- First and foremost, it must be liberal. This means that any editorial flights of illogic must be backed by statistics and studies, and never by Bible quotes. Likewise, op-eds must be written not by people with black robes, prayer beads, or tefillin but ponytails and sandals.
- It espouses utter repulsion to any issue that goes against liberal political stances or beliefs. On the remaining issues, it methodically explores all angles until it finds one that does.
- On the rare news events that are not inherently abhorrent — say, a cute Christmas kitten story — the liberal media goes "behind the scenes" to uncover undeniable links that the Powers That Be are again exploiting The Poor, with devastating effects on the climate.
- It urges members of the Republican Party to resign based on the "seriousness of the charges," including those it made itself based on innuendo in the previous issue. For Democratic Party office-holders, any public outrage must await a Guilty verdict in a court of law based on evidence beyond reasonable doubt — and only then if he fails to go on to win election as the chairman of the party.
The adversaries to the liberal media include the non-liberal media and the illiberal media.
Advertising revenue is essential for funding most liberal media outlets. This gives sponsors influence in product placement and even choice of programming that drives liberal media executives batty, because most are grown-up basement-dwellers. (In the liberal "new media", they are not grown-up.)
When Al Gore proposed launching a progressive TV network called Dystopia, Advertising Age warned that it "would be on thin ice advertising anything of the slightest interest to its average viewer, such as fast food, anything made of plastic or leather, anything powered by a V8 or gas turbine engine, or discount cosmetic surgery." Instead, ad campaigns had to focus on ways for parents to renounce the bourgeois lifestyle to give their children a brighter future, or at least sign them up to the local basket-weaving class.
Gore was dissuaded from founding the TV network, but went on to start a liberal media empire with the radio network Air America, which continued broadcasting right up until the delivery of the first electric bill. Gore then executed a corporate reorganization that would warm the cockles of Mitt Romney or Donald Trump, selling out to Al-Jazeera. The network is now known as Air Jihad.
The success of the liberal media is astonishing when one notes that the United States at large has a political stance slightly to the right of Dale Gribble from King of the Hill. Even America's yurt-dwelling socialists concede the rights of all to own their home and perhaps a modest summer home on a lake, such as where Bernie Sanders lives now. This means the majority of Americans are diametrically opposed to the views of its entire liberal media. Happily, however, the liberal media has succeeded in giving the public what it wants, even though it doesn't.
Conventional wisdom says the reason liberal media is liberal is because it is simply giving the audience what it wants. (The reason liberal media is media is because if it were liberal catfish, we would never know.) Giving the audience what it wants is a key marketing concept; to cite Air America again, it does not work to give the audience what it does not want; that is, Al Gore. Knitting Monthly always sells poorly to gun enthusiasts.
Thus, when posters appear about a NASCAR visit, Dukes of Hazzard drifting display, bikini contest and "all-round weekend of high-octane fun for all the family", the local radio station's daytime call-in show immediately focuses on how to tackle the increasing issue of arrested intellectual development in children. The phone lines are awash with callers expressing their dismay, over how today's holiday family entertainment is confusing their five-year-olds, who are going through a difficult period of coming to terms with their progressive trans-sexuality, and how that will affect the parent's status at the Urban Diversity Activities & Social Club.
Jonathan Ladd, adjunct at Georgetown's Guevara School of Public Policy, studied the liberal media and concluded that people believe the media is biased because the liberal media tells its audiences that media is biased, because that media is biased towards the biased media. A fourth reading of his paper convinces the reader that he deserves a full professorship. Ladd makes no assertion about whether the liberal media is actually biased or not, but does conclude that the commentators are mealy-mouthed agitator wanna-bees.
The liberal media dwells on Hollywood actors, who are by default die-hard left-wingers. Audiences naturally assume that an actor who plays a philanthropist on TV is a philanthropist — though few viewers line up to have Dr. George Clooney do their heart bypass.
Unfortunately, liberal media also encourages actors to believe they are the characters they portray. The extreme case was when George Reeves donned his Superman cape and jumped off a skyscraper without benefit of wind machines and mattresses. Similarly, glitzy, self-absorbed award ceremonies become soap boxes, such as when Patricia Arquette called upon ethnic minorities to support famous, wealthy actresses in their plight for sexual equality in Hollywood “because of the global economy and the terrorists and the cruelty to animals and stuff.”
