Monday, November 17, 2008

What to do about liberal media bias

When conservatives worry about the difficulty “selling” the conservative message to the public, what we should be concerned about is that our message is getting filtered through a politically hostile media.

Imagine if the media were as conservative as it is liberal. Conservative viewpoints would get constant, sympathetic coverage, whereas liberal viewpoints would be suppressed, minimized, and treated with derision.

No matter what the merits are of the conservative points of view, they simply won’t be presented to the public fairly, accurately, or substantively by the liberal press. So the problem for conservatives isn’t the message, it’s the messenger.

Of course, when challenged about their obvious liberal bias, media personalities affect surprise and indignation that their objectivity has been questioned. But this is just for show. They and everyone else except extreme left wing loons know that the media overwhelmingly favors the Democrats and liberal causes.

So what can be done about this? It’s obviously not an easy problem to solve, but the first step has to be recognition that media bias is the fundamental problem that conservatives face. No problem can be solved if it isn’t identified.

One thing we have to do is stop providing substantial financial support to the liberal media. How many of us subscribe to Time, Newsweek, The New York Times or our local liberal paper? Sure, these organizations provide much interesting, useful information aside from their liberal slant. But if conservatives aren’t willing to make the small sacrifice of cancelling subscriptions to media organizations that sell the Democratic Party line every day, why should we expect them to change? They’ve got the best of both worlds – receiving conservative financial support for selling liberal ideas.

So a first step in challenging media bias is for conservatives to shun all liberal media outlets, from NBC to Time Magazine. Most of the left wing media are already suffering from declining sales and ratings. This has to be accelerated. When cancelling subscriptions, send a letter or email telling the organization why you’re cancelling - that you’re tired of their left wing bias. Look for the names of the publisher and managing editor, and make sure they get a copy. If the publication is owned by a larger company, copy that company CEO. If conservatives aren’t willing to take this small step, we have only ourselves to blame for our problem.

A corollary is for conservatives to support balanced or conservative media sources. The ratings and financial strength of conservative media have to be enhanced to challenge liberal organizations. If you’re not familiar with conservative alternatives to the liberal press, look around. You’ll find lots of alternative magazines like National Review, The Weekly Standard, etc., newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, Investors’ Business Daily, and The Washington Times, and great blogs like Powerline, Hugh Hewitt, Michelle Malkin, and The American Thinker, among many others. For TV news, most conservatives watch FOX these days not because it’s conservative, but because it’s balanced like the rest of the media is supposed to be.

A second step is to withdraw any advertising over which you have influence from liberal organizations. Not everyone is in a position to do this, but many are. Again, support conservative outlets where possible.

Third, encourage your conservative friends to do the same. Point out how we are financially supporting the political opposition, and suggest alternatives.

Finally, we conservatives ourselves are another potential source of information to combat liberal spin. Keep yourself informed so that you can make intelligent points in conversation with your liberal friends. If you feel uninformed about a subject, read up on it using conservative sources. The more facts you have at your fingertips, the better you will be able to counter typical liberal positions when your friends bring them up. Copy informative articles to share with friends, both liberal and conservative. Don’t be overbearing, but conservatives have the facts on our side, so don’t be shy about using them.

Media bias is the main problem for conservatives to solve. There are other ideas out there to confront it, but we conservatives have to focus on this problem, or we’ll end up like countries such as Britain or Canada, where the left has such a stranglehold on media access that true conservatives are almost shut out of the political process.

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