Can the Media Survive Without Half of the Population? A New Poll Raises Questions About the New Media

We have often discussed the increasing bias and advocacy in major media in the United States. While cable networks have long catered to political audiences on the left or right, mainstream newspapers and networks now openly frame news to fit a political narrative. With the exception of Fox and a couple of other smaller news outlets, that slant is heavily to the left. What is most striking about this universal shift toward advocacy journalism (including at journalism schools) is that there is no evidence that it is a sustainable approach for the media as an industry. While outfits like NPR allow reporters to actually participate in protests and the New York Times sheds conservative opinions, the new poll shows a sharp and worrisome division in trust in the media. Not surprisingly given the heavy slant of American media, Democrats are largely happy with and trusting of the media. Conversely, Republicans and independents are not. The question is whether the mainstream media can survive and flourish by writing off over half of the country.

The new study from the non-partisan Pew Research Center shows a massive decline in trust among Republicans. Five years ago, 70 percent of Republicans said they had at least some trust in national news organizations. In 2021, that trust is down to just 35 percent.

Conversely, and not surprisingly, 78 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents saying they have “a lot” or “some” trust in the media. When you just ask liberal Democrats, it jumps to 83 percent.

For those looking for echo-journalism that reaffirms their assumptions, liberals are more likely to realize such confirmation bias on networks and cable programs. For conservatives and others (see below), they are largely limited to looking to Fox News and a couple other sites to get the other side of stories.  This has worked incredibly well for Fox which has rivaled the national networks in some time slots. However, it is not good in the long run for American media, which is jettisoning much of the country in its coverage.  We need healthy and multiple news outlets to give citizens a reliable and trusted body of journalism.

The question is whether news programs can sustain themselves by effectively writing off half of the country. It will require a higher percentage of liberals and Democrats reading and watching these siloed programs.

That does not appear to be the case. Fox News remains the most dominant cable network. (For full disclosure, I appear as a legal analyst on Fox). The recent numbers are staggering.

Fox News Channel (FNC) was rated as holding 94 of the top 100 live telecasts on all of cable TV in August. Fox’s average prime-time audience (2.5 million) is now routinely double MSNBC’s (1.229 million) and triple CNN’s (819,000). In “the demo” of viewers under 55, Fox is also beating the other networks. Thirteen of the top 14 cable-news shows were on FNC.

CNN has dropped in “trust” while Fox has risen.  Moreover, CNN has lost 68 percent of its viewership. While all news outfits are down from the heady days of the impeachments and elections, this is a nose-bleed of a drop for any new organization.  I still have friends working at CNN and I worked with the network for decades.  We need a strong array of news outlets, including different views of stories on opinion programs. This is an industry wide crisis of trust. This poll is bad news for the industry which is based first and foremost on trust.

Moreover, the Pew Research Center released a journalism project entitled How Americans Navigated the News in 2020: A Tumultuous Year in Review  that surprised many in showing that more Democrats were watching Fox than assumed by most commentators. As Forbes reported, “the Fox News viewership actually consists of more than just Trump devotees — that, in fact, there are more Democrats on a regular basis watching Fox than you might expect.”

I have been a columnist for three decades and I have worked for NBC, MSNBC, CBS, BBC, and Fox as a legal analyst.  I have watched with increasing alarm as the media has openly embraced advocacy journalism even in mainstream news reporting. At the same time, we have witnessed the drop in viewership and readership in media outlets overall. Clearly, part of this trend is due to the rise of digital sources and the impact of the Internet. However, fewer people trust the media and the effect of the bias on many programs is to reduce the population of news consumers to roughly half. While national media has always had a liberal slant, the bias is now extreme, obvious, and consistent across platforms. The result is like operating in a country with half of our population by design.

The embrace of advocacy journalism has worked on an individual level for journalists and editors to protect their own positions. However, it could be killing the profession, particularly among non-cable outlets. The fact is that people have become used to echo journalism and it is not likely to change in cable programming (which has always been heavily opinion based in the evenings). Yet, newspapers and outlets like NPR are now openly and consistently biased in coverage from avoiding coverage of some stories to soft-peddling other stories.  While NPR remains a massive news organization, it has also experienced declining numbers.

Cable networks will continue to feature more opinion-based news. However, it is the extent of the bias that has led to a stampede of viewers. Viewers now face virtual blackouts of news like the Hunter Biden laptop story on both cable and network shows. At the same time, social media companies are actively banning opposing views on major news stories. That leaves conservative, independent, and just inquisitive viewers with few options for news. Yet, the alienation from much of the country leaves most media outlets dividing up a smaller and smaller pie of news consumers. The new poll suggests that this is not enough to sustain many of our media platforms which may have to return to the center or face starvation on the edges.

As a law professor, I am particularly concerned that the drop in trust will impact our political system. People simply no longer believe what is being reported on sites like NPR or NYT. The result is that it is more difficult to identify what is false or unsupported.

I have worked in the media for almost three decades and, for the first time, I am uncertain of the future for American media for the next decade if these trends continue. At some point, the media will have to recognize that journalism means little if fewer and fewer people want to read it or watch it.

273 thoughts on “Can the Media Survive Without Half of the Population? A New Poll Raises Questions About the New Media”

  1. Here is a recent example of why I do not trust most of the mainstream media.

    A number of them (MSNBC, Newsweek, The Guardian, RollingStone, among others) reported that some Oklahoma hospitals are so swamped with ivermectin overdoses, that serious injuries (e.g., gunshot victims) are being turned away.

    Rather quickly, the story was proven to be false. But that’s not why I don’t trust them. (Mistakes, after all, are possible.) I don’t trust them because of their utterly non-objective *method* of reporting — a method that will stay with them long after this story is archived.

    The essence of that non-objective method is: Broadcast a story that we *wish* to be true. Don’t fact check. Don’t ask: Is this true? Take as gospel what someone else reported, who took as gospel what another person reported, who . . .

    There are four elements of that non-objective method at play in this hospital hoax:

    1) The media cited an Oklahoma doctor for the ivermectin-overdose claim. Yet they didn’t bother to fact check his claim. And as it turns out, he doesn’t work for the hospital in question, and has no access to the hospitals’ records.

    2) Some of the media outlets ran a picture, showing long lines of people waiting outside an Oklahoma ER — with the obvious implication: “See, stupid people taking ivermectin are clogging up Oklahoma ER’s.” The only problem is that the people in the picture are wearing long, winter overcoats. (It’s Oklahoma — in the summer! How can you not fact check a picture that is staring you in the face?!)

    3) They cited as their “source” other media outlets — without checking first-hand whether that outlet’s story was accurate.

    4) The media didn’t bother to check with the hospitals. When someone finally did, the entire story was revealed as a hoax.

    That they believe “wishing makes it so” is why I don’t trust them.

  2. “The fact is that people have become used to echo journalism”

    I haven’t. Nor do I plan to. I watch none of it. NONE. ..nada…zero.

    But I am encouraged Professor, to read this article tonight. It’s slanted towards your current employer of course, and phrased carefully to maintain that slant even where it’s not applicable, but the overall message is loud and clear and somewhat bold being who you work for.

    The one thing it lacks is a strategy to relieve the situation. Also I’ll admit its sort of hard to tell whether you are disturbed over the idea of political bias and echo journalism in media or that you might lose viewers. I trust its not the latter, and don’t believe it is. But it could be written a bit more clear in denouncing one sided journalism entirely, regardless of the side its coming from.

    That being said I understand the delicate nature of writing too clearly in a light that might not favor ones employer. And the ultimate message is clear. One sided journalism catering to a political party regardless of which “side” it slants towards is a bad thing for America, American journalism and the people who read it.

    So its a good start, and I’ll take it. Thanks for writing this tonight Professor.

    1. Follow up to my comment Professor, with regards to a strategy to relieve the situation. You say the answer to bad speech is more speech. The right speech. So it follows the answer to bad journalism, echo journalism as you call it, is more journalism. Better journalism. Not joining one side or the other of the bad journalism. Both sides are equally as guilty. Fox has long been demonstrated to be unfair, and unbalanced journalism in contrast to their motto. And CNN and MSNBC are merely echo chambers for the other side. So what good does it do to take a mind that’s reasonable, or at least tries to be, and join one side of the bad journalism you’re writing about? Clearly you are aware since joining Fox all of your articles are slanted towards their partisan ideologies. How does that help? Other than to give them a reasonable sounding articulate educated power house who they can bridle to echo their talking points?

      You’re a man of means. You have all the connections necessary. Why not get together with some like minded power players, some investors, and start a new news network. One that isn’t an echo chamber of one party or the other.

      It has to happen. Sooner or later enough people like myself will be turning off and tuning out. People are going to get tired of hearing lopsided news and people are going to get hungry again for a little truth, reason and sanity. And when they do a new news network will be stood up and it will clean the clock of the other news networks as a truly non partisan news network. It will happen.

      Why not be the one driving that train? Instead of being just another one destined to be run over by it when it finally arrives?

      1. Weber says:

        “Sooner or later enough people like myself will be turning off and tuning out. People are going to get tired of hearing lopsided news and people are going to get hungry again for a little truth, reason and sanity. And when they do a new news network will be stood up and it will clean the clock of the other news networks as a truly non partisan news network. It will happen.”

        Amen! Preach it brother!

        Unfortunately, Turley apparently ignores our contributions to his blog since we never read of his reaction to any of them.

        Your wise suggestion, therefore, may fall upon deaf ears unless someone like Darren has been tasked by his employer Turley to bring to his attention those contributions which Darren supposes may be of interest to Turley in order to take the general pulse of his audience. I hope that your suggestion somehow makes it to Turley through someone who can reach him. While we will never know his reaction, we can hope that he will take it to heart.

  3. Mespo,

    Ok. Here goes:

    Turley does not indicate his employment with Fox in his tagline on Twitter or Res Ipsa Loquitur. Why not? He merely says he is a “legal analyst.”

    Were he proud of his association with Fox; he would say so! Rather, he would prefer to conceal his favoritism and hold himself out as an independent legal analyst though he is not.

    It is not enough to reveal his conflict of interest only when his articles mention Fox. His Fox allegiance should be taken into account by his readers whenever his opinion benefits Fox, e.g., when he maligns its media competitors.

    If you don’t agree with my opinion, tell me why!

    1. [His Fox allegiance should be taken into account by his readers whenever his opinion benefits Fox, e.g., when he maligns its media competitors.]

      I suggest you provide concrete evidence that Turley’s “opinion benefits Fox.” And by that I mean concrete evidence, not your usual ideological, opinionated assertions.

      PS. At least do so for others here who may read your comments. I really could not be bothered much with you, except the occasional pointing out of your unsubstantiated insinuations (as quoted above).

      1. Suddyan sniffs:

        “PS. At least do so for others here who may read your comments. I really could not be bothered much with you, except the occasional pointing out of your unsubstantiated insinuations (as quoted above.”

        My comments are clear enough, and if you cannot be bothered by me, I will say that the feeling is mutual. Please don’t bother yourself with me anymore!

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Here’s a little Fox ‘story’ that Jonathan won’t cover”

    Turley would have you believe that he is not an employee of Fox. The only time he reveals that he is beholden to the company is when he mentions Fox by name in one of his articles which is rare.

