretty mainstream. ABC and CBS News are both a little more liberal. I don't think Microsoft knows jack **** about news, and I've never smelled a hint of Microsoft bias from their technology reporting.

I saw Brian Williams on Conan once. I was expecting him to be all serious and composed, with a large, painful object stuck in his rectum that prevents him from making even the slightest movement, but... wow! He reminds me of Bob Saget: An obscene comedian whose career is being / has been ruined by doing wholesome and serious television shows.

macfan
Feb 21, 2003, 02:17 AM
Traditional views are flawed.

Yep--free speech, freedom of religion, right to a fair and speedy trial, no cruel and unusual punishment, protection against unreasonable search and seizure... These are traditional views. We should try to change them as much as we can!

faustofernos
Feb 21, 2003, 02:25 AM
Barf! This whole Left/Right, Wibberwal/Cornservative conversation is so stupid! Come on folks, use your brains. The world is much more complex than "are you WITH me or AGAINST me..." Think Different! Think non-linerarly & multi-dimensional when it comes to politics, computers and your lives. The only people who use those terms are idiots who cant think for themselves. What ever happened to Linux? Mac Os9 vs X? Are ALL Europeans Liberal? Are ALL Middle-Easterners Conservative? What about Asia? Those terms fall apart when you put them in other contexts/situations.

G4scott
Feb 21, 2003, 07:05 AM
I can't remember if it was Rush Limbaugh, Bill 'O Riley, or Laura Ingram where I heard it, but someone was talking about the idea of a liberal radio show, and how it would never work.

They found that more conservatives listen to NPR than liberals.

Personally, I don't care if the liberals have a radio show. As long as it doesn't knock any of my favorites off the air...

alex_ant
Feb 21, 2003, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by macfan
Yep--free speech, freedom of religion, right to a fair and speedy trial, no cruel and unusual punishment, protection against unreasonable search and seizure... These are traditional views. We should try to change them as much as we can!
Speaking as a more-or-less liberal, I do indeed hate all of those except #2. That's why I love the current administration so much! They aren't afraid to do what the Constitution really says.

3rdpath
Feb 21, 2003, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by G4scott
I can't remember if it was Rush Limbaugh, Bill 'O Riley, or Laura Ingram where I heard it, but someone was talking about the idea of a liberal radio show, and how it would never work.

They found that more conservatives listen to NPR than liberals.

Personally, I don't care if the liberals have a radio show. As long as it doesn't knock any of my favorites off the air...

NPR's ceo and president, kevin klose, once served as the director for the IBB...if you don't know, the IBB is responsible for all the u.s. propaganda radio stations such as:
Voice of America
Radio Free Europe
Radio Liberty
Television Marti

among journalists, the joke goes, npr stands for "national pentagon radio".

medea
Feb 21, 2003, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by hitman
It would be similar if I called every "liberal" left leaning person a commie-pinko/socialist.

:rolleyes:
you will have to excuse me, but what is a "pinko" exactly?

railthinner
Feb 21, 2003, 10:54 AM
Yep--free speech, freedom of religion, right to a fair and speedy trial, no cruel and unusual punishment, protection against unreasonable search and seizure... These are traditional views. We should try to change them as much as we can!

Originally posted by alex_ant
Speaking as a more-or-less liberal, I do indeed hate all of those except #2. That's why I love the current administration so much! They aren't afraid to do what the Constitution really says.

What's the confusion here? It's conservatives who threaten all of these freedoms. From McCarthy to Bush. If Ashcroft has his way, watch what you say.

trebblekicked
Feb 21, 2003, 10:55 AM
A note to the liberal bashers: these people have very real resons why they vote for liberal candidates and support liberal agendas. They are informed, educated, and involved. Do not mock their political involvement with belittling and sophmoric insults.

A note to the conservative bashers: these people have very real resons why they vote for conservative candidates and support conservative agendas. They are informed, educated, and involved. Do not mock their political involvement with belittling and sophmoric insults.

Has anyone here ever considered the possibility that they were wrong?

>EDIT
i seriously want to know:
hom many people on this thread are below the legal voting age?

IJ Reilly
Feb 21, 2003, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by Les Kern
If anyone watched Frontline this evening, you might feel the same way.

Well observed, Les. I did, and I do.

As I said earlier, there is a genuine religious quality at work in this condemnation of "the liberal media." For one, it's become a conservative article of faith that all sources of information which are not certifiably conservative cannot be trusted. Worse then that, they can all automatically be classified as propagandists for the left the moment they produce any information which embarrasses the right wing. For another, it creates an echo-chamber effect, where the only voice you hear is yours, which naturally agrees with you 100% of the time. It's sad to see so many people plugged into this feedback loop -- especially since so much of the howl it produces is hateful and intolerant. And, as you noted, it doesn't seem to require any evidence or proof outside of its own, self-perpetuating belief system.

