Okay, I’m going to put on my December hat and ask a very inflammatory question that is guaranteed to drive the liberals here nuts.
Are liberals uneducated? How do they learn about current policy? Do they actually study politics, history, etc?
The reason I ask is because there have been a few interesting things going on in the media lately. First, there’s the handwringing in liberal circles about a lack of a liberal ‘Rush Limbaugh’. The argument we keep hearing about this is that liberals are more thoughtful, and aren’t predisposed to ‘sound bite’ journalism.
But then yesterday, Donahue was cancelled because no one was watching. The O’Reilly Factor has SIX TIMES the viewership, even though Donahue is a very polished, experienced broadcaster who was offering a thoughtful liberal alternative to conservative pundit shows.
Then I read this article in Slate, which explains why. According to the article, cable news in general only has about 17% of viewers who identify as ‘liberal’. And that’s not just Fox - it includes CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and Fox.
So Liberals aren’t watching cable news, or listening to talk radio. Maybe they stick to the main networks and their newscasts then?
Nope. CBS says 40% of its viewers are conservative, and only 12% liberal. NBC: 43.2 conservative, 15.5 liberal. ABC: 41.9/15.8.
So it looks like far more conservatives than liberals watch TV news in general, and listen to political radio shows in MUCH greater numbers than liberals.
Well, maybe liberals are deeper thinkers. Maybe they read more books.
Nope. The Amazon best seller lists for non-fiction are overwhelmingly dominated by conservative books.
Well, maybe liberals are more advanced, and use the web.
Nope. Almost all liberal news sites are suffering. Salon.com is pretty much toast. Slate is losing money hand over fist. On the other hand, National Review Online is growing and gaining readers constantly. Drudge Report is breaking new records for viewers. And in the Blogging world, conservatives outnumber liberals by a HUGE margin - so much so that it is very difficult to even find liberal blogs.
Well, maybe liberals subscribe to liberal magazines? Nope. According to Pew Research, 52% of conservatives read political magazines and journals, vs only 23% of Liberals.
Newspapers? According to Pew, 35% of conservatives are daily newspaper readers, vs only 18% of liberals.
Even NPR has a bigger audience of conservatives than liberals, by 36% to 20%.
In fact, according to Pew:
So conservatives dominate the audience for all news media, plus ‘grassroots’ internet sites, and books.
What does this mean? Any ideas? Are conservatives more educated than liberals? Are they more serious about politics? Do they think about it more?
If you’re a self-identified liberal, what do YOU read? How do you get your information?
I know this all sounds inflammatory, but I think it’s a very interesting thing to talk about, and I’m seriously interested in your theories about why liberals aren’t paying attention. Or if you think they are, how and where?