    Turley never praises his Fox colleagues. Nor does he ever criticize the network despite its being sued for promoting a false conspiracy theory. Turley serves Fox News by undermining the credibility of its media competitors. In so doing, he does not reveal that he is being a partisan in favor of Fox. He would like his audience to falsely believe that he is acting as an impartial legal analyst which he is not.

  5. it is striking to see the religious fervor of the Left when it comes to advancing their dogmas, uttered by their High Priests, as dictated in their secular texts. Gone are the fears of burning at the stake by members of the Spanish Inquisition. Tomas de Torquemada is blushing with the tactics of Joyless Reid, MSNBC, LOLCNN, and the XXI Century virtual inquisitors.

    America Without God

    Though the United States wasn’t founded as a Christian nation, Christianity was always intertwined with America’s self-definition. Without it, Americans—conservatives and liberals alike—no longer have a common culture upon which to fall back.

    Without Christianity, Americans no longer have a common culture upon which to fall back.

    No wonder the newly ascendant American ideologies, having to fill the vacuum where religion once was, are so divisive. They are meant to be divisive. On the left, the “woke” take religious notions such as original sin, atonement, ritual, and excommunication and repurpose them for secular ends. Adherents of wokeism see themselves as challenging the long-dominant narrative that emphasized the exceptionalism of the nation’s founding. Whereas religion sees the promised land as being above, in God’s kingdom, the utopian left sees it as being ahead, in the realization of a just society here on Earth. After Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September, droves of mourners gathered outside the Supreme Court—some kneeling, some holding candles—as though they were at the Western Wall.

    The Atlantic, April 2021

  6. Turley says:

    “While cable networks have long catered to political audiences on the left or right, mainstream newspapers and networks now openly frame news to fit a political narrative. With the exception of Fox and a couple of other smaller news outlets, that slant is heavily to the left.”

    More interesting than what he does say in this article is what he does NOT say. Turley does not deny that Fox is as heavily slanted to the Right as he claims that its competitors are slanted to the Left. He readily admits that cable networks (including Fox) cater to their audiences.

    He says:

    “As a law professor, I am particularly concerned that the drop in trust will impact our political system. People simply no longer believe what is being reported on sites like NPR or NYT. The result is that it is more difficult to identify what is false or unsupported.”

    This statement is rather ironic given the undeniable fact that his own network Fox is being sued for billions for defaming Smartmatic and Dominion by adopting and broadcasting the election lies of Trump’s lawyers! It’s one thing to broadcast a biased narrative; it’s quite another to broadcast a demonstrable lie! Indeed, Turley has NEVER defended Lou Dobbs (who was- dare I say it- *cancelled* after the lawsuits were filed) nor defended Fox generally against these defamation lawsuits. Moreover, he does not dare defend the fraudulent conspiracy theories of Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, and Giuliani which have exposed them to the prospect of disbarment. He did criticize the premature suspension of Giuliani’s law license though he conceded that he is likely to be disbarred in the end.

    The fact that Turley deliberately ignores his network’s instrumental role in recklessly broadcasting the Big Lie to millions tells you all you need to know about his lack of bona fides. When you sell your legal services to a network which promotes false narratives, you lose your soul by failing to honestly acknowledge it and to squarely address it.

    It’s about time that Turley confronts Fox’s role in promoting the Big Lie and ceases to pretend the damning defamation lawsuits do not exist.

    1. [Silberman spouts: This statement is rather ironic given the undeniable fact that his own network Fox…]

      Dear whiner, it is not “his” network. Grow up.

      1. Suddyan says: “Dear whiner, it is not “his” network.”

        Turley is a Fox employee; ipso facto, Fox is his network, like it or not.

  7. Advocacy journalism will eat its own tail, they don’t realize in their stupidity and quest for revenue that they’ve been nibbling on it for quite some time. They can spin all they like, doesn’t matter if people have had enough and stop listening. I suspect similar will be true of social media in the future.

    There is something very wrong with a Democratic party that can only hold onto power through willful coercion, misrepresentation, or outright tyranny. Many younger (and some old foges, too) people in their ranks are too privileged, green, and ignorant to realize this. They will get the end result all the same. And then likely blame someone else for shooting them in the foot with the gun in their own hand. 😉

  8. Republicans Blame Media For Optics Of Policies

    Republicans fail to understand mass media. Most of their policies sound negative to mainstream America. Consider the following:

    Climate Change: Republicans deny the mounting number of abnormal weather events. Instead they champion 20th Century technologies; trying to preserve outdated business models.

    Abortion: Republicans openly pander to Evangelicals and Orthodox Catholics. While ignoring the views of educated women; especially those in metro regions. Those women have no standing with Republicans. The feeling is mutual: “We hate you, too”.

    Firearms: Republicans are dedicated to Second Ammendment Rights defying 64% of the public. That’s the share of Americans wanting ‘more’ regulations over gun-related marketing. In the aftermath of mass shootings, Second Ammendment Rights reads as code for ‘F U America’.

    Social Safety Nets: Cutting Social Safety Nets never looks good. Simple optics are the factor. Cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Unemployment Benefits plays as mean-spirited. Especially when tax cuts are linked.

    Right To Work Laws: Republicans openly embrace Anti-Union policies. Their message to the little guy is, “Put your faith in management”. That’s reassuring if your company is owned by a Hedge Fund. ..Not..! ‘Anti-Union’ looks hostile to most working folks.

    These samples illustrate how ‘optics’, more than bias, affects mainstream coverage. With every issue Republicans appear deaf in some regard. They’re committed to business interests while cutting Safety Nets.

    Mainstream Media can’t tell women abortion restrictions ‘strengthen’ healthcare options. It’s obviously not true! Journalists would insult women by spinning that angle.

