Wednesday, May 08, 2002
More on media bias: Bill O'Reilly's radio talk show debuts today and the Washington Post marks the occasion by pointing out the dearth of left/liberal commentators making it big on talk radio.
While this is all well and good, reading the story closely reveals either a looseness with words or that ever-present liberal media bias. No one denies that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ollie North are conservatives. O'Reilly says he's an independent -- and being anti-abortion and anti-death penalty, among other things would tend to support that assertion.
But what about the liberals?
A few liberals and centrists -- Michael Kinsley, Paul Begala, James Carville -- do appear regularly on TV. But typically, they tend to be "canceled out" by a conservative in a "Crossfire"-style format, says Steve Rendall, a senior analyst at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a self-described progressive media watchdog group.
Wait a second! Centrists? None of those three could honestly be classified as centrists -- unless you're Dan "I think the New York Times editorial page is middle-of-the-road" Rather.
Centrists really don't fly in talk radio. Why? Because Centrists are boring.
People flock here daily for a dose of conservative commentary. There are liberal blogs out there, not many, but a few. Centrist blogs attract no substantial traffic because people want to hear a point of view. Someone continually saying, or writing, that: "Well, both sides have a point..." is ultimately unsatisfying.