Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Why Can't Johnny Liberal Think?

Kos is hilarious. He claims cable news networks are biased against Democrats, citing an analysis by the liberal Think Progress group saying that "five cable news networks -- CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and CNBC -- have hosted more Republican lawmakers to discuss the [stimulus] plan than Democrats by a 2 to 1 ratio this week."

Even though "appearances" aren't "minutes," assume the data are correct. What neither Kos nor Think Progress mention is that President Obama, and members of his Administration, have ceaselessly plugged the stimulus on cable news since the inauguration. The overall "balance" isn't tied to counting Congressional appearances--it encompasses Democrats and Republicans in both the Executive and Legislative branches. The greater number of Congressional Republicans has to be offset against the White House officials (including Obama himself) also featured on those networks. And, based on what I've seen, there's more media minutes--both cable and broadcast--for Administration stimulus package proponents than for lawmakers regardless of party.

Kos and Think Progress cite spurious statistics to argue an absurd point. In the real world, the notion that CNN and MSNBC favor Republicans is laughable. But "progressive" means never having to apologize for crazy conspiracy theories: based on a quick review, I didn't spot commenters on either site who recognized the point (this is closest). Instead, they foment about right-wing "corporate media" and cheerlead the mooted return of the "Fairness doctrine."

Is there any logic left on the left?


Assistant Village Idiot said...

If they are actually paying attention to the data, then some of them will eventually get it. Not a majority, but some. There are conservative sites I stay away from because of bias, and I only learned that by paying attention.

I think the popular culture creates a slow liberal drift. But most of the conversion experiences are in our direction.

Geoffrey Britain said...

"Is there any logic left on the left?"


Carl said...

AVI's right about conversions--but that's because we mostly seem to be born liberal and learn logic as adults. Once we do, of course--as GB implies--conservativism is the only answer.

OBloodyHell said...

Carl, would the "Fairness Doctrine" have any affect on cable media? I would think it would be tied to broadcast only... and perhaps not even to satellite radio??

> conservativism is the only answer.

Well, I think small-l libertarianism is also potentially an answer, if not an even better one, but that's more an argument over feet, not miles, of difference.

And I don't think that recent "conservativism" qualifies as a lot better than liberalism. The last 10 years have produced a very ersatz form of "conservativism". On FP, they are still fairly strong, but of DP, they pretty much suck ass just like the libtards.

Carl said...


The old "Fairness doctrine" applied only to broadcast media. The rationale of the case law--particularly Red Lion, 395 U.S. 367 (1969)--would appear limited to broadcast, but who knows what the current Administration might try? A liberal group recently petitioned the FCC to censor violence on broadcast, cable and the Internet.

OBloodyHell said...

> A liberal group recently petitioned the FCC to censor violence on broadcast, cable and the Internet.

Good luck with the latter one. The more they try to censor that form of delivery, the most sophisticated the users get in circumventing their efforts.

The RIAA/MPAA shut down Napster, so Grokster, Gnutella, WinMX and EDonkey spring up. Squash those, and EMule, Kazaa, and Torrents spring up. Each setup makes it harder and harder to chase down the distributors and recipients.

That's what happens when you're dealing with a decentralized network. All forms of censorship (including "pay up, or else!" defacto censorship) are doomed to be a massive FAIL.

The best they can do there is to drive everyone to a decentralized model, which currently they have no mechanism for extracting payment for product/creations. What happens to all existing businesses when they can't bill anyone for what they create?

I've long been arguing that this needs to be addressed but that's a side matter unrelated to that of which we speak, which is whether the FCC can exact any measure of control over the internet's content and distribution when even the RIAA/MPAA, with a personal, vested interest in the activity, can't successfully do so. I don't see a load of disinterested bureaucrats doing the job better than attorneys whose livelihood is connected to squashing it can do, even with the power of government directly in their hands.

They can create a good deal of misery all around, but they won't succeed in controlling access to information. That Pandora's box is already opened.