    Climate Change, stands out. An issue where Republicans deny the very obvious. Said denial seems hostile to anyone following weather events. Like, “We don’t care what you see. It isn’t happening. Shut-up and forget it”.

    With his frequent bashing of mainstream media, Johnathan Turley functions as the enforcer of a cult. He stands at the door warning members, “Don’t listen to anyone outside. They’ll try to discredit us”.

    Messaging like this sounds insecure, of course. ..How could it not..?? If your policies keep looking bad, they probably are.

    1. Anonymous says:

      “With his frequent bashing of mainstream media, Johnathan Turley functions as the enforcer of a cult. He stands at the door warning members, “Don’t listen to anyone outside. They’ll try to discredit us.”

      Turley is being a Fox cheerleader, for this post is NOT legal analysis. It’s a show of his loyalty to Fox which would not surprise me if it paid him far more than his salary at George Washington University. Let’s not judge him too harshly. It’s his job, after all. And he does it very well!

    2. Climate Change: Republicans deny the mounting number of abnormal weather events.
      Because looking at weather events over the last 1000 years proves data gathered over the last 80 years as meaningless.

      Abortion: Republicans openly pander to Evangelicals and Orthodox Catholics. While ignoring the views of educated women
      a laugh out loud moment, when I saw the word “educated”, as some sort of talisman evoked to buttress a weak position.

      Firearms: Republicans are dedicated to Second Amendment Rights defying 64% of the public
      I read that as 36% are anti constitution. But I caught the word “marketing”. So no the anti constitutional left wants to strip 1st amendment rights, to go after 2 amendment rights.

      Social Safety Nets: Cutting Social Safety Nets
      Social security is nothing but an income tax….sold as a benefit. SCOTUS has ruled there is no protected benefit. Because if there were, Social Security would be unconstitutional, The Federal govt has no constitutional power to fund social safety nets.

      Right To Work Laws: Republicans openly embrace Anti-Union policies.

      The constitution protects freedom of association. Republicans support workers, not unions. If you are a worker that freely joins a union, Republicans support you the worker. Wisconsin did the unthinkable and struck down the law requiring employers to deduct union wages from payroll checks. Strange, that when the money was not deducted under threat of punishment by the government, Union Members, in droves stopped paying dues.

    3. “. . . the mounting number of abnormal weather events.”

      Who knew that fires, storms, and flooding are “abnormal”?

      Or did you mean that their *intensity* is abnormal? — for which there is no evidence.

      Or that their frequency is abnormal? — for which the evidence is the exact opposite.

      Or that destruction and deaths from bad weather are increasing? — for which the evidence, in *industrialized* countries, is the exact opposite.

      A heads up: The panic mongers and power lusters are slowing replacing Covid with “climate change” as their bogeyman.

      For a remarkably objective and honest evaluation of the “climate change” doomsayers, read the work of Michael Shellenberger:

      “’On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologise for the climate scare we created over the past 30 years,’ wrote Shellenberger in his 1,700-word article.

      “https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/04/the-environmentalists-apology-how-michael-shellenberger-unsettled-some-of-his-prominent-supporters

    4. [Anonymous whines: Climate Change: Republicans deny the mounting number of abnormal weather events.]

      Dear Anonynous, there are no “mounting number of abnormal weather events.” Even the politicised IPCC reports have to acknowledge that scientific truth. Yet you spout the lie.

    5. You got half the equation right. Now fill in the Democrat half for full credit!

      Hard to fathom how brainwashed people can be to believe one group of government employees over another group of government employees. It’s like dogs comparing parasites.

  9. On the news, Covid is a major news item.

    What I want to know is WHY don’t we see any counterpoint articles/panels/shows concerning Covid? There are always two sides to every story/situation. Science is rarely cut in stone. But that is what the MSM would have you believe. The CDC/FDA/Fauci are right, any disagreement with anything they state is WRONG. PERIOD.

    But there are plenty of world renowned scientists who disagree with these demigods. They disagree that mRNA shots are the best solution to the Covid pandemic. They disagree that drugs like Ivermectin are not useful. They disagree that lockdowns work to stop Covid and so on. But these scientists, researchers, MD’s are never invited to discuss their POV, their evidence, to question the establishment narrative.

    For example:

    1. Covid mRNA/DNA vaccinations, good or bad? We examine both sides.

    2. Covid lockdowns – do they work? Are they an effective tool? Our panel of experts consider and debate the pluses and minuses.

    3. Natural immunity or mRNA/DNA vaccines? Which is better?

    4. How well do masks work and what circumstances?

    WHERE IS THE COUNTERPOINT? People can’t make informed decisions when only one side of the argument is allowed.

    1. Fauci was caught lying about the origins of Covid. His credibility, and his reputation, are in the dirt. The NIH released a damning report that the US absolutely did pay for gain of function research on bat coronaviruses that were begin expressly engineered to be more transmissible to human receptors in humanized mice studies at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

      https://www.dailywire.com/news/top-scientist-on-new-report-about-research-in-chinese-labs-its-clear-fauci-was-untruthful

      1. Waiting for someone to write the book – American Mengele-The Rise and Fall of Fauci and The Coming Dictatorship of the CDC-NIH Bureaucracy.
        I am also awaiting investigation of the switch from humanized mice studies to Fauci’s ‘miceized’ humans experiments on the public with an mRNA type of vaccine (not just the Covid version) which has never before used on general public. There are NO long term studies of the effects of these vaccines on the immune system or other biological systems, because they have only been under serious development for the past decade. When originally researched in the 1990s, consensus was they were impractical at the time and research only resumed after technological advances around 2008-2010.

