Saturday, January 22, 2011
Captain Obvious: The Liberal Media is a Myth
There's a lot of talk from both sides about Comcast's role in this, if any. There are people worried (or hoping) that this will lead to similar departures by Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O'Donnell. Most people couldn't name all of those people. But that right there is pretty much the list of the top liberals in the media. On talk radio, where the percentage of conservative-to-liberal shows is in the high 90s in the conservatives favor, there are a few other names: Randi Rhodes, Tom Malloy, Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller. None of them has the name recognition of a second or maybe even third tier conservative host.
Nobody watches Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Nobody's heard of Randi Rhodes. Air America Radio is dead, and almost nobody can tune in to liberal talk radio on their car radio, even if they want to. Newspaper sales are down. Newsweek practically went out of business. CNN gets anemic ratings, only rarely stepping up into MSNBC's "nobody" zone. FOX "News" is the king of cable "news"--and yes those quotes are required. Comcast's takeover of NBC (and thus MSNBC) puts ownership of media in the United States into even fewer hands. All of those owners are enormous corporate entities with conservative leanings.
So somebody tell me please. Where is this "lamestream media" Sarah Palin keeps whining about? Or the "drive-bys" that Rush Limbaugh sputters about? Let's just face it. The right-wing talkers who used to be the far right fringe are now squarely mainstream. The most moderate, most middle-of-the-road, objective reporter now looks like a leftist by comparison. And the actual left are now called "far left." So they can stop complaining about the liberal media. They can stop squinting their eyes and finger wagging about the mainstream media. The conservatives have it. They are the mainstream media. But they're still not news.