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Conservative Media Bubble

Conor Friedersdorf explains “How Conservative Media Lost to the MSM and Failed the Rank and File.”

Before rank-and-file conservatives ask, “What went wrong?”, they should ask themselves a question every bit as important: “Why were we the last to realize that things were going wrong for us?”

Barack Obama just trounced a Republican opponent for the second time. But unlike four years ago, when most conservatives saw it coming, Tuesday’s result was, for them, an unpleasant surprise. So many on the right had predicted a Mitt Romney victory, or even a blowout — Dick Morris, George Will, and Michael Barone all predicted the GOP would break 300 electoral votes. Joe Scarborough scoffed at the notion that the election was anything other than a toss-up. Peggy Noonan insisted that those predicting an Obama victory were ignoring the world around them. Even Karl Rove, supposed political genius, missed the bulls-eye. These voices drove the coverage on Fox News, talk radio, the Drudge Report, and conservative blogs.

Those audiences were misinformed.

Outside the conservative media, the narrative was completely different. Its driving force was Nate Silver, whose performance forecasting Election ’08 gave him credibility as he daily explained why his model showed that President Obama enjoyed a very good chance of being reelected. Other experts echoed his findings. Readers of The New York TimesThe Atlantic, and other “mainstream media” sites besides knew the expert predictions, which have been largely born out. The conclusions of experts are not sacrosanct. But Silver’s expertise was always a better bet than relying on ideological hacks like Morris or the anecdotal impressions of Noonan.

This is largely right, although I’d issue two minor caveats.

First, Scarborough has been an outstanding analyst of the race from the outset, correctly pegging the woes of his party at every turn. But he’s a politico, not an analyst, by trade and he shares that class’ conceit that the campaign and candidates are all that matter. He couldn’t buy into Nate Silver’s notion that there was a 76% chance of Barack Obama winning a race that Gallup told him was too close to call. That’s worlds apart from the yahoos “predicting” a Romney landslide in the Electoral College.

Second, I’m skeptical of the degree to which the average liberal was a Nate Silver acolyte. Yes, liberals are more likely to read the Times and Silver than conservatives; but  FiveThirtyEight was and will remain a site for political nerds, not the masses.

But, again, Conor’s larger point is right and important. The film critic Pauline Kael has been widely misquoted as having said “How can Nixon have won? No one I knew voted for him.” Sadly, too many conservatives live in that sort of bubble. If you’re a white Southerner who  gets most of his information from Fox News, the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, and National Review Online you probably don’t know a lot of people who voted for Barack Obama.

At the top of the post is a screencap of the Drudge Report at mid-afternoon. Aside from leading with a graphic suggesting that the stock market is tanking on the news of Obama’s re-election—which, of course, Wall Street had long expected and, in any case, the market has been going gangbusters the last four years–are stories headlined:

LIMBAUGH: ‘I went to bed last night thinking we lost the country’…

SAVAGE: ‘Our society is being turned into a sort of prison camp’…

OBAMA WINS 39% OF WHITES…

THE DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA…

Romney Appeals for End of Partisan Bickering…

Fails to match McCain ’08 total as turnout drops by 14 million…

HURT: NO HOPE OF CHANGE…

Chris Matthews: ‘I’m so glad we had that storm last week’…

Christie lashes out at ‘know-nothing disgruntled Romney staffers’…

FOXNEWS: How Media Tipped Scales in Obama’s Favor…

CNBC: Too Few ‘Angry White Guys?’

May Levy Carbon Tax to Cut U.S. Deficit…

HARRY REID MOVES TO LIMIT OPPOSITION IN SENATE…

Claims mandate to raise taxes…

THE MORNING AFTER: No easy answers to gridlock…

DC Dysfunctional…

MUSLIM BROS: Obama Needs To ‘Accept The Will Of The Arab People’…

ISRAELI OFFICIAL: ‘WE WILL NOT CAPITULATE BEFORE OBAMA’…

Detroiters Elect 8-Time Ex-Con As State Rep…

REUTERS: ‘Victory puts Obama in position to expand government’s reach’…

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. wins re-election — from Mayo Clinic!

Gay Marriage Makes Gains in States…

No wonder you  think Obama is a secret Muslim born in Kenya and sits around hating America while palling around with his terrorist friends.  Of course you can’t fathom that he’d be re-elected. I mean: Benghazi!

Now, of course, George Will*, Karl Rove, Dick Morris and others don’t live in a media bubble. Yes, they may be old school horserace analysts and dubious of advanced metrics like Silver’s. But they were fully aware of the polling data and chose to discount it, either out of sheer wishful thinking, hackery, or something else.  Many of their viewers, though, likely bought what they were selling quite easily because of Pauline Kaelism.