  10. “Yet, newspapers and outlets like NPR are now openly and consistently biased in coverage from avoiding coverage of some stories to soft-peddling other stories.”
    —–
    Yes, it seems like every talking head on TV has and isn’t shy about expressing their personal opinions and wearing their politics on their sleeves. Whatever happened to the anchor person who just read the news and let their guests and their viewers reach their own conclusions?

    Lately, I find myself watching the BBC news and BBC America more than the USA stations. While they have their biases also, I at least get some coverage of what is going on in the world and not just the murders and outragres of the day.

  11. Republicans Use “Liberal Bias’ As A Club To Intimidate Journalists

    Today’s Washington Post features a piece concerning Politico Magazine, a publication that was just sold to a German company for $1 billion. This paragraph stood out as instructional to those convinced mainstream media has a ‘liberal bias’:

    “In 2007, the political media was indeed slow and dull, but it also suffered from several other problems: a bias for politicians and policies that were considered bipartisan or centrist; little racial diversity among journalists and a White-centric news approach; an obsession with placating Republicans who cast the media as too liberal. .Remember that the Washington press corps had a few years earlier largely accepted the Bush administration’s case for war in Iraq. That was a massive failure that happened in part because journalists were wary of too harshly criticizing a GOP administration and because the war was supported by members of both parties in Congress, giving it a centrist and bipartisan sheen”.

    Edited from: “How The Rise Of Politics Shifted Political Journalism Off Course

    Today’s Washington Post
    …………………………………………………………

    Key Sentences From Above:

    ..an obsession with placating Republicans who cast the media as too liberal.

    ..journalists were wary of too harshly criticizing a GOP administration..

    These key sentences describe what serious news consumers knew all through the Bush and Obama years. Rather than having a ‘liberal bias’, journalists often engaged in what is known as ‘both sides-ism’. That is, they gave equal weight to Republican views regardless of substance.

    The article goes on to describe how journalists were careful not to paint Republicans as racist even when they questioned Obama’s country of birth. The Tea Party was often described as a ‘grass roots movement’ when it was, in fact, bankrolled by the Koch Brothers.

    During the campaign of 2016, mainstream journalists felt obliged to devote extensive coverage to Hillary’s emails. Meanwhile Donald Trump was spouting fact-free falsehoods every day while refusing to show his tax returns.

    In summation, the old ‘liberal bias’ charge is a club Republicans use to Intimidate mainstream media. The message is, “You’d better be nice to us or we’re going to have a hissy fit.

    1. Anonymous points out:

      “journalists often engaged in what is known as ‘both sides-ism’. That is, they gave equal weight to Republican views regardless of substance.”

      I remember when the show was called “Hannity and Colmes” with a liberal Colmes for balanced coverage. When Colmes died, he was not replaced. Even on Fox’s “The Five” program, there are 4 conservatives to 1 liberal who is used as the proverbial Whipping boy.

      After Fox dispensed with presenting both sides to a story; the mainstream media followed suit.

      You cannot present both sides to ANY story in the 5-8 minutes all news networks allot to a given topic. My biggest complaint with the cable platforms is not their bias, but how superficial is their reporting. If they would allot 30 minutes to a topic, they could engage in a robust debate by both sides. But I presume that would make for bad television given the 5 minute attention span of the typical viewer. News producers know their audience well- after a long exhausting day at the office, the viewers want to be told what to think from the taking heads they have come to trust. Thinking for themselves is too much work…

      1. Jeff, do you realize that Fox News was created because all existing media leaned Left? There was no conservative viewpoint. There was already bias in the news.

        The idea that Fox is somehow to blame for the media, Hollywood, and social media becoming nothing more than Democrat Pravda and Big Brother censorship of dissidents is a fantasy used as an excuse.

        1. More of your “conservative” crap again. Fox News was created to provide a fundraising and propaganda platform against Democrats. There was plenty of true conservative viewpoints on the air and in print media. George F. Will had a full page in Newsweek for decades. Hugh Hewitt was on MSNBC. Fox News is nothing but Trumpist propaganda. Trump is NOT a conservative, and neither are you, Karen. Conservatives oppose his misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and most of all, his constant lying and grandstanding. Conservatives are patriotic and believe in personal integrity–concepts unknown to Trump who has cheated people his entire life, including contractors and his three (so far) wives. Trump mocked John McCain because McCain wouldn’t kiss his ring and voted to uphold Obamacare, and he has mocked service members. He cheated to avoid military service. He wouldn’t attend a WWII ceremony in France because it was drizzling out and he was afraid his pompadour would fall and expose his hair piece and scalp reduction scar. Conservatives want nothing to do with Trump. Republicans used to be conservative, but then the Cult of Trump came about, so they fell in line. Few to none of them will denounce his lack of patriotism, his constant lying, his collusion with Russia, his attempt to leverage aid to Ukraine in exchange for ginning up lies about Biden or the insurrection or the Big Lie. History will not be kind to either Republicans or Trump, who just won’t shut up, go away, and stop trying to hamstring Biden’s presidency.

          1. You spend an enormous amount of energy telling Karen and others what you believe they are and absolutely no effort is made on your part to tell people what it is you actually believe in. You do have some positive things to say about conservatives. I added to that yesterday in response to one of your comments. Do you support this description of conservatives values? If not, what is it you do value?

            I begin with the main points of the Sharon Statement, recognized by The New York Times as a “seminal document” of the conservative movement and accepted by many conservatives as the best brief statement of conservative ideals.

