OAKLAND, Ca., September 2, 2013 — From The New York Times to Newsweek to MSNBC, liberal media outlets are failing. Readership and viewership are down, revenues are plunging, and the trend appears unlikely to improve.
The Daily Beast is now projected to lose $12 million in 2013. The Washington Post owners sold their stake in the family business to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. The New York Times had to accept a bailout from a Mexican business magnate, and has now seen ad revenues shrink for 11 consecutive quarters.
The Boston Globe, bought by the Times for over $1 billion in 1993, sold this year for just $73 million. CNN and MSNBC are hemorraging in the ratings, and Current TV, after racking up an unbroken string of losses, was bought by Al Jazeera.
Newsweek was sold for one dollar. Air America was an expensive boondoggle.
While the Internet can be blamed for the overall decline in print subscriptions, it does not explain the ideological chasm from a success standpoint. Fox News is thriving, and the Wall Street Journal remains a strong and respected institution, second only to USA Today in distribution.
Investors Business Daily is solvent, and talk radio personalities Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity consistently deliver strong ratings.
So why are so many politically liberal media outlets collapsing?
Liberals often deny that the problem even exists. They also play the superiority card, insisting talk radio plays to the lowest denominator and that most Americans are not able to appreciate true quality.
But facts are stubborn, and their numbers are bad. Investors and executives care about the bottom line.
Conservatives conflate the collapse of liberal media outlets with the collapse of liberalism itself. America is a center-right nation, and polls consistently show twice as many self-identified conservatives as liberals.
Yet the left controls the White House and the Senate, and conservatives won’t have an easy time taking either back. The ratings collapse of MSNBC is doing nothing to put a conservative Republican in the white House, and no matter what the polls say, conservatives do not get twice as many votes as liberals.
If liberal ideology is firmly entrenched in the government, why are the liberal media outlets floundering?
There is no one single reason. What plagues a newspaper might have only a negligible effect on a television station. What devastates MSNBC may not apply to CNN at all.
To properly analyze why these entities are suffering requires treating them all as separate entities. All “people” are not the same. Each are different, even in their own sub-categories. Men will be from Mars. Women from Venus. Except for the exceptions to those rules.
So for conservatives to say that all liberal entities are the same would play into the very identity politics that conservatives deplore when conducted by liberals.
Some entities suffer from a lack of professionalism. The staff conduct themselves in an unbecoming manner. Other entities make repeated errors that require repeated corrections.
Far more harmful are the instances of deliberate misconduct, ranging from using fake video footage to outright plagiarism. In some cases political correctness leads to censorship and suppression of valued news stories and an overdose of less important stories.
An institutionalized liberal bias often leads to blurred lines between hard news and opinion. Lastly, some entities desperately try to avoid controversy by putting all of their information through a blander. They are just boring.
Various liberal entities need to be looked at through the lens of a failed business, and nothing more. Determining which problems affect which entities is the first step toward having each one try to decide if the solution is revival or euthanasia. Not everything can be saved.
Only one thing is clear. An American media with powerful liberal and conservative voices leads to a richer, more valuable national discussion.
By forcing liberal publications to fix their mistakes, it will allow them to become more intellectually valid, which will in turn force conservative publications to do likewise.
This can only lead to a better exchange of ideas, which means a better America.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
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