It's a church. The Church of the Right Wing True Believers.

trebblekicked
Feb 21, 2003, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
For another, it creates an echo-chamber effect, where the only voice you hear is yours, which naturally agrees with you 100% of the time.

a very good point.
How much headway does rush make with progressives? conversely, how much does michael moore make with conservatives? i'd like to think these guys (one of whom i respect, one of whom i don't. i'll let you decide which is which) could inspire debate, but they just seem to enrage their opposition, rather than inform.

PS- what did you guys think of Ralph Nader bringing Pat Buchanen in on a symposium for 3rd party candidates? IF that's not putting the public's need ahead of your own agenda, i don't know what is.

macfan
Feb 21, 2003, 12:24 PM
PS- what did you guys think of Ralph Nader bringing Pat Buchanen in on a symposium for 3rd party candidates?

Seeing as he was a thrid party candidate, it's a no brainer. Was Ross Perot there as well?

among journalists, the joke goes, npr stands for "national pentagon radio".

Surveys of national journalists (Washington press corps) show a very strong tendency to vote with parties of the left (or what passes for it in American politics). The effect is that they move in circles of people who think like they do and believe the same things that they do regarding policy. This cannot help but influence the framing of their reporting. However, it really doesn't matter too much because interested people have the ability to take a news story, pick out the facts, and reframe the story. By journalistic convention, most of the time, both sides are at least represented. Regarding NPR, which I think does a fairly good job, it is only a group of left leaning people who would consider it to be "National Pentagon Radio." One could probably better make the argument that it should be called "National Palestinian Radio."

As I said earlier, there is a genuine religious quality at work in this condemnation of "the liberal media." For one, it's become a conservative article of faith that all sources of information which are not certifiably conservative cannot be trusted. Worse then that, they can all automatically be classified as propagandists for the left the moment they produce any information which embarrasses the right wing. For another, it creates an echo-chamber effect, where the only voice you hear is yours, which naturally agrees with you 100% of the time. It's sad to see so many people plugged into this feedback loop -- especially since so much of the howl it produces is hateful and intolerant. And, as you noted, it doesn't seem to require any evidence or proof outside of its own, self-perpetuating belief system.

It is not a "religious" quality to turn off one's brain and live in a echo chamber. It is typical ingroup/outgroup behavior that applies equally to religious people and non religious people, liberals and conservatives, Mac and Windows proponents, etc. etc. Those on the right who can't see the perspective of those on the left are only matched in their hateful, intolerant feedback loop by those on the left who can't see the perspective of those on the right.

More generally, whether media is biased depends on the biases of the individual doing the evaluation. charboneau, for example, demonstrates the same kind of belief that the media is biased in a conservative direction that conservatives say is biased in a liberal direction by asking:

When have you ever seen a call for the redistribution of wealth or an empassioned call for social programs on network television?

Now, which media does this poster watch? Is it the same one that Bernie Goldberg worked in for many years before he wrote his book "Bias" saying that CBS is, indeed, biased to the left?

Whether the media are liberal or conservative depends entirely on what your frame of reference is. For Pacifica, NPR is very conservatve. For The Washington Times, NPR is quite liberal.

From a perspective that takes into account the distribution of the American body politic, most major media outlets do tend to lean to the left of the general public. However, it's not a massive bias, and is certainly not something to lose sleep over. If you don't like it, go start your own newspaper or radio network, that the American way!

IJ Reilly
Feb 21, 2003, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by macfan
It is not a "religious" quality to turn off one's brain and live in a echo chamber. It is typical ingroup/outgroup behavior that applies equally to religious people and non religious people, liberals and conservatives, Mac and Windows proponents, etc. etc. Those on the right who can't see the perspective of those on the left are only matched in their hateful, intolerant feedback loop by those on the left who can't see the perspective of those on the right.

More generally, whether media is biased depends on the biases of the individual doing the evaluation.

Fair enough, but I see the comparison being made often between supposedly "biased" reporting in the media, and the "truth" propounded by Rush Limbaugh and his ilk. I see a tremendous amount of confusion on the Right these days over the difference between "reporting" and "editorializing." I simply do not seen anything quite analogous to this on the Left these days.

Further, I'm not a fan of the deconstructionist view that media "must be biased" because "surveys" show that a majority vote Democratic, or some such thing. I could make a half-dozen arguments against this extremely flimsy premise, but I'll start with the main one: reporters are trained to report. They are, despite the way the Right likes to characterize them, professionals for the most part. They actually work at being unbiased observers, which is certainly not something you can say about editorialists like Limbaugh.

