One of my favorite liberal columnists, E. J. Dionne, Jr., wrote several months ago, “It took conservatives a lot of hard and steady work to push the media rightward. It dishonors that work to presume that—except for a few liberal columnists—there is any such thing as the big liberal media.” Aside from the fact that he conveniently ignores the three major television networks, almost every major daily newspaper, and most of the very large foundations that support leftist causes, he is correct that the right has made significant media inroads in recent years.
It has happened mainly because people in the so-called “red” electoral regions, or “flyover country”, finally and over time grew tired of the condescending attitude of the media elite of the two coasts. The de-massification of the media so accurately predicted by Alvin Toffler over twenty years ago in The Third Wave has also helped. Radio talk shows and cable TV competitors brought an unbundling of the message and with it, more unvarnished news and analysis. As a result, the mainstream outlets plus CNN were forced to respond by at least attempting to appear more accommodating. In the final analysis, Americans essentially have conservative instincts, our regime is grounded in conservative political philosophy, and our cultural levers of power—media, academia, and philanthropic institutions—have been too long out of step. Some healthy competition was long overdue. As Limbaugh often says, “we are equal time”. Eat your heart out, Phil Donahue.