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  • “Do readers of liberal and conservative blogs live in two different countries?”

    Posted by Jonathan on May 1st, 2012 (All posts by )

    The results of a survey of blog readers taken by the BlogAds company. (Some of the survey questions are still running in the upper left sidebar of Chicago Boyz.) The people who responded to the survey are self-selected and it’s not clear how big the sample is, but the results are interesting and worth a click.

    (Chicago Boyz is a BlogAds affiliate, in case this is not obvious.)

     

    14 Responses to ““Do readers of liberal and conservative blogs live in two different countries?””

    1. Jason in LA Says:

      This right of center observer is certainly in the minority when it comes to newspapers being “the most trustworthy form” of media. But of course that also depends on what newspaper one reads. I still enjoy the tangible edition of The Wall Street Journal on a daily basis. Most certainly not my hometown LA Times. Although I do not have blind faith in everything that’s in the Journal, I still put more stock in it then other forms of media.

      One medium missing from that poll is talk radio. I think it’s safe to say Conservatives have more faith in that then Liberals. Conservative talk radio I’ve long suspected was a reaction to the predominance of left of center municipal daily newspapers. Once the fairness doctrine was struck down the market did it’s thing.

      Other than sports, I rarely watch episodic television anymore.

    2. Bill Brandt Says:

      Jason you will find this hard to believe but when my family moved from Studio City to the Central Valley my mother continued her subscription to the Times for 2 years – missing LA so much. It sure had gone downhill.

      i don’t think you are in the minority – look at their subscription total.

    3. Bill Brandt Says:

      ..But to the question yes, it is as if we are from 2 different worlds; each thinking the other is absolutely nuts for not seeing the light.

    4. Jim Miller Says:

      Actually, compared to local TV, national TV, and radio, I think that newspapers are the most trustworthy form, or, I would say, the least untrustworthy.

      If you are wondering why I think that, consider this: Last time I checked, NBC had not bothered to correct their edited Zimmerman call story on the program where they made the “mistake”.

      Or this: For all their faults, most newspapers still try to include something from each side on major political stories. But local TV stations do that only rarely. And, at least in this area (Seattle), the TV stations are much more likely to broadcast what amount to ads for leftist groups and Democratic politicians.

      Conservative talk radio? Depends on the host. Michael Medved, for instance, is quite good on most facts, and very good on letting both sides say their pieces. But you can probably think of others who are less careful, and less willing to hear the other side.

    5. John Burgess Says:

      I find it hard to accept a ‘different worlds’ conclusion when both liberal and conservatives are trending under 50% on all issues. They’re in the same boat, just further toward one gunwale than the other.

      If one side were showing 70% to the oppositions 30%, then there’d be a huge mismatch.

    6. Gringo Says:

      I would consider newspapers more trustworthy than TV, but not more trustworthy than an aggregate of blogs.

      Regarding the greater tendency of Democrats to watch TV programs online, I would wonder which group has a greater tendency to watch TV. The only TV programs I watch- and I only watch online- are sporting events.

    7. Jim Miller Says:

      Gringo – Studies have shown that Republicans are less likely to watch TV — and more likely to exercise. The same is probably true for conservatives and liberals.

      (The difference in party TV watching is large enough so that ads directed at Republicans have to choose the programs where they will be shown, carefully.)

    8. Anonymous Says:

      Jim – I remember some time ago someone had dissected favorite television programs of Dems and Repubs – well – here’s a sample –

      http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/12/06/republican-vs-democrat-tv/

      I know a woman who is a lesbian and avid marathon runner – and while I have never asked her politics I am sure she isn’t a Republican ;-)

    9. Anonymous Says:

      Gringo – what I find fascinating about politics is that it is all about perception – give everyone the same set of irrefutable facts and you will have radically different conclusions all coming form the same facts.

      I look at your typical dying large urban newspaper in the same light as the typical dying Network TV news division – left leaning, guilty by omission of any news that might be contrary to their own bias.

