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Jakebert
11-29-2007, 09:11 AM
This was obviously inspired by the other thread.

Liberals try constantly to do the same things conservatives have done, which is make their opponents out to be villians and evil. Conservatives have done such a good job that liberals are not labelling themselves "progressives" in order to get away from the stereotypes conservatives have created.

Liberals have tried desperatly to get the conservative stereotypes to stick, but they've barely worked outside of college campuses and their own kind. Which is funny because their stereotypes come a little closer to the truth.

My theory is because conservatives have an amazing propaganda machine. They have independant warriors like Limbaugh, 'O Reilly, Savage, Coulter, