The Washington Monthly used to be considered a serious “neoliberal” magazine that spawned a pile of young liberal journalists who joined the “objective media.” Now you can find it for free at the local supermarket. Now it carries unintentionally hilarious articles like this one:
America Needs a True Liberal Media
Our crisis of democracy is exacerbated by conservative misinformation. Time for a balanced media diet.
David Atkin turns to the most ardent deniers of liberal media bias — or the most aggressive supporters of media activism — like Jay Rosen and Daniel Froomkin to support his bizarre thesis.
The conservative movement maintains a large and relentless propaganda machine with a massive audience, spanning every media platform. It is dominant in most traditional media channels. Fox News usually leads the ratings in cable news. Right-wing talk and Christian radio are often the only options on the AM band.
Local TV news leads with sensationalist stories about crime and danger that activate conservative instincts, and the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast group owns stations reaching over 40 percent of American households. Conservative interest groups have been rapidly buying up local newspapers around the country.
Never mind that NPR is the only “news” channel on the FM band in most American cities. Never mind that newspapers who endorsed a presidential candidate in 2020 overwhelmingly endorsed Biden (93 percent).
Atkin claimed that social media algorithms favor the “far right,” and networks like MSNBC? Too objective:
There is no real left-wing counterpart to this. Cable news channel MSNBC caters to a center-left audience, but its reach is much smaller than Fox News. More importantly, much of MSNBC’s programming—particularly in the daytime hours—is not partisan or ideological but neutral journalism. Explicitly progressive content in traditional media outlets is virtually nonexistent.
Whaaaat? Oh yeah, there’s no liberal media. NPR and CNN are centrist, kinda neutral:
What conservatives bemoan as the “liberal media” is in reality a bevy of organizations like The New York Times, National Public Radio and CNN which have general editorial slants that may veer from center-right to center-left depending on the issue, but typically attempt above all to maintain an air of balance and neutrality between opposing partisan sides. [!] Jay Rosen calls this posture the “View from Nowhere,” and describes it as a pretense at neutral objectivity that by its very existence imposes an artificial equality between partisan perspectives that the actual facts do not support.
Democrats aren’t getting rewarded for their liberal policies “when conservative media is blatantly propagandistic and traditional media is doing its best to pursue artificial balance.”
If you believe the “traditional media” are pursuing “artificial balance,” we’d like to propose a Breathalyzer test! Or we’d give you a nickel and tell you to buy a clue.