Someone (maybe you) mentioned Michael Moore. Though I tend to agree with many of his sentiments, I have no trouble understanding him as an editorialist (who often goes over the top to make his points). In fact I've said elsewhere on these boards that his recent film "Bowling for Columbine" is not a documentary, as most people want to call it -- it's a filmic editorial. I have not tuned out the news media, as so many of the Right have done lately, in favor of someone's opinions.

So your point is taken -- but it does ignore the fact that the Right has embraced editorialism as a source of truth, while at the same time making a concerted effort to undermine the media as a source of information about the world. Not only is this self-delusional, it's been very damaging to one of democracy's most important institutions.

macfan
Feb 21, 2003, 04:32 PM
Further, I'm not a fan of the deconstructionist view that media "must be biased" because "surveys" show that a majority vote Democratic, or some such thing. I could make a half-dozen arguments against this extremely flimsy premise, but I'll start with the main one: reporters are trained to report. They are, despite the way the Right likes to characterize them, professionals for the most part. They actually work at being unbiased observers, which is certainly not something you can say about editorialists like Limbaugh.

The bias that is apparent in news stories can be explained by the social and organizational context in which those stories are created. It isn't simply a matter of saying that media "must be biased" because "a majority vote Demcratic." Rather, the bias has to be evaluated independently as content. Once that is established, we can look at the social and organizational factors that drive the coverage.

It is inevitable that a story will be biased in some form. The mere selection of a topic and sources biases a story. Even small changes in a headline or sentence in a story can influence how audience members understand the meaning of a story.

Reporters are trained to report. (They aren't trained very well, but they are trained). That is why you have "both sides" in many news stories. Journalism students, and by extension journalists, are very often motivated by the desire to effect social change--to "do good" in the world. They are not motivated to be values neutral. Journalists do not work at being objective, they work at giving the appearance and form of objectivity, or, if you will, balance. They are trained to rely on "official sources" and other powerful elements in society. This tendency leads some to call the press "conservative" and decry the lack of Marxist sentiment on the evening news. At the same time, the left of center leaning of national journalists generally (no one thinks that Dan Rather is anything but a dedicated Democrat) makes others say that they are biased in a liberal direction.

I can develop and conduct legitimate, quantitiative research that will "prove" that the media are biased conservative or biased liberal.

That most national journalists lean to the left of the general public is quite clear from surveys. What I suspect happens is that these people have a narrow range of opinion expressed in their daily interactions with friends and colleagues. This environment determines the starting point for their stories. It is the social environment in which they live, move, and have their being. (Remember the quote: "I can't believe Nixon won, no one I know voted for him?") The same dynamic is at work here.

It is somewhat ironic that people can see that dynamic among the religious right, but not among the national media.

IJ Reilly
Feb 21, 2003, 06:16 PM
It's difficult to respond to so many vague assertions, backed up with "facts" which are alleged but not presented, and so can't be refuted. For example, I never think about Dan Rather. I don't care if he's a three-eyed Martian -- it's not especially relevant, even as an example, is indicative of nothing, and certainly proves even less.

Overall, your case is undiluted deconstructionism, aka, relativism You are arguing, in effect, that facts do not exist, only opinions (or views of the facts), and what is being said cannot be understood apart from the views of the speaker. This ironically this is a theory invented by the academic left fifty years ago to attack the very same institutions the Right does today. I believe my irony beats your irony, hands down.

I would have thought by now we'd all have accepted the importance of facts, and might be interested in spending a little more time trying to understand what is actually happening in the world and a lot less time trying to deconstruct the news media and each other.

macfan
Feb 21, 2003, 07:05 PM
Bias depends on the selection and empahsis of facts, not whether or not facts exist. Indeed, facts do exist. However, views of facts also exist. News stories are based, not on facts alone, but on views of facts. Selction, emphasis, moral evaluation, and placement of those facts are some elements which make up bias. Sometimes, facts are made up out of whole cloth, but news organizations are generally pretty good about fact checking.

Judging whther or not something is biased in a liberal or conservative direction does, indeed, depend in large part on the relative distance between the news story and the the reader.

Dan Rather is an example of a national journalist who is a dedicated Democrat. Helen Thomas is another. They merely personify what surveys of national journalists have revealed. That doesn't directly prove any bias in their reporting, not do I mention him by way of argument. The bias has to be evaluated by other standards. Setting those standards will generally determine whether and in what direction a story is considered biased.

I believe my irony beats your irony, hands down.


Maybe so, but my irony probably hits a little closer to home. ;)

job
Feb 21, 2003, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by medea
you will have to excuse me, but what is a "pinko" exactly?

a slur for communists and far left-wingers and liberals.

medea
Feb 21, 2003, 09:07 PM
Originally posted by hitman
a slur for communists and far left-wingers and liberals.
I see so liberals and "left-wingers" are the same as communist? Thank you so much for educating me on that one.

job
Feb 21, 2003, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by medea
I see so liberals and "left-wingers" are the same as communist? Thank you so much for educating me on that one.

