In the light of the recent ratings news–CNN implodes, FOX soars, MSNBC does OK–it’s worth asking a question that no one seems to have a good answer to:Why is conservative media crushing liberal media?
It’s crushing it in ratings, crushing it in profits, crushing it in influence.
Liberal media fans love to decry the stupidity, benightedness, fearfulness, and meanness of conservative media fans, but it has gotten to the point where no one in the real world is listening. CNN’s ratings are down by half, for goodness sake. And FOX is soaring.
It’s not just a matter of profitability. Sometimes, when you ask people this question, they come back with cost- and revenue-related answers: It’s harder to persuade advertisers to support liberal media, liberal media costs more to produce, etc. (All of which are debatable). But what we’re interested in here is more than a question of profit. Conservative media is crushing liberal media in the ratings, too.
Now, based on the relative fortunes of the three big cable news networks, one theory pops to mind: bias wins. Of the three networks, FOX and MSNBC are unapologetically biased, while CNN is trying to cling to some fair and balanced middle ground (the winning slogan of the butt-kicking FOX notwithstanding). And it’s failing miserably.
So one theory is that bias wins.
Right-wingness also seems to win, except on the coasts.
So put those things together, and FOX and Rush Limbaugh win.
But still… WHY does right-wingness win?
Is it just simply a matter of numbers? More rightwingers than leftwingers and people want to hear what they already believe?
Is it a matter of execution? Are FOX and Rush just really good at what they do and CNN blows? (Seems unlikely). Is it that there’s more competition on the liberal media side? For conservatives, is FOX the only game in town?
Also, is it rightwingness that is winning, or libertarian-ness? Do Americans just deep down hate to be governed? (Which wouldn’t be surprising, given that most people who live here came here to get out from under the control of some other government or church or caste system).
We ask in all seriousness. Please weigh in below.
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