Friday, February 17, 2006

Gasbag Gap

Alterman has a good article based on Media Matters' recent report.

The strongest point of Media Matters' report is something we all knew but it's nice to have proof of. Throughout the years of the study - 2nd Clinton term on - roundtable type discussions on the Sunday news shows skew right much more often than they skew left, even with their very broad definition of who qualifies as on the left. This is one of those unassailable facts which everyone in the mainstream media politely ignores.

To borrow what I think is Peter Daou's terminology there are news stories and there are storylines. While stories are largely written by balanced objective journalists who to some degree eschew writing storylines (the exception being campaign journalism where there's nothing else), it's on places like the Sunday shows where the storylines are created. There's the news, and then there's the talking about the news. The talking about the news creates the storyline, the conventional wisdom, the distilled narrative thread which filters down to most people and also shapes the way stories are subsequently covered and the emphasis they're given.

In supposedly neutral settings of the major networks flagship political shows, that's a conversation largely dominated by conservatives. There's no denying it. Why is it so ignored?