________________
*I should note that I didn’t get around to watching the “This Week” roundtable Sunday and mistakenly understood that Will predicted an Obama landslide but with Romney winning some states that it would have made no sense for him to win.  What’s odd is that Will correctly predicted an Obama landslide in 2008, so it’s not like this is his default position.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    I liked Morning Joe for most of the year, but at some point Scarborough got too much in harness for the race, and after saying “you’re lying” to the tv once or twice, I stopped watching. Maybe now I can go back.

    But certainly yes, I also found the Friedersdorf piece pretty spot on.

    Relatedly, heard on twitter last night something like this “if the numbers kids are right about polls … does this mean they might be right about climate too?” That would be a lol if it wasn’t so sad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  2. john personna says:

    Now, of course, George Will*, Karl Rove, Dick Morris and others don’t live in a media bubble.

    BTW, on this, I’m not so sure. Some of Romney’s campaign errors seemed exactly the sort that would be made by someone inside the bubble. All the ways Benghazi was misplayed reduce to echo chamber thinking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  3. Jr says:

    The fact that conservatives are surprise by this is hilarious to me. This ass-whooping was fairly predictable. I mean we have poll after poll during the spring in summer that showed Latino and African American enthusiasm was at all all-time. The President’s approval ratings hovered around 50% for the last month or two, the President held consistent leads in the swing state poll etc.

    This shouldn’t be a surprise if you live in reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  4. James Joyner says:

    @john personna: @Jr: I gather that the dominant narrative was essentially that 2008 was a fluke in terms of the intensity and demographics of turnout and that the election would be more like 2004. Essentially, they were counting on an electorate that was older and whiter than it was rather than crafting a strategy to appeal to the America that actually exists now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  5. James Joyner says:

    @john personna: One problem with “Morning Joe,” and all of these shows, is that it becomes easy to get overwhelmed by personalities. Joe and Mika genuinely like Paul Ryan, for example, and thought it would translate to the campaign trail. It didn’t happen. Ryan is by all accounts a very bright, charming guy one on one. He came across to too many people as smarty and wet behind the ears.

    It didn’t help, of course, that he came out of the gate getting hammered on The Ryan Plan—which all of us knew he would be—but was under orders not to talk about specifics. That was unsustainable and made him look like an idiot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  6. Facebones says:

    @john personna:

    Some of Romney’s campaign errors seemed exactly the sort that would be made by someone inside the bubble. All the ways Benghazi was misplayed reduce to echo chamber thinking.

    Yep. The assertion at the second debate that Obama never called the Benghazi attacks terrorism was straight out of Ditto-Land. They constant drumbeat of SOLYNDRA SOLYNDRA SOLYNDRA was incomprehensible to anyone who doesn’t watch Fox News 8 hours a day. That “47%” comment was straight out of the Grover Nordquist handbook. Those are the issues the Drudge Report considered home runs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  7. MM says:

    The fact that conservatives are surprise by this is hilarious to me. This ass-whooping was fairly predictable. I mean we have poll after poll during the spring in summer that showed Latino and African American enthusiasm was at all all-time. The President’s approval ratings hovered around 50% for the last month or two, the President held consistent leads in the swing state poll etc.

    I think the Pauline Kael quote is not far off the mark. I live in a swing state that Obama won (CO), and I work with a lot of middle-class and upper middle-class white men in their 40s, 50s and 60s. They were convinced that Romney would win. He had so many street signs (way more than Obama) and everyone they knew (especially their kids, who had fallen for hope and change) were ready to vote Romney. Sure there are Obama signs in Denver and Boulder, but not where the real people live.

    It’s just impossible for them to see the world like a minority (a real one, not the superdestroyer caricature) or a woman or someone who isn’t already pretty well off, so the fact that Obama isn’t being run out of town on a rail just baffles them

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  8. mattb says:

    Conservative media has sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind.

    It’s made a lot of people rich. But given that it’s a commercial enterprise, the entire project is based around capturing and maintaining an audience. That ultimately — especially in talk radio and other audience participation mediums — puts the audience in control. And if these people want to keep raking in the bucks, they need to keep their audience happy.

    So actually challenging the views of the audience — really going head to head with them — is counter productive (especially to the degree that not only are these people listeners, but they’re also the ones who are buying the broadcaster’s books and other specialty products).

    The net result ends up being a dumbing down of the audience.

    What’s great about OTB — as an example — is how you and the others here embrace traditional conservative forms of thought to challenge mainstream conservative and liberal positions. But sadly, for those folks who are deeply invested in sources like Drudge and Limbaugh, that thoughtful challenging is just another sign of how this has become another Liberal site.

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  9. Rob in CT says:

    Heh, nice screenshot of Drudge. Stock market has a bad day? OWN IT. Stock market doubles over the course of a term? Um, er, look over there.

    It’s obvious garbage. But people consume it readily, and grifters gonna grift.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  10. David M says:

    @James Joyner:

    [Ryan] came out of the gate getting hammered on The Ryan Plan—which all of us knew he would be—but was under orders not to talk about specifics. That was unsustainable and made him look like an idiot.