            We, as young conservatives believe:
            – That foremost among the transcendent values is the individual’s use of his God-given free will, whence derives his right to be free from the restrictions of arbitrary force;
            – That liberty is indivisible, and that political freedom cannot long exist without economic freedom;
            – That the purpose of government is to protect those freedoms through the preservation of internal order, the provision of national defense, and the administration of justice;
            – That the Constitution of the United States is the best arrangement yet devised for empowering government to fulfill its proper role, while restraining it from the concentration and abuse of power;
            – That the market economy, allocating resources by the free play of supply and demand, is the single economic system compatible with the requirements of personal freedom and constitutional government; and that it is at the same time the most productive supplier of human needs;
            – That American foreign policy must be judged by this criterion: Does it serve the just interests of the United States?

            https://www.heritage.org/conservatism/commentary/what-conservatism

            You won’t find any allegiance to a political party. Conservatives aren’t looking for candidates that are angels (they don’t exist), they are looking for candidates will advance those six points.

            1. Olly says:

              “You won’t find any allegiance to a political party. Conservatives aren’t looking for candidates that are angels (they don’t exist), they are looking for candidates will advance those six points.”

              Even if it takes a consummate conman to advance the cause because there are no angels after all….

              1. While you fixate on personality, what conservatives value are policies. You label Trump as the consummate conman, but his (MAGA) policies actually lived up to the conservative values listed above. Then we get Build Back Better Biden. In 8 months, what has he done? Seriously, what has he BBB in this country?

                1. At least you don’t deny that if it takes a liar to secure your Conservative values, it is a price worth paying.

                  1. Nope. Your words, not mine.

                    It is noteworthy that you have not identified anything Biden has done to BBB our country. Now there is your consummate conman, and he has dementia. That doesn’t speak well of you and your ilk.

                    1. Olly says:

                      “Now there is your consummate conman, and he has dementia. That doesn’t speak well of you and your ilk.”

                      I have stated repeatedly that I would be willing to acknowledge that Biden is suffering mentally if and when you are willing to admit that Trump is an inveterate liar. I am not prepared to be honest unless you Trumpists are.

                      The offer stands….

                    2. Now that’s funny. You cannot be honest unless I admit Trump is not honest. Okay, Trump has not been honest.

                      Now, back to policy. What has Biden done to improve our country? No, Building Afghanistan Back Better for the Taliban, ISIS and Al Qaeda doesn’t count. No, infrastructure improvement for Russia via Nord Stream II doesn’t count either. No, flooding our country with non-citizens via an open border certainly doesn’t qualify.

                    3. Olly says:

                      “Okay, Trump has not been honest.”

                      Finally! Mazel Tov! That being said, I’ll freely admit that Biden is suffering from Alzheimer’s.

                      There, we’ve made some progress!

                  2. [JeffSilberman moans: At least you don’t deny that if it takes a liar to secure your Conservative values, it is a price worth paying.]

                    I am not a conservative, but it seems you suggest Conservatives are OK with liars. They must love Biden then!

                2. What Biden has done is plundered our nation into a nose dive that rivals the rate of acceleration on Earth due to gravity. Nothing is going to turn this catastrophe around. Talk to immigrants who fled unstable countries. We are all saying the same thing: America is headed for the same trajectory as Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and worse: pre-World War II Russia, China and Germany.

                  Jimmy Kimmel, the “comedian”, stated recently that the unvaccinated should be deprived medical treatment if they should seek hospital admissions, not that he is alone in articulating such monstrous ideas. Joyless Reid, MSNBC in general, I know too many physicians, some coworkers, who feel the unvaccinated deserve to be kicked to the curb. Never mind that the majority of Blacks and Hispanics are unvaccinated.

                  Biden has enabled a hatred towards Americans in a way I never thought possible. I see nothing good coming our way though I do hope I am 100% wrong.

                  https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/latest-data-on-covid-19-vaccinations-race-ethnicity/

                  As of August 16, 2021, CDC reported that race/ethnicity was known for 58% of people who had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Among this group, nearly two thirds were White (58%), 10% were Black, 17% were Hispanic, 6% were Asian, 1% were American Indian or Alaska Native, and <1% were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, while 8% reported multiple or other race.

          2. Natacha says:

            “There was plenty of true conservative viewpoints on the air and in print media. George F. Will had a full page in Newsweek for decades. Hugh Hewitt was on MSNBC. Fox News is nothing but Trumpist propaganda. Trump is NOT a conservative, and neither are you, Karen.”

            Conservatives abhor Fox News. George Will, who yields to no one in his Conservative credentials, rejects Trumpism. Case closed.

              1. Alma boasts:

                “I left George Will and his comments years ago A conservative he is not, a fellow creature of the swamp is what he is.”

                Yep, a Trumpist alright.

                1. I am not a Trumpist, I am an anti-establishment. college educated, small business owner who is not appreciating the lackluster performance of the republican party members in congress. If Trump was the only person wise enough to feel the silent rage within the working class, then he got my vote, If someone else had stepped up with more than the usual glad handing blather of professional influence peddlers we know as career politicians, they would have gotten my vote. I didn’t so much vote for Trump as against the good old boys club sucking this nation dry.

                  1. Alma insists:

                    “I am not a Trumpist, I am an anti-establishment, college educated …”

                    I don’t blame you for taking offense at being called a “Trumpist”! Had I known you were college educated, I would not have confused with a Trumpist. My apology.

                2. [JeffSilberman wails: “I left George Will and his comments years ago A conservative he is not, a fellow creature of the swamp is what he is.”

                  Yep, a Trumpist alright.]

                  Ooh, ooh, you called him a name. Surely you winz the Internets! Ha ha, you are laughable.

                  1. Suddyan,

                    Since when is calling someone a ”Trumpist” tantamount to calling someone a name. Are you MAGA people ashamed to be called “Trumpists?”

          3. [Natacha drones: Conservatives oppose (Trump’s) misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and most of all, his constant lying and grandstanding.]

            I am no Trump supporter, but I do recognise vindictive, false labeling when I see it. And your comment is precisely that.

