New York Times columnist Frank Rich has said some astonishingly stupid things throughout his career, but a comment in Sunday's "The Bipartisanship Racket" might get on his top ten list.
In the eyes of this liberal writer working for the most powerful liberal newspaper in the country, the Left in this nation doesn't have as strong a media megaphone as the Right:
Beltway conventional wisdom is equally responsible for another myth promoted by No Labels: that the Move On left and the Tea Party right are equal contributors to America’s “hyperpartisanship.” In the real world, no one could seriously believe that activists on the left have the sway over Democratic leaders, starting with President Obama, that the Tea Party has over the G.O.P. Nor, with all due respect to MSNBC, does the left have a media megaphone to match the Tea Party’s alliance with the Murdoch empire, as led by Fox News, and the megastars of talk radio.
So, in Rich's view, the impact on political thought in this nation by Fox and the conservative talk radio hosts is greater than the combined influence of ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, HBO, HLN, Hollywood movies, MSNBC, NBC, Newsweek, New York magazine, NPR, PBS, Reuters, Showtime, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles, the Miami Herald, the New York Times, the New Yorker, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Time magazine, and USA Today.
What's even more hysterical about this distorted view of the world is the number of liberal media members that share it.
To give readers an idea of the absurdity on display, Fox News on any given day averages about 1 million viewers an hour, double that in prime time.
By comparison, the evening news programs on the three broadcast networks typically get a combined 20 to 25 million sets of eyeballs. Their morning shows garner about 13 million viewers.
This means that the morning and evening news programs of the broadcast networks attract as much as 38 million viewers each week day. Add CNN, HLN, MSNBC, and PBS into the mix, and Fox's television impact is dwarfed by these liberal outlets.
As for radio, according to the liberally biased Wikipedia, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Neal Boortz, and Laura Ingraham attract 68 million listeners a week, or roughly 14 million per day.
This means the morning and evening news broadcasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC reach significantly more than twice the audience of all the conservative talk radio hosts combined.
When one factors in NPR's numbers, conservative dominance on AM radio isn't as large as advertised. NPR's "Morning Edition," "Fresh Air," and "All Things Considered" garner 21 million listeners per week, or 4 million per day.
As such, without including the liberal talkers such as Bill Press and Ed Schultz, or all the rest of NPR's programming, there's less than a ten million per day gain in conservative opinion via the radio.
And we haven't even talked about the influence of all the liberal newspapers, wire services, and magazines in the country.
Add it all up, and Rich, along with all the other liberal press members bemoaning the media dominance of Fox and conservative radio talkers, are totally clueless of the actual facts.
Color me very unsurprised.