Recent events and evidence support the notion that the true middle of the American political spectrum is actually more right than what many members of the media perceive. Research on media audience, circulations counts, employment, and viewership reveal that the relentless work by the politically correct watchdogs and propaganda machines may not be as effective as we are led to believe.
A case in point is how the audiences have not been so gullible to presidential debates. The biggest applause at the 2015 debates, of both parties so far, was when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz drew a thundering ovation during the third Republican program.
“The questions that you’ve asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,” the Senator responded to CNBC hosts in Boulder, Colorado. “Look at the questions: ‘Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain?’ ‘Ben Carson, can you do math?’ ‘John Kasich, will you insult two people over here?’ ‘Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign?’ ‘Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?’ How about talking about the substantive issues people care about?”
“This is not a cage match and you look at the questions,” Sen. Cruz did not back down to the obviously startled moderators. “The contrast with the Democratic debate where every fawning question from the media was which of you is more handsome than wise … The men and women on this stage have more ideas, more experience, more common sense than every participant in the Democratic debate.”
Although CNBC and others in the media later responded by various self-justifying and defensive approaches, facts favor Cruz’s criticism on the state of the American media and press. While business and marketing sides of mainstream media are quick to blame the Internet and expanding technologies for recent letdowns, analysis shows many are slow to take responsibility for their own failures.
Americans’ confidence in the media’s ability to “report the news fully, accurately, and fairly” has returned to an all-time low of 40 percent, according to the last Gallup poll. Their circulation numbers show it. Over 42 percent of Independent voters say media bias is too liberal. 71 percent of Republicans agree. 24 percent of Democrats perceive the media as being too conservative.
Below is a general summary and guide to liberal and conservative media in America.
In 2007, the total number of people working for daily newspapers according to the American Society of New Editors was 55,045. That figure has dropped sharply to 36,722. There are now over 1,800 of those news publications no longer in existence than in 2000.
“Although the public conversation about newspapers focuses on the shift to digital, most newspaper reading still happens in print,” noted Pew Research in their April 2015 report. “In total, more than eight-in-ten of those who read a newspaper do so in print, at least sometimes. Only 5% read newspapers exclusively on mobile devices…Overall ad revenue fell 4%, to just $19.9 billion.”
There were 24,286 daily newspaper reporters in 2007. Last year that number was down to 16,743, and that’s if writers and bloggers are added into the reporter category. Photographers, artists and videographers fell from 5,758 in 2007 to 3,223 in 2014.
As newspaper and print media continue to struggle, as in most any case, only the strongest survive. Of the top 10 columnists ranked both by the number of papers and total circulation of these papers they are carried and published in, a recent Media Matters survey show five conservatives, two centrists, and only three progressives. Conservative columns are more prominent in 38 states, leaving just 12 states with giving the edge to progressive points of view. Northeast and Middle Atlantic states tend to have more progressives readers, but only by a margin of 2 percent.
Television and Online Sites
Data from Pew Research polls and surveys show that more than 70% of all voters now follow news online with mobile devices, phones or tablets.
One of the most surprising finds from the Pew study is that Fox New’s viewership is moderate in their totals. Contrary to most of the mainstream media’s opinion, many liberals view Fox’s television news programs and websites. Fox News is moderate compared to various talk and analysis broadcasts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck and Breitbarts.
FOX News continues to grow at prime-time and is pulling in near 1.8 million viewers each night. They are far ahead of the second place CNN which struggles to get 577,000. MSNBC continues to dwindle and are down to 525,000. The FOX News audience is so immense and diverse that it can’t be reduced in importance near the far right end of a chart. This supports the indication that the true middle of the public’s political spectrum is actually more right than what many members of the media perceive. The popularity of non-establishment candidates such as Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson further verifies this model.
While Pew’s study reveals that the most read media for liberals are the New Yorker and Slate, an analysis including various media, press, television, Media Matters and Pew research shows a summary of where liberals and conservatives get their news.
Moderately liberal audience members view NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX and ABC. Other liberal favorites include NPR, Washington Post, Yahoo!, Google, LA Times, and The New York Times. The Washington Post’s circulation dropped another 6.5%, including print and web media, from 2012 to 2013. More extreme liberals go for MSNBC, Politico, The Daily Beast, BuzzFeed, Mother Jones, and Huffington Post. The far extreme left chooses Salon, Move On, Crooks and Liars, The Democratic Underground, The Onion, Think Progress, The New Republic, Planned Parenthood, Michael Moore, World Socialist, and ACLU.
Conservatives like FOX, The National Review, Atlantic Monthly, New York Post, NewsMax, CNS News and The Hill. Other conservative favorites include The Washington Times, Washington Inquirer, Breitbart, Town Hall, The Daily Caller and CNN. Farther right readers and viewers favor The Blaze, Washington Examiner, American Thinker, Red State, News Busters, Right Wing News, Free Republic, American Spectator, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, and Catholic Edition. Even farther right wingers go to Ricochet, Conservative News and Views, Washington Free Beacon, Soldier of Fortune, and America’s Survival.
The best middle-of-the road nonpartisan site is Project Vote Smart. They have thousands of conservative and liberal citizens working together researching the records and background of political candidates and elected officials. Numerous hours are spent gathering campaign contributions, voting records, public statements, biographical information and work histories. Project Vote Smart also offers assessments of each politician produced by over 100 contending special interest groups.
Voting Americans, for the most part, are not single-issue supporters. Surveys and research conclude the majority are more center-right than center-left. Most say they are more content and prefer to spend their money the way they want to, rather than have the government distribute and spend it by mandate and politics.