It’s a fair question

Steve Benen says:

“And I’ve been trying to stress this for eight years: “The right and the left both have intemperate voices. But here’s the key: only the conservative movement counts the most vile blowhards as leading lights, embraced by the leadership. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Sarah Palin: these are among the most popular conservatives in America. Who are the folks on the left with equivalent popularity and influence?”

(He said this before there was a Glenn Beck.)

20 responses to “It’s a fair question

  1. I don’t mind the bloviation so much as the lies. Right-wingers are outraged over things that aren’t even true.

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  2. Who are the folks on the left with equivalent popularity and influence?”

    The NY Times.
    NBC.
    Oprah.
    Newsweek.
    Harpers.
    NPR.

    The list goes on and on…..

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    • Hmmm, looking for an elected official or an opinion publication in there – not finding one. (you do remember that the NYT gave Bush et al cover to go to war in Iraq?)

      Oprah? She does sob sister and self improvement stuff; if you mean to compare her to someone like Rush, sorry, that’s apples and oranges.

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      • looking for an elected official

        You mean like the following elected officials quoted in Steve Benen’s piece:

        Rush Limbaugh
        Sean Hannity
        Mark Levin

        you are comparing them to newspapers and magazines??

        Okay, okay:

        Krugman
        Kos
        Madddow
        Olbermann
        Matthews
        Sharpton
        Jackson

        Any media that doesn’t spin the news to the right is considered “left-wing” by right-wingers.

        I suspect most people feel they are “somewhat centrist”. And news reported to the left of them is left-wing and news reported to the right of them is right-wing.

        However, the fact is that virtually every major news outlet DOES lean to the left. You can look it up:

        See below. A list of outlets, the closest to the center on top, the furthest from the center on the bottom. A score of 50.06 is middle of the road; higher –> liberal. Lower –>conservative.

        1 Newshour with Jim Lehrer 55.8
        2 CNN NewsNight with Aaron Brown 56.0
        3 ABC Good Morning America 56.1
        4 Drudge Report 60.4
        5 Fox News’ Special Report with Brit Hume 39.7
        6 ABC World News Tonight 61.0
        7 NBC Nightly News 61.6
        8 USA Today 63.4
        9 NBC Today Show 64.0
        10 Washington Times 35.4
        11 Time Magazine 65.4
        12 U.S. News and World Report 65.8
        13 NPR Morning Edition 66.3
        14 Newsweek 66.3
        15 CBS Early Show 66.6
        16 Washington Post 66.6
        17 LA Times 70.0
        18 CBS Evening News 73.7
        19 New York Times 73.7
        20 Wall Street Journal 85.1

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        • According to that, Rupert Murdock’s Wall St. Journal is more liberal than the N.Y. Times and the Washington Post. And the Drudge Report is more liberal than the News Hour.

          In what alternative universe?

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          • Rupert Murdock’s Wall St. Journal is more liberal than the N.Y. Times and the Washington Post.

            Makes you question your Liberal facts, doesn’t it?

            In what alternative universe?

            That bastion of Conservative thought: UCLA

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          • Okay, after a few minutes research, it wasn’t too difficult to find out how biased that study is. First of all, they received funding for the study from conservative think tanks: the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), The Heritage Foundation, and the Hoover Institute.

            Here’s some other comical “findings” from the study: They rated the Rand corporation 60.4, which makes it a “liberal” group! Ayn Rand is the conservative god, for crap sakes!

            The NRA was rated 45.9, which would make it a moderate group. The NRA should get a zero rating. You can’t get any more conservative than the NRA.

            And they gave the ACLU a rating of 49.8, which makes it slightly conservative. Conservatives HATE the ACLU.

            It would be one thing to hold conservative views if they were based on facts, but take away the lies, the fear and hate mongering, and you’re left with nothing.

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          • they received funding for the study from conservative think tanks: the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), The Heritage Foundation, and the Hoover Institute.

            I think you may need to provide a link:

            We also owe gratitude to UCLA, University of Missouri, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago. These universities paid our salaries, funded our research assistants, and paid for services such as Lexis-Nexis, which were necessary for our data collection. No other organization or person helped to fund this research project.

            They rated the Rand corporation 60.4, which makes it a “liberal” group! Ayn Rand is the conservative god, for crap sakes!

            I think you should have taken “a few minutes” + 2

            The second apparent anomaly is the RAND Corporation, which has a fairly liberal average score, 60.4. We mentioned this finding to some employees of RAND, who told us they were not surprised. While RAND strives to be middle-of-the-road ideologically, the more conservative scholars at RAND tend to work on military studies, while the more liberal scholars tend to work on domestic studies. Because the military studies are sometimes classified and often more technocratic than the domestic studies, the media and members of Congress tend to cite the domestic studies disproportionately. As a consequence, RAND appears liberal when judged by these citations. It is important to note that this fact—that the research at RAND is more conservative than the numbers in Table 1 suggest—will not bias our results. To see this, think of RAND as two think tanks: RAND I, the left-leaning think tank which produces the research that the media and members of Congress tend to cite, and RAND II, the conservative think tank which produces the research that they tend not to cite. Our results exclude RAND II from the analysis. This causes no more bias than excluding any other think tank that is rarely cited in Congress or the media.

            The NRA was rated 45.9, which would make it a moderate group. The NRA should get a zero rating. You can’t get any more conservative than the NRA.

            In a fact based discussion, I would expect you to use facts.

            they gave the ACLU a rating of 49.8, which makes it slightly conservative. Conservatives HATE the ACLU.

            Make that “a few minutes of research” + 2 + 2.

