NEWS AND OPINION:
Watchdog groups have long tracked liberal bias in the news media, a force first identified in a landmark survey of 238 journalists conducted in 1981 by political-science scholars Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman.
It found that 54% of the respondents said they were “left of center,” 29% were “middle of the road” and 17% were “right of center.” Their startling findings grew into a 1986 book titled “The Media Elite: America’s New Powerbrokers.”
Journalists’ penchant to lean left has continued over the decades and now appears to have reached some sort of cultural and political zenith: “The MSNBC administration.”
This should be the new name for President Biden and his administration, according to Fox New host Laura Ingraham.
“This isn’t the Biden administration, is it? Really? It’s the MSNBC administration,” Ms. Ingraham said in a commentary which cited the persistent, pervasive liberal bias in the news media.
She is convinced, though, that the administration’s evolving left-leaning and progressive policies are simply not a good fit for the average American. The U.S. is not that liberal.
“This isn’t a hard left country. They’re not going to be able to convince voters to dump the Electoral College, make Washington D.C. a state, get rid of capitalism or eliminate prisons. It’s not going to happen,” Ms. Ingraham predicted.
THE OTHER ‘SUPER BOWL’
The long-awaited anniversary of the unfortunate Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has come and gone. But it has provided a lasting bonanza for the press.
“It was the liberal media’s Super Bowl,” noted Curtis Houck, managing editor of NewsBusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.
“Major broadcast network morning newscasts — ABC’s ‘Good Morning America,’ CBS’s ‘Mornings,’ and NBC’s ‘Today’ — spent roughly 90 minutes dissecting, obsessing over, and painting 75 million-plus Trump voters as enemies,” Mr. Houck wrote in an analysis of the anniversary coverage — which is likely to continue right into the weekend.
Media interest in the anniversary was so intense that Politico issued a lengthy guide to it all.
“Jan. 6 is all about Donald Trump,” the news organization said, noting that those who dislike or even fear the 45th president would be remembering the attack as his “lowest point as president.”
But there is a flip side of the coverage, centered on Mr. Trump’s fans.
“For those who love him, merely tolerate him, or crave his return to the White House, today is a media stunt: a contrived anniversary of an insignificant event boosted by Democrats and the press to punish Republicans and cynically advance Biden’s legislative priorities,” the Politico analysis said.
“Americans often have a shared understanding about big traumatic national events. That is not the case with Jan. 6, which is why the cliche about our politics feeling like a civil war has more and more resonance,” the news organization said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump will have his say on Jan. 15 at a “Save America Rally” in Florence, Arizona — which has all the hallmarks of a classic Trump rally from his presidential campaign days.
The gates for the big event open at 8 a.m. local time, live entertainment begins at 2 p.m., “pre-program speakers” get their cue at 5 p.m. and Mr. Trump steps on the stage at 7 p.m. to “deliver remarks.”
LARRY ELDER’S ‘ABILITY’
Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder lost his bid for California governor during the recall bid four months ago against incumbent Gov. Gavin Newsom. He has decided to forgo another run for the office in favor of some serious work behind the scenes.
Mr. Elder has formed Elder for America, a political action committee that will work on behalf of Republicans seeking office in federal and local elections.
“I ran for governor because I wanted to make a difference. While I may not know what the future holds for me politically, our campaign’s ability to attract millions of votes and millions of dollars in a very short time demonstrates we have a message that resonates with Americans, and I believe we can put that to good use,” Mr. Elder said in a statement.
That “ability” is a serious asset. Mr. Elder’s campaign raised $22.5 million in eight weeks and he has now adopted the social media motto “We’ve got a country to save.”
Mr. Elder, incidentally, is heard every weekday in all 50 states, on 300-plus stations.
OUR PANDEMIC ENTERTAINMENT
Americans watch a lot of TV and play a lot of games. Time spent with a good book has also come into play, and in a big way. We’ve been reading a lot of “print units” — in book industry parlance.
“Led by the fiction categories, unit sales of print books rose 8.9% in 2021 over 2020 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. 825.7 million print units were sold last year, a jump of nearly 68 million over 2020 and a whopping 132 million over 2019,” reports Publishers Weekly, which tracks such data, and derives the phenomenon as a “huge sales year.”
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
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POLL DU JOUR
• 52% of U.S. adults say the Democratic Party is “somewhat” or “very” divided; 47% of women and 57% of men agree.
• 45% overall say the Democratic Party is “somewhat” or “very” united: 48% of women and 41% of men agree.
• 49% overall say the Republican Party is “somewhat” or “very” divided; 52% of women and 45% of men agree.
• 47% overall say the Republican Party is “somewhat” or “very” united: 43% of women and 53% of men agree.
• 4% overall had no answer to either possibility, including 5% of women and 2% of men.
SOURCE: An Axios/Momentive poll of 2,649 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 1-3.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.