      But then I don’t think this is anything new. We all have our biases and we all have our filters. It is a rare individual or organization who can objectively look at all facts and change their core beliefs.

      But it happens.

      When I say “sins of omission” look at th4e LA Times – having a video of Obama and a Palestinian activist – http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-video29-2008oct29,0,7568849.story – well I could go on and on but have to get to work –

    10. Gringo Says:

      Jim Miller:
      Gringo – Studies have shown that Republicans are less likely to watch TV — and more likely to exercise. The same is probably true for conservatives and liberals.

      You’re right. Easy to find. I should have Googled before writing my previous comment. The studies said that Republicans were more likely to watch sporting events. The only TV I watch these days is football- via the Internet. Oh well, guess I am predictable.

      “The average TV show will deliver 15-25% more Democrats compared to Republicans,” said Will Feltus, senior vp of research at National Media, which specializes in buying ads for GOP clients. “The moral to the story is that it’s harder to find Republican viewers and sports is good place to find them.”

      http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/blogs/live-feed/study-dems-watch-tv-republicans-53355

      During Monday – Friday, the average TV program has a rating among Democrat base voters that is 26% higher than the program’s rating among Republican base voters. In other words, Democrat voters are 26% more likely than Republicans to be watching.

      http://www.nmrpp.com/research-gap3.html

    11. ErisGuy Says:

      “Do readers of liberal and conservative blogs live in two different countries?”

      No, but they’d certainly like to.

    12. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      “Do readers of liberal and conservative blogs live in two different countries?”

      Not yet, but I suspect that the psychological borders are being drawn and a form of physical separation [which will be awfully complex, given the intermixed nature of our society] that will not be non-violent is in the offing.

      At other venues I write sometimes about the concept I call TWANLOC; Those Who Are No Longer Our Countrymen. In “relatively” short form, leaving aside the traditional marker of ethnic homogeneity as inapplicable to what has been the world melting pot [discounting that factor emphasizes the relative importance of differences in what remains]; nationality can be considered as being to to a great extent defined as a common language, a common culture, a common history, a common view of how it stands relative to the rest of the world, and a common piece of territory viewed as a homeland. This may not be all inclusive, but I think it covers a majority of the ground.

      One of the things that differentiate not only what [for lack of a more concise term] can be called the Left -v- Right but also the Political Class [of both parties] from the mass of the population is that we are using the same words in English, but we assign different meanings to them. Further, it is a hallmark of the Left and the Political class that everything is relative and there are no set truths or meanings. The Left takes this the farthest with their insistence that meanings are just “constructs” and each is equally valid. And that facts are only valid when they support their construct. If there is no agreement on the basic meanings of words or what is a fact, there is no common language.

      The Left and the Political Class draw their cultural basis from modern Europe’s Socialist movements from 1848 on, with deeper roots in Plato’s writings [Plato, with his view of “Philosopher Kings” was a totalitarian elitist] and the “rationalist” Philosophes of the French Revolutionary era. A larger mass of Americans still draw their culture from the Judeo-Christian tradition. The contempt between the two is palpable and is on the verge of hatred. That, incidentally, is not the sole cultural divide. The very founding of our country divided in great part along the lines of the English Civil War of the 1640’s [Look at the state names, north and south. The southern states were named for kings and queens. Northern states had non- royalist names; reflecting the ideology and origins of the settlers.] The English Civil War itself reflected in part the cultural split between the Celtic peoples and the Anglo-Saxons in Britain.

      We no longer have a common history, because each side views the events of our history through very different lenses. The Left and the Political Classes tending to something akin to Dialectic Materialism, while the mass of the country [or at least those who have any knowledge of history in these debased times] tend to more traditional views. n.b.– I do Living History re-enacting presentations for schools, and I may be prejudiced about the level of knowledge.