Chicken versus egg
There is a chicken-and-egg problem with this, with all appropriate apologies to both vegetarians and vegans. Did the liberal media spring up because there was an audience of liberals wanting a compatible media? Or did the liberal media exist first and spin, spin, spin until its audience was liberalized?
Whatever happened, happened around the time of the Vietnam War. When John F. Kennedy first committed troops to Indochina, there was no liberal media; the exactly three television networks were solidly behind the projection of American interests and the sacred word of the U.S. President. By the time it fell to Richard Nixon to win the damned thing, Walter Cronkite was his Vice President, governing from a TV studio in New York City, and Nixon was losing sleep worrying about how he could win on "the northern front," in those pleasant days before he would start losing sleep over many other things. Ever since then, every Presidential candidate has had to forswear "nation-building" in a vain attempt to win over the liberal media. After that, they have to contrive to figure out ways to conduct nation-building anyway.
Following that victory, liberal media began recruiting additional channels faster than a Black Muslim preacher in federal prison. Soon there were dozens of institutions in the liberal media. Their executives were always hob-nobbing with John Kerry, so the nation could not take them out even with a drone strike. The liberal media began choking cable networks, forcing many to go to three-digit channel numbers, a system that baffles the average American and seems pointless to any grandparents living with them.
The dominant part of liberal media is the newspapers on America's east coast. Everywhere that Amtrak runs and that people actually use it, many of the passengers read east-coast newspapers, if only to be seen doing so. The Los Angeles Times is the choice of liberals who find themselves on the left coast.
The archetype is the New York Times. Publisher "Punch" Sulzberger has given way to his son, "Pinch" Sulzberger, who is maintaining the proud family tradition of hand-wringing over foreign influence of American elections, and of theft of personal correspondence and military secrets that turns out to be way too useful to worry about how it was procured — always depending entirely on whose ox happens to be gored on this occasion. Editors are chosen by how adeptly they can dance between bemoaning the way the information was obtained, and bemoaning the truth it revealed. The family also stridently fights the mistaken notion that Jews run the liberal media.
Recently, the Times diversified, purchasing the Boston Globe to do the same thing in a different metropolis: Lose millions of dollars on a regular basis.
Big Three networks
America is the Land of Plenty, with plenty of beach babes, two baseball leagues, two football conferences, and exactly three broadcast networks: NBC, ABC, and CBS. The "Big Three" is America's version of the British Big One.
And, just like the sports institutions, the Big Three operate under rules that have only superficial differences, horrible refereeing, stage-managed controversy, and central control. At each network, executives sit at a table and decide the day's news "focus." To ensure the news is diverse, they bring newspapers from New York City and Boston. In return, the editors of those papers dutifully watch the Evening News just before they are "put to bed."
This lets the Big Three report carefully sourced facts. Rather than just pulling assertions out of a bodily orifice, they pull them out of a colleague's bodily orifice.
The Big Three regale the audience with scandals, from defective products (illustrated using the finest fireworks) to demented Presidents (illustrated using forged National Guard memos), all reported by anchormen with more combat experience than even Hillary Clinton.
No one knows why a Constitutional right requires a commission, but America has the Federal Communications Commission, which for decades guaranteed that the Big Three would be exactly three. Like the name implies. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, cable networks such as CNN and MSNBC sprang up, disturbing everyone's comfort. As a consolation, these outlets took their place snugly within the liberal media.
Sunday talk shows
Given that liberals have a lot of time on their hands on Sunday mornings — unless there is a Unitarian-Universalist church in town where the Faith Leader can say supportive things while waiting for the flock to find a comfortable dogma — a prime example of the liberal media is the Sunday talk show. In programs such as Meet the Press and Face the Nation, viewers are given a chance to catch up on the week's events in public policy, and an alternative to viewing cartoon shows, though with a comparable lack of need for engagement.
In a Sunday talk show, a guest, usually an office-holder or a professor, appears before a panel of liberal "talking heads" (and perhaps George Will for "balance") and puts forth on television a position that, in the past week, he has had little success putting forth in Congress.
The guest uses his experience at turning the week's events into crippling anxiety and a moral struggle for the viewer (conveniently interrupted by ads for pills to promote regular trips to the bathroom — something the average viewer is much more preoccupied with on an average Sunday morning). The panel draws out the guests' views in a controlled fashion, while at the same time gaining emotional velocity — much as a rocket booster heads majestically for orbit, rather than fizzling out, or exploding on the launch pad. At apogee (just before the ad break), if the host has managed to reduce at least one of the guests to tears, the producer gives him a shiny new Mercedes.