    The Romney campaign made some decisions that seemed odd to me, and that was right up there with the worst of them. Trying to separate Ryan from the Ryan plan makes no sense. Even picking Ryan seems odd unless they were kidding themselves about how quickly the plan would be attacked.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  11. john personna says:

    @James Joyner:

    I believe Joe picked up “Obama took $700 million out of Medicare” one morning. That’s probably when I signed off for the cycle.

    That was really one of the most craven things in the campaign cycle. We need cost control in Medicare. We all know we need cost control. And yet cost control for equivalent services was cynically painted as a reduction in funding.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  12. C. Clavin says:

    Speaking of the bubble…where’s Jan???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  13. Geek, Esq. says:

    The problem is that the conservative movement/Republican party has become one of white nationalism.

    Bill O’Reilly’s reaction to the election was essentially “I guess those mooching brown people will turn out to vote so they can leech off of us hardworking job creating white people.”

    The Republican base does not have black neighbors. Or Latino co-workers. Or openly GLBT members of their congregations on Sunday.

    They essentially agree with Romney’s 47% comments. They believe that there’s real (i.e. white Christian heterosexual conservative) America and then there’s the welfare queens, gangsta thugs, illegal immigrants, sexual deviants, atheists, and Islamists who want to destroy that real America.

    This goes beyond the media. It goes to the heart of a sociopolitical movement whose foundation is white identity.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  14. Jr says:

    @David M: Yeah, the Ryan pick made no sense. I have said from the start he should have picked Rubio. If I am not mistaken, Obama did well with young Cubans. Rubio could have at least helped him there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. Rob in CT says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Yes, the 47% thing is absolutely mainstream Republican thought. Makers vs. Takers.

    It would be comical, if it wasn’t so sad. Supply-side (trickle down, faith-based) economics failed to bring broad-based prosperity to people. Republican response: blame those people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  16. That ultimately — especially in talk radio and other audience participation mediums — puts the audience in control.

    In talk radio, the audience isn’t in control; the advertisers are. Our local talk station (WPHT) has over the past two years dropped Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck, replacing them with generally more moderate local hosts because the advertisers were losing interest in having their businessess associated with crazy people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  17. Blue Shark says:

    Those audiences were misinformed.

    …Have been, still are, and will be in the future cough* climate change, evolution *cough.

    …What is that half of the country gonna do about it?

    …Probably double down on obstruction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  18. Scott says:

    If you’re a white Southerner who gets most of his information from Fox News, the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, and National Review Online you probably don’t know a lot of people who voted for Barack Obama.

    The problem is (and not just restricted to white Southerners) is that just reaching out to neighbors who are different from you and acknowledging their existence who bring you into contact with people who voted for Barack Obama. The atomization of our societies are contributing to this problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  19. lakas says:

    So you have an article talking about what you assume Conservative Voters think while being ignorant to what Conservative Voters think…I am surprised you didnt mention abortion or gay marriage. Maybe throw in a few famous racists words you assume are used.

    And this site is called “Outside the Beltway?”

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 20

  20. michael reynolds says:

    Let’s establish this now and for the foreseeable future: liberals are simply more honest than conservatives.

    “Our” media is a more honest. “Our” polls are more honest. (DailyKos had far more reliable polling than Rasmussen.) When it came to calling winners and losers in the debates, we were more honest. In the comments here at OTB it’s the liberals who supply data, it’s the liberals who admit errors, it’s the liberals who show intellectual integrity.

    Our candidate was also more honest. No one is claiming 100% on that, but Mitt Romney broke new ground in the art of denying reality and simple, naked, unquestionable dishonesty.

    There is no “both sides do it,” when it comes to reality. There is the fact that we at least make an effort to be honest and find the truth, and there’s the fact that conservatives lie – to us, to each other, and ultimately to themselves.

    There’s a reason for this. Conservatives believe a bunch of bullsh!t and they need to be willing to lie, and to be lied to, in order to go on believing that bullsh!t.

    Again: not a case of both sides. A case of one side, and one side only.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 52 Thumb down 2

  21. David M says:

    @lakas:

    So you have an article talking about what you assume Conservative Voters think while being ignorant to what Conservative Voters think…I am surprised you didnt mention abortion or gay marriage. Maybe throw in a few famous racists words you assume are used.

    Please proceed, Governor.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  22. Rob in CT says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    You know, that gives me some hope! Thanks for relaying that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. Just Me says:

    “Our” media is a more honest.

    I actually call BS on this.

    The mainstream media, which is your media is so soft on this president that he doesn’t have to worry about facing any tough media.

    I don’t spend any time watching TV news (mostly I think the media filters for me what it wants me to hear so I tend to read my local paper, and various online sources and stories). But I think this media won’t ever hold Obama to a standard they held Bush or Clinton or pretty much anyone of any party.

    Our candidate was also more honest. No one is claiming 100% on that, but Mitt Romney broke new ground in the art of denying reality and simple, naked, unquestionable dishonesty.

