Call me paranoid, but I smell a growing move afoot among the declining liberal media oligopoly to push for government intervention to rescue them from their waning influence. They are merely laying the foundation now, but I suspect more will follow in the relatively near future.
Only close-minded liberals would deny that liberals enjoyed a virtual monopoly in the major media, say, from the sixties until fairly recently. But they have watched it slip away since the advent of conservative talk radio, the Internet and now Fox News, and theyre beginning to panic.
They dominated (and still do) the editorial boards of most of the nations influential daily newspapers. They controlled (and still do) the three major television networks, including their news departments and anchors.
Check the voluminous data provided at mediaresearch.org under "Media Bias Basics." No space here to set it all out, but the objective evidence is powerful and unarguable.
Their bias is palpable, permeating their news selection and content so seamlessly they might not even realize its there. Indeed the eeriest revelation of Bernard Goldbergs Bias was the elite medias obliviousness to their bias. They dont see their liberalism as bias, but objectivity.
To them the only ones guilty of bias are those who deviate from their objective norm, namely conservatives. (By the way, how can people so devoid of self-criticism operate as watchdogs over anything, much less themselves?)
The media elite are not used to competition. Liberal politicians, pre-Rush, were not used to much media accountability. But all that has changed. The jig is up, and they dont like it. (Remember Bill Clintons pathetic complaint from the bowels of Air Force One that it was unfair there was no "truth detector" to compete with Rush Limbaughs three hours a day? Transparency didnt suit him too well.)
Rush started and continues to power an avalanche. Strong Conservative voices, like Sean Hannity, are emerging all over-and theyre succeeding in the marketplace of ideas.
Meanwhile, liberals have made excuses for their failures. Their first one was that talk show audiences consist of angry white guys and liberals just dont fit that description. Actually they do, but thats beside the point. In fact, Rushs listeners and those of many other conservative hosts are intelligent, informed and of good cheer.
Their next excuse is more serious. They say there is institutional resistance to liberal expression. Here they pull out all the tired clichÃ?Â©s. Big business conservatives, they say, control talk radio and TV, and are blocking liberals from entry. That is absurd. No one has kept liberals off the talk show airwaves or cable TV shows. No one, that is, except an unreceptive public.
Even admitting, for discussions sake, that Fox News is conservative, so what? Roger Ailes cant force you to watch Fox over the other cable networks. Yes, Fox provides a refreshing alternative to the monolithic viewpoint previously inhabiting the networks and cable, but there are no barriers to entry. People are voting with their remote controls.
But liberal whining is increasing and on multiple fronts. A coincidence? Possibly, but regardless, its gathering steam and will soon demand action. Just consider:
The bottom line is that liberals are not going to take this whipping lying down. They will try to invoke the power of the state to rectify the "injustice" of their drubbing in the marketplace; its just a matter of time. When they do theyll have some euphemistic excuse to conceal their assault on free speech.
Theyll say controls are necessary to protect the public interest, or to muzzle hate speech, or something equally lame. Mark my words. And be prepared.