            …suggests that the ACLU, if anything is a right-leaning organization. The reason the ACLU has such a low score is that it opposed the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance bill, and conservatives in Congress cited this often. In fact, slightly more than one-eight of all ACLU citations in Congress were due to one person alone, Mitch McConnell (R.-Kt.), perhaps the chief critic of McCain-Feingold. If we omit McConnell’s citations, the ACLU’s average score increases to 55.9. Because of this anomaly, in the Appendix we report the results when we repeat all of our analyses but omit the ACLU data.

            Ben, me thinks though doth protestesth too mucheth.

            If you disagree with the findings, I suggest you find a rigorous study that demonstrates an opposite point of view. Until then, please, take your own advice and acknowledge facts.

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          • I believe that would be called “flawed methodology.”

            SUMMARY: News outlets including CNN cited a study of several major media outlets by a UCLA political scientist and a University of Missouri-Columbia economist purporting to “show a strong liberal bias.” But the study employed a measure of “bias” so problematic that its findings are next to useless, and the authors — both former fellows at conservative think tanks cited in the study to illustrate liberal bias — seem unaware of the substantial scholarly work that exists on the topic.

            Source

            But since it supports your ideology, you accept it unquestioningly like a good little sheep.

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          • But since it supports your ideology, you accept it unquestioningly like a good little sheep.

            Go find YOUR study and show me how they differ.

            Further, I don’t think that we disagree much on the list and if they’re liberal or conservative. There may be some disagreement on WSJ and Drudge, but other than that, I think they are correct. Where it seems YOU differ is in the degree. I would bet you think Fox is conservative. And I bet you think it should rank farthest from the center than all the other outlets.

            My bet? My bet is that when you think of Fox you think of Hannity, Beck and O’Reilley. Which aren’t news. Those shows are opinion shows.

            Anyway, it;s fun to watch you wiggle out of facts. And, more than that, it’s good to discuss the bias. I admit Fox is bias, bias to the Right. What’s interesting is that you refuse to admit that there are outlets that have a Liberal bias. You refuse to admit even that.

            Perhaps that’s why Left Wing talk radio doesn’t work – No one believes a Leftist.

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          • [Go find YOUR study and show me how they differ.]

            I could go find a study that supports any argument. You can prove anything with statistics. But all you have to do is look at media ownership charts to get an idea in which way the news is skewed.

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        • [However, the fact is that virtually every major news outlet DOES lean to the left. ]

          This always pushes my irony button. May I note that the REASON they are major news outlets is because they are the publications people support with their money, i.e., The Washington Post sells a million papers a day, The Washington Times sells 33,000. Given those numbers we should never have even heard of the Washington Times but their editors show up on TV.

          Big media is big because people choose it.

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    • Plus pino, I listed human beings – other than Oprah, you are comparing them to newspapers and magazines??

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    • Any media that doesn’t spin the news to the right is considered “left-wing” by right-wingers.

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  3. I just knew that some sharp person was going to expose Oprah for hate speech, it’s taken a while, but thanks to you Pino, the word has gotten out…

    Oh and NPR, the suffering they have caused…

    Jim Lehrer? You mean the guy who interviews and causes to have interviewed voices from across the political spectrum…?

    In your wide child eyed view of politics here’s what you’re missing:

    There are extreme views held by both the left and the right…what’s so very interesting about your views, is that you seem ready and willing to defend those of the right while castigating those of the left…thereby setting in stone the kind of madness and polarization that if it continues will tear apart whatever unity this great country has been able to display in the past…

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    • I just knew that some sharp person was going to expose Oprah for hate speech,

      Hi poet, the challenge was to list someone on the Left with the same amount of influence.

      Jim Lehrer? You mean the guy who interviews and causes to have interviewed voices from across the political spectrum…?

      Now you’re just being silly.

      THAT listing was a response to the nonsense that only right-wing news is biased; virtually ALL of it is. And my listing of Lehrer actually shines a positive light on him. Of all the media outlets studied, he ws the most down the middle. He was the best.

      So your calling me out on Lehrer kinda show YOUR bias.

      There are extreme views held by both the left and the right

      Right. That’s what I said.

      is that you seem ready and willing to defend those of the right while castigating those of the left

      Not at all; not at all. I fully understood that when Obama mentioned knife fight and gun fight while in Philly he was quoting a movie and was using a metaphor to make his point. Never did I think he was gonna carry. Further, when the Democratic PAC issued their map with targets on it, I knew that they meant they were gonna focus on those districts/states. Not that they were gonna carry a rifle to ’em.

      MY point is that Moe is trying to claim somehow that this rhetoric is:

      A. The domain of the Right only.
      B. Responsible for Tucson.

      I’m calling bullshit. At least YOU admit their is political metaphorical rhetoric on both sides. Actually, at MOST you admit their is political metaphorical rhetoric on both sides. But why sweat the small stuff.

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      • Lehrer is a moderate conservative, and he’s misinformed like most conservatives. Just a few weeks ago, he made the claim that Democrats “hold 60 seats in the Senate,” which is a lie. They held 60 seats for just a few months in 2009. When he made that claim, the Democrats held 57 seats.

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      • [I just knew that some sharp person was going to expose Oprah for hate speech,
        Hi poet, the challenge was to list someone on the Left with the same amount of influence. ]

        Ummm, were we not talking about political influence? If just ‘influence’ I guess you have to include religion, education etc. Also Toy Story and The Simpsons.

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  4. ” Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Sarah Palin: these are among the most popular conservatives in America. Who are the folks on the left with equivalent popularity and influence?””

    That the first three outshine the left is a failure of the left to win an audience in popular media. I suppose the public who listen to that media are just smarter than the average Joe Public. As far as Sarah Palin, she is a politician. She lost in 08. I think the winners, Obama and Biden would qualify as more than equivalent in popularity, influence, and power.

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