    Your candidate lied for two weeks-lied about something that happened under his watch, and if you believe he didn’t lie then he is incompetent. Whether you believe Benghazi was excusable and Obama hold no culpability for what happened, it is clear at this point he lied about it for two weeks.

    Also, my comments on this election all along have been “I think it will be close and Obama has te edge, because he can afford to lose more battleground states than Romney can.” I certainly wanted my candidate to win, but I always viewed it as a long shot.

    Not all republicans were convinced of a Romney blow out or even a narrow victory. I do think a lot of them were caught up in the echo chamber, but echo chambers aren’t limited to the GOP. The left has its own echo chamber and one only needs to look back at the Bush years to see that.

    Probably easier to avoid the pure echo chamber when your party is the one in power.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 25

  24. C. Clavin says:

    “…it is clear at this point he lied about it for two weeks…”

    Well, actually…no…not if you look at any of the timelines.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  25. C. Clavin says:

    “…The left has its own echo chamber and one only needs to look back at the Bush years to see that….”

    Give me an example?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  26. michael reynolds says:

    @Just Me:

    No, you don’t get it. You want to believe we have the same echo chamber: we don’t. The New York Times, NPR and rest of the dreaded mainstream media, are not the equivalent of Fox News or Rush Limbaugh. Even MSNBC is not the equivalent of Fox News.

    After the first debate every one of our media called it a disastrous loss for Mr. Obama. Inconceivable in your media. Inconceivable that your media would face truth that way or report truth that way.

    Last night Fox News took its orders from Karl Rove – a Romney PAC operator – and sent their reporter racing down the hall to second-guess their own statistical team because that PAC operator told them to. That’s your media. Our media got it right.

    You are lied to by your media. Lied to. Deliberately, maliciously manipulated into believing things which are not true.

    It is time to take the red pill.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 49 Thumb down 2

  27. David M says:

    @Just Me:

    Your candidate lied for two weeks-lied about something that happened under his watch, and if you believe he didn’t lie then he is incompetent. Whether you believe Benghazi was excusable and Obama hold no culpability for what happened, it is clear at this point he lied about it for two weeks.

    This is pretty much what michael reynolds was talking about. Fox News and conservatives have been pushing nonsense about Benghazi for weeks, but it’s the president who’s been lying.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  28. Just Me says:

    David that makes the point that the MSM is being soft on Obama.

    Also, have you bothered to actually read any of the released statements that have shown up in the media from the CIA or State (we still don’t have any idea what Obama was doing during the timeline).

    But what has been released from the administration (and the CIA is part of the executive) basically is an admission that they knew from the beginning it was terrorism and not a protest to a video.

    The president lied for two weeks. I knew the next day, because I read new sources reporting that the Libyans were saying it was terrorism.

    This media won’t hold Obama accountable for anything he does. When was his last honest to goodness press conference, were he actually took questions?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 17

  29. mantis says:

    @Just Me:

    The president lied for two weeks.

    No, but you sure keep lying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  30. Geek, Esq. says:

    @Just Me:

    Perhaps you haven’t figured this out, but the vast majority of Americans simply do not give a f@ck when Obama decided to label that attack terrorism, or an act of terror, etc. They–unlike Team Fox News–understand that nuances and confusion and subtleties are all wrapped up in this kind of story.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  31. David M says:

    @Just Me:

    Being terrorism and a reaction to a the video aren’t mutually exclusive. And no one cares how soon the president started calling it terrorism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  32. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: ““Our” media is a more honest. “Our” polls are more honest. (DailyKos had far more reliable polling than Rasmussen.) ”

    In fact, when Kos discovered that his original poster was skewing results to tell DK readers what they wanted to hear, Kos fired him. Can’t see that happening on the other side…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  33. wr says:

    @Geek, Esq.: It’s not just that non-Fox viewers don’t care when Obama called this a terror attack, it’s that it purely and simply doesn’t matter. If Obama didn’t lay out the whole story right away, what possible difference could that make in the lives of any American who doesn’t have relatives who were there? This was an intelligence station, God knows what sorts of sensitive issues were involved. (You might remember that crusader for truth Issa actually released the name of a Libyan civillian secretly helping us out, because that life isn’t as important as Issa’s headlines.) Why do we need to know everything right away? How does this help us make an informed decison about, well, anything?

    This isn’t Iran-Contra or Watergate or Plamegate or anything like that — because the only complaint here is that the president did not tell the American people the entire truth as events were happening in real time. Righties like to call this a cover-up, but they can never point to anything that’s being covered. In all those other scandals, there was an underlying crime that was being hidden. Here, it is simply the rate of dissemination of information that’s such a scandal it will bring down the president.

    And that’s why this ludicrous nothing of a story will continue to blaze in the right wing imagination and go nowhere in the real world.