        2. Karen says:

          “Jeff, do you realize that Fox News was created because all existing media leaned Left? There was no conservative viewpoint. There was already bias in the news.”

          Fox was created to make money by catering to an audience of Republicans and to provide a platform to advance Republican narratives.

          Karen says:

          “The idea that Fox is somehow to blame for the media, Hollywood, and social media becoming nothing more than Democrat Pravda and Big Brother censorship of dissidents is a fantasy used as an excuse.”

          I said nothing of the sort. I say that Fox initiated the trend of demonizing its cable competitors. Before Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC never disparaged each other’s journalism. They never even acknowledged their competitor’s presence. Fox initiated the claim of media bias in order to discredit the mainstream. True or not, it was a successful marketing strategy. It ultimately led to Trump’s deploying the nuclear option of calling the mainstream media “fake news.” A charge being taken up and used by autocrats around the world to discredit media antagonistic to them. We have Fox to thank for the weaponization of news.

          1. [JeffSilbernan conjures up imaginaries: Before Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC never disparaged each other’s journalism. They never even acknowledged their competitor’s presence. … We have Fox to thank for the weaponization of news.]

            Ha ha ha. Nonsense, man.

    2. [Anonymous wastes our time: Key Sentences From Above:

      ..journalists were wary of too harshly criticizing a GOP administration..]

      Note that Anonymous is deliberately devious by selective quoting, while the original complete sentence was: “…journalists were wary of too harshly criticizing a GOP administration and because the war was supported by members of both parties.”

      But “both parties” would not suit the biased agenda Anonymous is pushing, therefore it is delberately dropped.

      My conclusion: Anonymous has a severe integrity deficiency.

  12. The corporate news media won’t identify and call out the 900 pound gorilla in the room. The President of the United States in not mentally competent nor capable to hold office. He can barely read a teleprompter. Who is really running the White House? Is it really the man who was elected?

    Yet the media play this game where the President pulls out a sheet with their names and photographs and they are allowed to ask him questions that have already been submitted to the WH staff for approval. Then he reads the teleprompter or pulls out his index cards and reads from them the answer. “They told me I am not supposed to take questions.” Who are “they?”

    Why is the media complicit in this charade? If they were real reporters, they would hammer him just like they did the previous President and all those that came before him. It is their job the rake him through the coals. He wanted the job? Then let him run the gauntlet.

    This is like setting up first grade batter for Tee-ball in the majors. It is ridiculous to watch. How much B.S. can viewers or readers endure? The citizens know it, the world knows it, but the media still plays along. This reminds me of the children’s story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

    This is dangerous! Last month is a perfect example of how the his incompetence cost lives and caused misery and endangered not only this nation but our allies. This will not get better with time.

    When will reporters start doing their job?

    1. Failure to enquire about Joe Biden’s cognitive decline and weird statements about children stroking his leg hair in pools, Hunter Biden’s pay to play scheme, promoting the misinformation that it was Russian misinformation, and relegating themselves to asking a doddering Biden about his favorite ice cream flavor will go down in history as the fall of journalism.

      It took desperate people falling to their deaths from airplanes and Biden’s surrender to the Taliban to get the media out of their torpor. Even then, they make excuses for him. Don Lemon keeps telling us that the past is in the past. Those people are dead. Let’s move on. Trump signed a peace agreement and drew down troops, so it must be Trump’s fault that Biden surrendered, and allowed the Taliban to “run security checkpoints.” It must be Trump’s fault that Biden removed our military prior to evacuating unarmed and helpless civilians and Afghan allies. It must be Trump’s fault that Biden evacuated unvetted Afghans while leaving most of our Special Immigrant Visa Holders, who had helped our military, proven their loyalty, and underwent a 2 year vetting process, behind to be murdered. It must be Trump’s fault that Biden prevented our military from going out and fetching our people who could not get past the terrorists to get out of the country. It must be Trump’s fault that the State Department actively blocked civilian rescue attempts. It must be Trump’s fault that Biden provided the Taliban with billions of dollars worth of military equipment. We now see terrorists wearing our uniforms, holding our weapons, terrorizing and killing people at night using our Night Vision Goggles, driving our MRAP, and providing our equipment to Iran, the country who begins each day chanting, “Death to America!” In the immortal words of Obama, “Never estimate Biden’s ability to f*(^&&*^ things up.” Joe Biden – “The buck stops here! Unless I ruin everything, in which case it’s the other guys’ fault! You know, the thing! That guy over there! Come on, man!”

      Trump handed a stable Afghanistan to Biden, who then caused the suffering of the Afghan people we can all see and read about.

      Why in the world would we have so many bases in Okinawa and Germany, yet abandon Bagram and not have any military presence in Afghanistan, a hotbed of terrorism?

      This kind of moronic behavior gets people killed. My family and friends are military. My son will be draft age in 7 years. Thanks to recent developments, now girls will be drafted, too. It is predicted that there will be terrorist attacks on US soil because of this. If you think what happens in Afghanistan is not going to affect you and yours, you’re wrong.

      1. Trump handed an Afghanistan to Biden that had troop strength drawn down from 14,000 to 2,500 and 5,000 more Taliban prisoners cut loose by his stupid agreement with the Taliban. Fox and other alt-right media constantly harp on the problems with the withdrawal process without ever discussing the state of Afghanistan left by Trump. It was Trump who set the stage for withdrawal problems by drawing down troops before anyone got out. Biden was handed a weakened Afghanistan that the US had agreed to leave–no agreement to keep airports in either Kabul or Bagram. Why didn’t Trump foresee such a need, if one exists? And, how is it Biden’s fault that the ISIS-S sent a suicide bomber? How could that have been prevented?

