Economics Index and Qualifications
By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics
Former Instructor St. John's University, New York City

Liberals, Conservatives
Who Has a Media Advantage?

Conservatives complain about the liberal media, liberals complain about Fox. But who has the media advantage?

It is hard to say, both sides have many powerful media outlets, but they are very different, so it is a real case of comparing apples, oranges, chocolate cake, pizza, and broccoli.

TV News & Newspapers

The liberals have two major cable news networks, CNN, and MSNBC, and three broadcast networks with news organizations, ABC, CBS, and NBC. They also have almost all the major newspapers. None of the top 23 newspapers endorsed Trump.

The Conservatives have one major cable news network, Fox News. Yes, it is the most watched, but that is probably because it has little conservative competition.

Financial News

But the conservatives also have the financial newspapers and other financial media. This no doubt helps them connect with the donor class.

Religious Media

Another conservative strength is religious media. As religion is a very powerful determinate of whether and how people vote the religious media is important. As you will probably never cast the deciding vote in an election voting is a very inexpensive way to curry favor with the almighty, so people do. But religion not only influences how people vote, it gives them an incentive to actually vote, it is a religious duty. So while financial media helps Republicans reach the donor class, religious media helps the Republicans reach the likely to vote class.

Talk Radio

Another powerful conservative asset is talk radio, which is almost completely conservative or libertarian. Talk radio has a huge audience and the attacks on liberals are powerful and unrelenting, broken only by advertising.

It should be noted however, that Rush Limbaugh did not go national with his program until 1988. President Reagan got rid of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987. This was the FCC rule that said broadcasters had to air a response to controversial statements made on their programs. So the electoral triumph of the Republicans allowed conservative talk radio to flourish. Of course it could be argued that once it was established talk radio helped the Republicans continue to move the country to the right.

Movies, TV, & Music

Liberals however have other assets, movies and TV are mostly created by liberals. In half hour comedy conservative opinions are ruthlessly excluded as we saw recently with Roseanne and Last Man Standing. On the other hand crime shows are a major part of the TV schedule and it could be argued that there is a somewhat conservative message that is inherent in the genre.

Popular music, other than country music, tends be liberal.

A conservative asset maybe old music movies and TV shows. Music and shows created decades ago may have been moderate or liberal when they were made but maybe conservative today. On the other hand, given that the nation has moved to the right on many issues the opposite could also be true on some issues.

The Internet

The Internet has room for many voices, liberal, conservative, libertarian, and an almost infinite variety of others. This may help the conservative party, the Republicans. The Democrats maybe more racially and ethnically diverse, but the Republicans are more ideologically diverse.

An extreme example of this is that libertarian fans of Ayn Rand and many Catholics find themselves in the same party. The Catholic Church calls for more aid to the poor and therefore more taxes, laws against abortion and many other things that libertarians hate. The only reason libertarians and Catholics find themselves in the same party is that they disagree on everything including which issues are most important. So the Republicans give each what they most want most and win the votes of both.

The alliance of Ayn Rand fans and Catholics is like an alliance between the KKK and the Black Panthers, the NAZIS and Israel, or the communists and the Republicans. However, it works on election day, which is what counts.

The Internet gives the many frequently opposed groups that make up the Republican party to speak to their followers and build their strength. So even though the owners of the Internet giants like Google, and Facebook favor the Democrats, the Internet may still favor the Republicans.

No Overwhelming Advantage

So it is hard to see whether liberals or conservatives have the advantage as both sides have many media outlets, but they are very different from one another. But the very fact that it is difficult to determine who has the advantage tells us that both sides have a powerful media assets and are therefore capable of presenting their case and calling out the other side's fake news and alternative facts.

It is said that this is an era of fake news, but perhaps there was as much or more fake news in the past but now the fake news can be contested.

I am too busy to waste your time with the temporary, the trivial, and thoughts you have heard a million times before. So why not check out other web pages.

For more on the power of media in politics read my page the revolutionary and counter revolutionary power of AM radio from Rock to Rush. Where I explain why AM radio was the vehicle of both the liberal 60s cultural revolution and the later and on going counter revolution.

For more on politics, economics and my qualifications to pontificate on them check out my econ index page.

For lots more on media including theoretical analysis of media which will leave you understanding media better than the decision makers in New York and Hollywood check out my media index page.

If you are just generally impressed by my wit and wisdom check out my Homepage.

And please link to whatever page or pages you think will be most relevant to others. No need to link to an index page unless you want them to read many things.

Tell me what you think. Here is my contact info.

Last updated October 26, 2019

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