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  34. Andre Kenji says:

    Sharyl Atkisson from CBS was the first to report on Fast and Furious. She also reported about a dozen of “green companies” that got stimulus money and that went burst and about safety issues in Benghazi. It´s was CNN that uncovered ambassador Stevens personal journal. Lara Logan from CBS is a tough critic of the Administration´s policy on Afghanistan. The NYT reported the “kill list” from Obama, NBC reported about expenses abuses at GAO. Savannah Guthrie on the Today Show provided the following dialogue with Robert gibbs:

    “MS. GUTHRIE: Before I let you go, Robert, as you well know in 2008, the president campaigned on a slogan of “change we can believe in.” Here was the president a few weeks ago in Chicago.

    (Videotape, August 3, 2011)

    PRES. OBAMA: When I said change we can believe in, I didn’t say we could believe in tomorrow, not change we can believe in next week.

    (End videotape)

    MS. GUTHRIE: Robert, is the president suggesting Americans should have read the fine print on his promise? What’s the 2012 slogan going to be?”

    Only someone that does not follow the news can say that the mainstream media is soft on Obama.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  35. Lakas says:

    @David M:
    Next thing you know you will ask Candy Crowley for an assist…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  36. rudderpedals says:

    I know why this all seems so familiar. It’s the bitch slap (dumpsters full of insipid complaints, every day) that was awfully effective hobbling Clinton’s admin. but it isn’t effective anymore. Why doesn’t it work anymore? The Balkans as Benghazi, Issa as Dan Burton, Dana Rohrbacher as himself, delicious latkes, it’s like a 90s themed costume party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  37. Tsar Nicholas says:

    It’s a function of demographics and experience, or lack thereof. Journalism degrees are not exactly the most utilitarian of pursuits. Pontificating about stuff is not the same as doing stuff.

    For specific people it’s also a function of their own limitations. Limbaugh is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Drudge is not exactly a rocket scientist. Sean Hannity never would be confused for a licensed and experienced professional. So on, so forth.

    Think of it this way: assume two people are identical ages, the same sex and earn roughly the same incomes. One is a journalist who works for Fox News and lives in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, and frequents cocktail parties in SoHo. The other is a project manager for a design and construction firm and lives in Downtown San Antonio, Texas, and frequents dive bars. From whom would you expect to obtain a better read on how other people might think and act? It won’t be the journalist, that’s for certain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  38. mattb says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    In talk radio, the audience isn’t in control; the advertisers are.

    Advertisers make decisions based on the (perceived) audience size. And the fact is, especially with the emergence of new forms of distribution, there will always be advertisers willing to pay.

    This is the model that Glenn Beck, in particular, has pushed over the last few years. The entire move to GBTV and the launch of The Blaze is entirely about controlling advertiser access to the audience.

    Beyond all of that, the programs really make their money on national ads and on the other — non radio — material they produce. There’s a reason that every radio personality is constantly releasing books (for example).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Kindly explain why a trained observer – journalist – living in the northeast would know less about “other people” than some random guy in San Antonio? People in dive bars are real and people in Saddle River aren’t? Just not getting it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  40. mattb says:

    @Andre Kenji:
    Also, a few days ago, Andrew Sullivan pointed to a Pew report that broke down the coverage for most of the last two months of the Presidential Race. The top line was that the majority of coverage both candidates received was *negative*.

    Both Obama and Romney received overwhelmingly negative treatment in the press over the general election, according to Pew. [Averages from] Aug. 27 to Oct. 21, a period that encompassed both conventions and three out of four debates, just 19 percent of stories about Obama were “favorable” in tone versus 30 percent that were “unfavorable. For Romney the ratio was 15 percent favorable to 38 percent unfavorable.

    http://www.journalism.org/analysis_report/winning_media_campaign_2012

    In fact, by the end of that period, the number of negative stories about Romney were in decline. At that point, 10% more negative stories were being published about Obama than Romney.

    But the thing is, our attention is shaped and filtered by our ideological beliefs — so if someone is a Republican, it’s very likely that they unintentionally miss many of the negative stories on Obama. Likewise Democrats are far more likely to fixate on those negative stories while wondering why no one’s covering all the Republican’s lies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. mattb says:

    @michael reynolds:
    The real answer is that neither is probably going to have a good handle on “other people” beyond the folks that they interact with. And those interactions are going to be somewhat specific to the location that they are in.

    You can’t walk into a dive bar in Toledo and expect to leave with some special insight on the plight of the common man in Beverton OR. That’s the bullshit fantasy of Friedman’s magic cabbies.

    The way to understand people — as you’ve pointed out Michael — is to (a) interact with a lot of them, across multiple classes, in multiple situations, (b) to ask questions and actually shut up and listen to what they say, and (c) to have enough imagination and discipline to actually try and understand their perspective (warts and all).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  42. An Interested Party says:

    The mainstream media, which is your media is so soft on this president that he doesn’t have to worry about facing any tough media.

    This is hilarious coming from the same person who is also talking about echo chambers…there must not be any mirrors in this person’s home…

    Next thing you know you will ask Candy Crowley for an assist…..

    God forbid that a news reporter should actually admit the truth! The horror! Get yourself to a fainting couch immediately!

