Op-ed pages in the nation’s papers are largely conservative.

* Sixty percent of the nation’s daily newspapers print more conservative syndicated columnists every week than progressive syndicated columnists. Only 20 percent run more progressives than conservatives, while the remaining 20 percent are evenly balanced.
* In a given week, nationally syndicated progressive columnists are published in newspapers with a combined total circulation of 125 million. Conservative columnists, on the other hand, are published in newspapers with a combined total circulation of more than 152 million.2
* The top 10 columnists as ranked by the number of papers in which they are carried include five conservatives, two centrists, and only three progressives.
* The top 10 columnists as ranked by the total circulation of the papers in which they are published also include five conservatives, two centrists, and only three progressives.
* In 38 states, the conservative voice is greater than the progressive voice — in other words, conservative columns reach more readers in total than progressive columns. In only 12 states is the progressive voice greater than the conservative voice.
* In three out of the four broad regions of the country — the West, the South, and the Midwest — conservative syndicated columnists reach more readers than progressive syndicated columnists. Only in the Northeast do progressives reach more readers, and only by a margin of 2 percent.
* In eight of the nine divisions into which the U.S. Census Bureau divides the country, conservative syndicated columnists reach more readers than progressive syndicated columnists in any given week. Only in the Middle Atlantic division do progressive columnists reach more readers each week.

Liberal media, my ass.

 
  • I love how you just took the study at face value and left it at that.

    This study is the most flawed study I have seen in a while, and I understand how to read social science studies.

    I give a very detailed analysis below.

    Media Matters Spouts its Own Flawed Study as Fact: How They Did It, In Great Detail

  • Thanks for your comment.

    When it comes to your rebuttal, consider me unconvinced. For starters, finding one example of a “liberal” position from a columnist (universal health care is widely supported by moderates, BTW) hardly means that columnist is “liberal”. After all, Ron Paul is anti-Iraq-War, but I don’t think we could call him a liberal. Heath Schuler is anti-abortion, but I don’t think we could call him a conservative. Besides, the column published immediately prior to the health care one by that author was a relatively glowing review of Rudy Giuliani’s interpretation of state’s rights.

    Similarly, Navarette regularly writes columns in support of George Bush and Alberto Gonzalez. Hell, the Pope believes in global warming, and he sure as heck isn’t a liberal!

    Is it possible that MM miscoded unlabeled columnists? Of course. But you haven’t convinced me that they actually had a coding bias.

    As for listing the papers used in the study (all 1400 of them), I have to say that when I did scientific studies, I don’t think we ever published raw data when we published results. If you want the raw data, ask! Otherwise, that dog just don’t hunt.

    There is one – only one – of their conclusions that omits the limiter “syndicated”. Your contention that their conclusions are flawed because they didn’t consider local, non-syndicated columnists is pretty weak when they indicate in virtually all of their conclusions that they are only considering syndicated columnists.

    Assuming no coding bias (which again you haven’t convinced me of), the only conclusion that might be unsupported by their study is this: “In 38 states, the conservative voice is greater than the progressive voice — in other words, conservative columns reach more readers in total than progressive columns. In only 12 states is the progressive voice greater than the conservative voice.” And the truth of that rests on the distribution of local columnists. They may be mostly liberal. They may not. We don’t know.

  • For those interested, here is a much more convincing and reasonable argument about coding errors that doesn’t rely on “columnist X can’t be conservative because he wrote one pro-immigration column” reasoning.

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2007/09/too_many_conservative_syndicated_columnists_/

    Underlining how difficult (and subjective!) the coding can be, the study labels Mort Kondracke as a conservative, OTB thinks he should be coded as a progressive, and Andrew Sullivan thinks a centrist (he also calls Kondracke “Fred’s fig leaf”).

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