No, I'm saying that they way he bashed conservatives would be similar if I called all liberals and "left-wingers" communists.

Which i don't.

yosoyjay
Feb 22, 2003, 12:20 AM
I def. have not seen a liberal bias in any news but Pacifica Radio. Most stuff I see on the television is essentially centered pop-news. It is basically fluff and worthless.

There was a story about this recently in a def. left-leaning magazine, The Nation...
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030224&s=alterman2

G4scott
Feb 22, 2003, 08:30 AM
The term "pinko" came from when the solviet union was in power. They called them "communist red's". The term "pinko" was then introduced, and was used to describe anyone associated with communism.

IJ Reilly
Feb 22, 2003, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by macfan
Bias depends on the selection and empahsis of facts, not whether or not facts exist. Indeed, facts do exist. However, views of facts also exist. News stories are based, not on facts alone, but on views of facts. Selction, emphasis, moral evaluation, and placement of those facts are some elements which make up bias. Sometimes, facts are made up out of whole cloth, but news organizations are generally pretty good about fact checking.

Judging whther or not something is biased in a liberal or conservative direction does, indeed, depend in large part on the relative distance between the news story and the the reader.

Dan Rather is an example of a national journalist who is a dedicated Democrat. Helen Thomas is another. They merely personify what surveys of national journalists have revealed. That doesn't directly prove any bias in their reporting, not do I mention him by way of argument. The bias has to be evaluated by other standards. Setting those standards will generally determine whether and in what direction a story is considered biased.

Maybe so, but my irony probably hits a little closer to home. ;)

For you maybe, but again you are just proving my point about the seductiveness of deconstructionism, and how attached the Right in this country has become to it over the last 25 years. You cannot deny that the liberal media myth is a central tenant of conservatism, and you cannot deny either its power or its purpose, which is to question the credibility of all sources of information that don't make the case for the Right. In fact, I've noticed that you have not even attempted to refute this point -- probably because it can't be done. It's just too obvious.

In fact the Right's campaign against the media isn't even wholly appreciated by conservatives any longer. One nationally-prominent Republican (I think it was Bill Kristol, but I'm not certain), recently said that the Right's relentless attacks on the media are overblown and harmful. I'm only wondering how long it will take for the rank-and-file to get on board, and to realize that information is only dangerous when you happen to be wrong, or have something to hide.

IJ Reilly
Feb 22, 2003, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by G4scott
The term "pinko" came from when the solviet union was in power. They called them "communist red's". The term "pinko" was then introduced, and was used to describe anyone associated with communism.

Close. "Pinko" was a derrogatory term used mainly in the 1940s and 1950s to describe a "parlor red" -- someone who wasn't a member of the Communist Party, but supposedly was a "sympathizer." By this definition, anyone who did not approve of the House un-American Activities Committee witch hunts run by Joe McCarthy during this era was automatically branded as a "pinko."

Les Kern
Feb 22, 2003, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by yosoyjay
I def. have not seen a liberal bias in any news but Pacifica Radio. Most stuff I see on the television is essentially centered pop-news. It is basically fluff and worthless.

Oh, man you got it there. There is NOTHING worse than 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 news or radio stations like WBBM in Chicago. Worthless. They bait you with "Coming up...", you wait 15 minutes and they add one sentence to the original "Coming Up..". I refuse to watch any of it. NPR is good at 91.5 in Chicago, Frontline, and occasional Nova, and I actually like McGloughln Group.

job
Feb 22, 2003, 02:45 PM
The only "good" mainstream American based news network I have seen is CNN International.

CNN International is forced to cater to a broader spectrum of people due to it's global nature. Through competition with Sky News and BBC News, CNN International is more moderate and less political. As a result, it is not as slanted as many other national networks.

GeeYouEye
Feb 22, 2003, 07:14 PM
Who is biased? It's not CBS, NBC, MSNBC, iNBC, ABC, CNN, NPR, etc., etc, with few exceptions, like that Pacifica Network. However, the newscasters and the editors of many of these are, with few exceptions (Dan Rather, for example, during the 2000 election, was smiling and almost laughing when Gore was declared the winner, more somber when it was too close to call again, and looked like he'd been punched in the gut when it looked like Bush was going to win). Now, based on the second sentence, how can I say the first sentence, you might ask.

Simple. In the end, it all comes down to profit margins. MSNBC (IIRC... it's wherever Donahue's on), arguably a liberal news source, will be the network hosting Michael Savage's TV show. Also consider - while certain anchors may have biased and unpopular view costing them viewers, it could quite likely cost them more to get rid of them -- who wants to watch World News Tonight without Peter Jennings, not to mention the cost of training a replacement.