    From whom would you expect to obtain a better read on how other people might think and act? It won’t be the journalist, that’s for certain.

    Well, certainly either person would give a better read than you do…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  43. stonetools says:

    Anyone who thinks the lefty media has been totally uncritical of Obama hasn’t been reading the left wing media . Glenn Greenwald has been critical of Obama’s drone policy since about day two of the Administration, and he has not been alone. Even last month, there was a lively discussion among lefty blogs about whether they could support Obama for re-election despite the drone war.
    On health care, Firedoglake and Ed Schultz lambasted the Administration for selling out. Jane Hamsher described the final bill as a “sh!t sandwich” and exhorted the House Democrats to “kill the bill.” Cenk Ugyur of the Young Turks has repeatedly blasted Obama for being too soft on Wall Street. And who can forget Chris Matthews’ and Andrew Sullivan’s freakout over Obama’s first debate performance.
    Compare that to the cheer-leading of Romney by the right wing media . I’d say that the left wing media has been much more critical of Obama overall.

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  44. Andre Kenji says:

    @mattb:

    But the thing is, our attention is shaped and filtered by our ideological beliefs — so if someone is a Republican, it’s very likely that they unintentionally miss many of the negative stories on Obama.

    I think that there is a cultural factor. In fact, Movement Conservatives do not read or watch the so called Mainstream Media. CBS promoted Jan Crawford, a reporter friendly to Conservatives, as one of their main political correspondents, Lara Logan is one of their stars and they don´t care. CBS aired for months reports about Fast and Furious, and conservatives ignored it. They only began to care when Fox began talking about the issue.

    Their idea of “news” is Fox: no international coverage, nothing too much complex, nothing about complicated issues and a lot of blondes. Their problem with the so called mainstream media is more than bias: it´s that´s too complicated and too boring.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  45. michael reynolds says:

    @mattb:

    So I think what we’re both saying is that a dive bar isn’t enough, nor is a cocktail party. There must be tony bars, hotel bars, fashion bars, singles bars, gay bars, pubs, vodka bars and tequila bars, ice bars, working class bars, cop bars. . .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  46. mattb says:

    @michael reynolds: Hence why Journalists, Novelists, Politicians, Playwrites, and Anthropologists (and other Humanities and Social Science researchers) tend to be raging alcoholics

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  47. al-Ameda says:

    @Just Me:

    Your candidate lied for two weeks-lied about something that happened under his watch, and if you believe he didn’t lie then he is incompetent. Whether you believe Benghazi was excusable and Obama hold no culpability for what happened, it is clear at this point he lied about it for two weeks.

    What did he lie about?

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  48. anjin-san says:

    They were convinced that Romney would win.

    I am in Arizona on business this week, had fun collecting my winnings on bets placed on the election yesterday. I took it easy on these guys – $20 limit. They were all absolutely, totally convinced the “worst President in history” was going to be crushed & I could have easily gotten much higher stakes. No one was impressed by my argument that the electoral map was very Obama friendly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  49. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    They were all absolutely, totally convinced the “worst President in history” was going to be crushed & I could have easily gotten much higher stakes.

    Jeez, you must have been around my family – most of my brothers and sisters were completely convinced that Romney was surging to an easy victory. They listen to conservative media for all their news and they adopted the message (“skewed polls” “worst president” “blames Bush”) whole. They are shell shocked today, they can’t believe that Romney lost.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  50. jukeboxgrad says:

    DailyKos had far more reliable polling than Rasmussen

    Speaking of DailyKos: before he worked for NYT, Nate posted his stuff at DailyKos. I think this is a reason why the outrage against him was so keen. Both of those places are radioactive, but the latter is truly the mark of the beast.

    The cognitive dissonance was just too much to bear. Kos is where you supposedly find frothing moonbats who worship Cindy Sheehan and Ward Churchill. This is where NYT went to find a serious polling analyst? Preposterous. Nothing he says could possibly be correct.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  51. Herb says:

    @Just Me:

    “The president lied for two weeks. I knew the next day, because I read new sources reporting that the Libyans were saying it was terrorism.”

    I thought we already established in another thread –you, me, and Jenos– that when you say “the president lied for two weeks,” you meant to say “the president did not divulge classified information about a covert intelligence operation to the news media.”

    If you continue to push the “he lied for two weeks” crap, we’ll just assume you’re not only misinformed, but also dishonest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  52. superdestroyer says:

    @MM:

    Realist were not surprised that Obama won. However, aren’t progressives refusing to think about the future based upon the demographic trends of the U.S. Aren’t progressives refusing to contemplate how the U.S. will function in the future. Progressives just claim that all of the new immigrants will become just like everyone else and that everyone will be happy paying high taxes and dealing with a massive government.

