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The liberal media

There’s a popular belief that the media is liberal. Interestingly, the media is apparently more likely to label a liberal politician as liberal than they are to label a conservative politician as conservative. Geoffery Nunberg did a study on this.

It’s not clear to me that this proves anything; you could say that the qualifying adjective (in this case, liberal) only needs to be used when the subject noun is not mainstream. That’s kind of what Nunberg is saying. I don’t know if I believe it, though; you could also say that the liberal media is calling attention to the fact that politicians with admirable policies are liberal.

But it’s a nice little dose of fact-checking. Nunberg was inspired to do the study by a conservative pundit’s claim that the results were precisely the opposite. Ooops.

I picked this one up on the Daniel Keys Moran announcements-only mailing list. It’s not exactly an announcement list, despite the billing. Anything DKM posts to the discussion list goes directly to the announcement list as well.

I left the main discussion list when I got tired of reading Robert Hansen’s conservative rants. (Why not use the name? It’s not as if there’s more than one person going all libertarian asshole in that neck of the woods, so if he happens to read this, he’s gonna know anyhow.) DKM finds him to be enjoyable conversational company, though, so every now and then I get a message from the announcement list which is just DKM responding to Hansen.

For some reason this is way more enjoyable than reading the original source. I was thinking it might be that the Hansen always comes complete with rebuttal, but DKM doesn’t always rebut. Sometimes he agrees, creating a small slice of that macho hard SF John Wayne con environment I miss so little.

So I don’t know. Anyway. Nice little bit of fact-checking.

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