Nationally, talk radio is not liberal media but conservative media. However, there are many fine liberal talk radio shows locally. They serve liberals listening at home, in their Toyota hybrids, or at the hot-stone therapists. Guests are not office-holders nor professors but telephone callers: normal, everyday radicals calling in live from the workplace instead of shopping on Amazon. Their reward is not a photo of the host and a free night at the Holiday Inn, but something vastly more important: the chance to "make a difference in the Community," which means to nag other listeners.
The topics are mostly local, such as whether workplace dress codes are masculinizing female digger drivers at the local quarry, or whether an outbreak of crabs is better treated by spraying Raid on the groin than by bothering the family doctor — which will cost a lot but not enough to file a claim under Obama-care, which is why the nation should chuck it out and go to Single Payer.
The high-tech answer to the intractable bias of the liberal media was the Internet, in which redistribution of wealth advocated by balding, ink-stained men wearing printers' visors, is replaced by redistribution advocated by pajama-clad basement-dwellers. And we do not mean redistribution of pajamas.
Though pioneer Matt Drudge was a conservative, Ariana Huffington got a divorce from it and started the Huffington Post, stridently anti-capitalist until the moment it was acquired by AOL for convertible debentures and a golden parachute for Huffington herself. Sites from Yahoo! to Associated Press offer a glimpse into the White House, where any dumb phrasing of a press secretary is a portent of the coming Hitlerian government, while the utterances of the President himself can be dismissed as a cheap ploy. Attempts by the President to keep his aides in lockstep spell impending tyranny. The websites themselves, meanwhile, are in strict lockstep.
Liberal websites also pursue historic goals, such as fighting the mistaken notion that Jews control the liberal media, done most prominently by
Those too self-absorbed to either turn off the monitor or surf to actual journalism instead turn to social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, for a completely custom version of the day's news. Personal "news feeds" dish up a steady stream of content from everybody you have spent more than fifteen minutes talking to in the last decade. Your personal "news" feed — typically, your cute little Zuma and Juniper gobbling down their responsibly sourced feta and arugula salads — is just as globally newsworthy as the group of dangerous incompetents in the capital in charge of their future.
Social media is part of the liberal media not so much because anyone spends much time discussing liberal politics — beyond income equality for people who tweet rather than close sales, or the need for minority set-asides on the college hockey team — but because the emphasis is always that everyone else experience life from the author's point of view.
Nevertheless, social media makes everyone a conservative as well, as each user can censor her own news (such as immediately Unfriending somebody who posts an opposing viewpoint, like: "Emojis don’t need injections, so why should schoolchildren?"). This is the social-media analog of the death penalty, while bullying fills the role of waterboarding, and every pregnant idea, no matter how defective, must be carried to term. Users become sheltered from each other’s reality, as they all become totally sheltered from reality’s reality.
Whether or not the liberal media preceded its audience or pressure-cooked it, its dominance of the American mind was complete. And yet, many only tuned in to check for hurricanes and ad-breaks — just in case there is a two-for-one on Kraft Polar Bear Soup at the local Circle K.
Then a funny thing happened on the way to the end of the Clinton administration, and funnier than calling Monica Lewinsky an "intern": The liberal media's backlash against Americana prompted a backlash to the backlash, and Fox News sprang up.
Fox knew that most workingmen go through the motions of tuning in the morning news solely to see a sexy chick with a knit sweater showing cleavage, and if they look up from their cereal, it is only to try to locate the high-pressure zones, not meaning those on the weather map. Fox News gave the viewer what he wanted and began making the news unexpectedly "Fair and Balanced," accepting outrageous denials from Republicans as readily as Democrats, and ruminating the day's events further through just-as-fair-and-balanced evening commentators like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.
The upstart network did everything the established ones did: Tell the viewer how much he paid for gasoline last week and what movies he watched, do special reports on Panic In The Sky and Scary Weather, and hire anchorwomen who can say "dozens" as emotionally as "billions" — all the same clichés, with none of the liberal media bias.
In 2010, this culminated in a remarkable conference by CNN President Jon Klein denying that his liberal media icon had been part of the liberal media in the first place — which meant there would be no need for an outbreak of dog-eat-dog competition, such as the one that had just broken out anyway and that his network had lost.
Other liberal media
- Media bias (disambiguation)