    Even the conservatives refuse to think about the changing demographics of the U.S. and keep repeating stupid tropes such as Hispanics are actually conservatives when every data point shows they are not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  53. Whitfield says:

    I am a white Southerner and usually vote Democrat. Most of my family and friends also vote the Democrat party. I am old enough to remember when the voting registrars in many counties did not even have a Republican registration book! Contrary to most beliefs, Democrats have not switched to Republican in huge numbers. Some, a very few, Congressmen and Senators switched. But those seemed to get all the publicity, such as Senator Strom! Southern leaders such as Russell, Long, Eastland, Ervin, Hollings: they did not switch. It is bad that so many people have an unfavorable image and opinion of the Southern Democrat leaders of the past, a view shaped largely by news media propaganda!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  54. bill says:

    i know more democrats that can quote what was on fox news on any given day- it’s like the “howard stern enigma” , the haters can’t get enough of them!
    drudges lead today is the protests in mississippi, not a very white friendly story- not much of a story either way as there’s no violence.

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  55. john personna says:

    @bill:

    Daily Show and Colbert give us the funniest bits from Fox.

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  56. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: I thought we already established in another thread –you, me, and Jenos– that when you say “the president lied for two weeks,” you meant to say “the president did not divulge classified information about a covert intelligence operation to the news media.”

    If you continue to push the “he lied for two weeks” crap, we’ll just assume you’re not only misinformed, but also dishonest.

    No, you think wrong. Obama and his people spent two weeks pushing a false story, to the point of tracking down the YouTube’s creator and throwing him in jail. There’s a difference between “not divulging classified information” and “spreading misinformation.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  57. jukeboxgrad says:

    tracking down the YouTube’s creator

    He was found by the press, not by the government. Your statement is bullshit for various other reasons, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  58. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Let’s establish this now and for the foreseeable future: liberals are simply more honest than conservatives. “Our” media is a more honest.

    I’ve praised your honesty before (you’e totally up-front about being a hate-monger), and I’m not going to call you a liar here. But you are so totally wrong here.

    Your media is more honest?

    “Your media” (CNN) spent years covering up Saddam Hussein’s atrocities in Iraq.

    “Your media” (NYT) fabricated a story about John McCain having an affair with a lobbyist.

    “Your media” (CBS) pushed the hell out of the obviously fake Texas Air National Guard memos.

    “Your media’ (Newsweek) fabricated a story about a Koran being flushed down a toilet that led to fatal riots worldwide.

    “Your media” (CBS again) sat on an Obama interview where he lied about Benghazi from just after the attack until just before the election — almost two months.

    “Your media” (too many to mention) kept quoting Mitt Romney’s “let GM go bankrupt” without mentioning that GM DID go bankrupt — but Obama’s way, where his supporters got protected while others (bond-holders, non-union workers, etc.) got screwed over in direct contravention with existing bankruptcy law.

    “Your media” bent over backwards to ignore Fast & Furious and the Benghazi attack as best they could.

    “Your media” pushed like hell to blame the Gabby Giffords shooting on Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

    “Your media” (the LA Times) has a video of Obama speaking at an event for Rashid Khalidi, and refuses to release it.

    “Your media” went full-bore for every bit of dirt they could find on Republicans like John McCain and Sarah Palin, but did all they could to avoid discovering that John Edwards was nailing a campaign staffer and fathering a child with her.

    Let’s take that a bit further — “your media” kept repeating the lie that Newt Gingrich had served his wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital with cancer (some even saying “dying of cancer” — which was news to the first former Mrs. Gingrich, but would not touch the John Edwards story no matter what. It took the National Enquirer cornering Edwards in a bathroom and publishing pictures of him with his denied daughter to break that wall of silence.

    And that’s just a few examples. I can pull up many, many, many more.

    “Your media” is more honest? While I’m sure you sincerely believe that, it’s total bullshit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  59. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Obama and his people spent two weeks pushing a false story, to the point of tracking down the YouTube’s creator and throwing him in jail.”

    Close….but wildly distorted.

    “Obama and his people” spent months concealing classified information until the wingnuts started “investigating” and the thing devolved into a CYA leak fest that is still playing out.

    Rinky dink youtube man, meanwhile, is getting busted because he’s a con and a parolee and he has agreed to refrain from certain behaviors as long as the state has their talons in him. The state of California.

    He’s going to jail for a year by the way. Tell me…are the signs going to say “Free Sam Bacile?” Or “Free Nakoula Bassley?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  60. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: Nobody said Nakoula didn’t deserve to be in jail. But to be spotlighted by the federal government before the world, when we KNOW that “pissing off Muslims” is a quick way to get killed, was way more than was called for over a stupid parole violation.

    And just what are we keeping secret, and from who? Metaphorically, you’re talking about the air raid defenses around Honolulu the day after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

    (Forget it. I’m rolling.)

    Anyway, the bad guys already won. The only thing left to cover up is the details of how badly the Obama administration screwed the pooch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  61. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Anyway, the bad guys already won. ”

    Sorry, little Jay, but you are wrong again. The bad guys lost. Maybe you missed the news on Wednesday morning while you were googling for naked pictures of Marina Sirtis, but the chief bad guy lost by a hundred electoral votes, and all the junior bad guys going for the senate had their asses handed to them… mostly by women.