      The two versions of history do not match up or get along well; which leads to a conflict over the view of the place in the world. It may be summed up as the traditional view of what is called “American Exceptionalism” and that the existence of America as a net positive for the world. The Left and the Political Classes tend to view American Exceptionalism as a deliberate lie, and that the US is neither a benefit to the world nor a good thing. In fact, the Left and the Political Classes tend to consider the US to be a force for evil and in need of being subdued by foreign influences.

      This contributes to a difference in views of the piece of territory we both occupy. The mass of the American people lean to the traditional concept of national sovereignty of our laws within our borders and the control of those borders. While they may be more than willing to welcome immigrants, they want those immigrants to be admitted under our own laws, requirements, and with the plain intent that they become Americans and not resident foreigners. The Left and Political Classes favor more supra-national restrictions on the US and believe that borders are fictions. And that foreigners who come here are to a great extent exempt from the requirements of our laws, but deserve the benefits of them.

      Looking at that; we are in fact two separate, ultimately incompatible nations within one set of borders. This is not a stable condition.

      For the last two presidential election cycles, I have noted what I can best describe as a “feeling of 1774-75, or maybe 1860”. Things are not getting better, and the current government-mediated economic collapse is not helping.

      We may not have different ideological passports … yet … but the ability to have a rational discussion across ideological lines on a blog [Left or Right]is now an unusual novelty.

      Subotai Bahadur

    13. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “We may not have different ideological passports … yet … but the ability to have a rational discussion across ideological lines on a blog [Left or Right]is now an unusual novelty.”

      I used to read and comment almost daily on Washington Monthly’s blog when Kevin Drum ran it, and before that when he had CalPundit. Kevin is a pretty hard core lefty but I have a lot of respect for him, especially after he made a concerted search into the Bush AWOL story a few years ago and concluded there was nothing to it. He dismissed the “memo” as a fake. That was a year or more before Dan Rather did the 60 minutes story on it and showed himself to be a fool.

      When Kevin moved to Washington Monthly, the moderators began to delete my comments. I complained to Kevin, whose personal e-mail I still had. He replied that he had no control. It was their decision. It finally got to the point that I would post a comment and there would be a rash of abusive and ad hominem replies from others on the blog. An hour later, my comment would be gone but all the nasty replies would still be there. Some of them looked me up or went to my blog to post personal stuff about being divorced, etc. It was pretty nasty and personal. There was no attempt to debate the points, even after I did a series of posts on my own blog about health reform. They were even angrier that I didn’t support single payer, which I think would be a disaster. t don’t read blogs on the right that behave that way although I suspect there are some. I haven’t seen one on the left that isn’t.

      The novelty would, in my experience, be on the left. Limbaugh and Michael Medved put disagreeing callers at the head of the list.

    14. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I think it’s something like a cold civil war. And very like the run-up to the historical Civil War, when people who had honest and substantive disagreements had less and less to say to each other. Finally, they had nothing at all to say to each other with words, and turned to saying it with bullets instead.

      I’ve dropped active blogging at Open Salon, being so disgusted at the very obvious editorial favoritism there for one side and one side only. There are sensible people on OS and I had a nice number of regular fans, and I soft-pedaled the political posts most of the time … but I just couldn’t stand it any more. I had less and less inclination to go head-to-head with the hardcore left fringe; some of them are so radical and so abusive of anyone who offers a different take … I just couldn’t endure any more.

      Now I can sympathize with the Unionists that I wrote about in my Civil War book; that sense of frustration, believing with your heart and soul that chattel slavery was wrong, wrong, wrongedly,wrong,wrong … and faced with someone attempting to justify it by any means – lies, slander, economic convenience, bogus sociology and finally with violence.

      Now we are faced with the subverting of our government and administrative bureaucracy, a demand for mob rule or trial by headline over trial by law, the trashing of the Constitution, monstering of our traditions, the wicked slanders against conservatives and libertarians, perverting the media – who are supposed to be the watchdogs of the public good, not the public affairs arm of this current administration – and finally, mis-representing of our history, of the grand and wonderful experiment that government by and for the people represents …

      I find I have not much to say to those people who have been complicit in all of this.