        You want to blame Biden for the predictions about the stability of Afghanistan being wrong? Biden didn’t make this up–US military intelligence estimated not less than 6 months of stability before the Taliban took over. According to the former US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Trump caused the problems Biden is being blamed for–his failure to involve the Afghan government in negotiations with the Taliban and agreeing to concessions they were bound by demoralized them and they just gave up.. Trump didn’t foresee the rapid take over of the Taliban, either–otherwise, why didn’t he keep his campaign promise to end the war in Afghanistan while he was in office? What was stopping him? Why didn’t he get people out of there before drawing down the troops and before turning loose 5,000 Taliban? Why can’t you answer the questions about Trump’s stupid decisions? Hasn’t Hannity come up with a cover story for these unimaginably stupid moves? Why didn’t the fat fop you worship negotiate to keep the airports in Bagram and Kabul if this was so important? And, the suffering of the Afghanistan people is directly the fault of Trump–not Biden. You cannot escape these inconvenient truths.

        We know you are a faithful Fox viewer–you regurgitate every day the blather you heard the evening before. And, because the Fox/Republican network thinks it is scoring political points by putting the blame for all of the problems on Biden, they’ll keep up milking it for everything they can. This lying to score political points is a terrible disservice to those who died in Afghanistan. The shameless Republicans are even using the mother of one of those who was killed by the suicide bomber to promote the Big Lie and to blame Biden for everything. She is even inviting the fat fop to her son’s funeral. If there was ever anything absolutely immoral in politics, it’s this–trading on the bravery of a young American killed by a terrorist and his mother’s grief to score political points– and, irony of ironies, on behalf of a draft dodger who calls our military “suckers” and who wouldn’t attend a WWII memorial service because the drizzle would mess up his hairdo. And, if there are future foreign terrorist attacks it won’t be Biden’s fault, either. How ironic that you, Karen, are pre-blaming Biden for terrorist attacks when you downplay and lie about the Trump domestic terrorists who attacked the Capitol. Trump terrorists are our existential threat right now. The war in Afghanistan was lost 10 years ago. There’s no way to draw down and withdraw without being vulnerable, but turning loose more than twice the number of our remaining troops before the evacuations started was a dumb, indefensible move.

  13. When he was hawking cars as CEO of Chrysler, the legendary marketer Lee Iacocca once said that he could make a lot more money selling cars that a few people just had to buy instead of vanilla cars that were mildly appealing to the wider public. The corporate media knows that hawking the news is a lot like selling cars. Their coverage is targeted to consumers that are highly engaged in their content and, more importantly, willing to part with their money for the progressive lifestyle experience. One of the more interesting ironies is that coverage in high-end prestige media like the NYT and the New Yorker is highly skewed toward the sensibilities of an upscale, highly profitable progressive demographic. As is their advertising.

    1. The New York Time’s annual report to shareholders – aka the money people – has some interesting nuggets. Among them:

      – Competition: “Our digital news product most directly competes for audience, subscriptions and advertising with other U.S. and global news and information websites, mobile applications and digital products, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, BBC News, Vox, Buzzfeed, NPR, The Guardian and Financial Times.”

      Learning: The “news product” is targeted to win market share from other progressive outlets. Does the reference to news product remind anyone else of processed cheese food?

      -Content: “The Times continued to break stories, produce investigative reports and help our audience understand a wide range of topics, including the Covid-19 pandemic and its many reverberations, a national reckoning over race and social justice, and the U.S. presidential election and its aftermath.”

      Learning: The new books from the progressive Bible. Strange they didn’t mention climate change.

      -Advertising: “We have a comprehensive portfolio of advertising products and services. Advertising revenue is principally from advertisers (such as technology, financial and luxury goods companies) promoting products, services or brands.”

      Learning: Anybody up for a high-end cruise? On a sustainable cruise line, of course.

      -Other revenue streams: The Company’s live events business, which hosts physical and virtual live events to connect audiences with our journalists and outside thought leaders, and is monetized through sponsorship and advertising.

      Learning: Progressive insiders paid to give talks on the luxury cruise provide the full-on experience for the discerning audience. On a sustainable cruise ship, of course. How better to monetize our consumers?

      -Risk Factor: “Our digital advertising operations rely on a small number of significant technologies (particularly Google’s ad manager) which, if interrupted or meaningfully changed, or if the providers leverage their power to alter the economic structure, could have an adverse impact on our advertising revenues.”

      Learning: Google has us by the short ones. Not that it has any effect on our editorial decisions. Don’t you even think otherwise, you Trumpist!

      -Business is Good: “In 2020, our paid digital subscription model, launched in 2011, reached an important milestone, with digital subscription revenues becoming the Company’s largest revenue stream. We ended 2020 with 6.7 million paid digital-only subscriptions, and revenues from our digital-only subscriptions increased 30% year-over-year to approximately $598 million. We had approximately 7.5 million total paid subscriptions to our products as of December 27, 2020, more than at any point in our history.”

      Learning: Business is good. In fact, business has never been better. No matter what people like Turley think.

      -Executive Compensation: CEO Meredith Kopit Levien’s 2020 annual compensation was $4.732 million, up from $3.112 million in 2019. Retired CEO Mark Thompson made $5.062 million, down from $6.144 million in 2019.

      Learning: Pay equity? That’s for the little guy.

    2. The legacy media and Hollywood appeal to the elites. The people who think they should rule the world, and tell the peasants what to do and what they can say. The elites of the Left always think they are going to rule, but the Left only creates a government ruling class. There were plenty of academics in gulags.

      1. Karen says:

        “The elites of the Left always think they are going to rule, but the Left only creates a government ruling class. There were plenty of academics in gulags.”

        As much as I criticize Turley, despite the fact that he is an academic elite of the Left, I don’t wish him to be placed into a gulag by the Right! Never!

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