    As always, you are on the losing side. Which is actually spectacularly appropriate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  62. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    And that’s just a few examples. I can pull up many, many, many more.

    I’m sure you can. That’s because you’re picking so many that are deeply stupid. For example:

    “Your media” (the LA Times) has a video of Obama speaking at an event for Rashid Khalidi, and refuses to release it.

    You’re joking, right? McCain’s support for Khalidi is documented here. You probably didn’t know much about McCain’s history of “palling around with terrorists.” More about Khalidi here (where he is praised by a major Zionist).

    I love the way you regurgitate all sorts of ancient wingnut crap that was pathetically lame even when it was fresh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  63. James Joyner says:

    @wr: I await the influx of traffic from Google searches for “naked pictures of Marina Sirtis”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  64. jukeboxgrad says:

    Isn’t it enough that someone already mentioned “naked pictures of Marina Sirtis?” You just mentioned “naked pictures of Marina Sirtis” again because you figured that if “naked pictures of Marina Sirtis” appeared in the thread again (instead of that just that one original instance of “naked pictures of Marina Sirtis”) it would be good for traffic, on account of people who are searching for “naked pictures of Marina Sirtis.”

    Of course the funny thing about “naked pictures of Marina Sirtis” is that I never even heard of her before. Not that it matters much, because I’m not the kind of person who would be interested in spending time looking for “naked pictures of Marina Sirtis.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  65. James Joyner says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Well, Marina Sirtis is 57 now. I’m guessing far fewer people are looking for naked pictures of her than they were 25 years ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  66. wr says:

    @James Joyner: My gift to you! (Plus I couldn’t remember Denise Crosby’s name…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  67. bill says:

    @john personna: is that how they get better ratings than msnbc!?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  68. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: You are a classic self-fulfilling prophesy. When I said “the bad guys already won,” I was referring to the terrorists who pulled off the attack in Benghazi — killing the highest-ranking American we’ve lost since… oh, lord, at least the 1980s. And by “they won,” I mean they got the Ambassador and looted the hell out of the Consulate, compromising anything we might have had there.

    But in your tiny little partisan brain, you only think in terms of Left and Right and domestic politics. So you ignore the terrorists, who are far less a threat than conservatives in your tiny little mind.

    You really are pathetic beyond belief. No wonder you’re so popular here.

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  69. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    ” I was referring to the terrorists who pulled off the attack in Benghazi — killing the highest-ranking American we’ve lost since… oh, lord, at least the 1980s. And by “they won,””

    The attack was successful, no doubt….but I don’t think we should say “they won.”

    I’m sure the CIA is mounting their very own “Operation Wrath of God” right now and you won’t read it in the papers.

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  70. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: We agree that the bad guys won this battle, Herb… but I don’t have your faith about reprisal.

    The people who would carry it out are the brothers and sisters in arms of those we abandoned in Benghazi… of those unwillingly shoved into the limelight after the Bin Laden raid… of those threatened with criminal prosecution after their efforts in the Bush administration…

    Loyalty must needs be a two-way street, and Obama simply hasn’t shown much loyalty down the chain of command. Say what you want about Bush, the military had tremendous respect and affection for him, because they knew he cared and respected them deeply. With Obama, that’s just not there.

    I’m not saying that there will be open disloyalty or rebellion, but they will be less willing to “go above and beyond” and put themselves at as much risk as they did under Bush — because they don’t believe that Obama will have their back as much.

    Tyrone Woods and Brian Doherty left their safe base in Benghazi and ran towards the gunfire not just to save lives, but because they believed that they wouldn’t be alone — that they would have the backup of the United States.

    They were wrong, and they died still waiting for help.

    That was “not optimal.” That was more than “a bump in the road.”

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  71. Rob in CT says:

    The people who would carry it out are the brothers and sisters in arms of those we abandoned in Benghazi… of those unwillingly shoved into the limelight after the Bin Laden raid… of those threatened with criminal prosecution after their efforts in the Bush administration…

    Loyalty must needs be a two-way street, and Obama simply hasn’t shown much loyalty down the chain of command

    WTF is this hogwash?

    This is more bubble-induced fantasy, Jenos. I feel sorry for you. You actually believe this stuff.

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  72. mattb says:

    Fact checking @Jenos Idanian #13:
    According to the exit polling, at least in Virginia there was no evidence that the Military lacks “respect or affection” for Obama:

    Veterans and active military split their support evenly between the two candidates.
    Virginia
    Veterans and Active Military
    Obama 49%
    Romney 49%

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/07/fox-news-exit-poll-summary/#ixzz2Bl670diQ

    We’ll have a better idea of the military vote in the months to come, but generally speaking, in 2008 Obama received a lot of support from the military. I see little reason to expect that wasn’t the case in 2012.

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