The Musings of

Something full of magic, religion, bullsh*t.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Good evening, San Diego. I'm Veronica Corningstone. Tits McGee is on vacation.

I'll let this press release from UCLA regarding a study done on the political orientation of major news outlets stand on its own merits. A friend of mine thought it amusing that the release characterized the "discovered" liberal bias as "surprising," but I don't think that's what the adjective was meant to convey. What was surprising was that the most liberal of the 20 sources investigated was the news pages of the Wall Street Journal, and that NPR is no more liberal that what is considered the "mainstream" media.

That said, I found the methodology of the study to be innovative. Often such studies are based on some bizarre quantification of what is or is not liberal, conservative, Republican, Democrat, etc. By basing its qualifications on the ADA scores of sitting congressmen, the study is actually using a rough approximation of the standards used by most politicos. Few of those in politics use the writings of Burke or Goldwater or some random political scientist or political commentator to define a person's politics. Usually, they work off a broad understanding of what is or is not conservative, liberal, etc., and they base the rest off where the person stands vis-a-vis the parties or, often, a particular legislator. Don't know where to stand on the Medicare prescription drug benefit? Well, where did Sen. "Red" Ted Kennedy come down? Not sure about a bill touted by the press as "conservative" is any good? See if Sen. Olympia Snowe voted for it. If she did, then you can be sure that the bill isn't worth a cup of warm spit.

Perhaps someone should put together a mondo database using something similar to the ADA or ACU's rankings. That way we could start ranking everything by it's political leanings. We could finally know if Jesse Jackson is to the left of Karl Marx (the answer is, "yes, but he's still to the right of Howard Dean"), or if Feddie is to the right of Ghengis Khan Tomas de Torquemada (the answer is "generally yes, but Ghengis Torquemada was better on capital punishment"). I'm not sure what use such information would be in the long run, but I feel that way about most the information coming out of the news sources in the studied media outlets.
Centinel 7:18 AM #


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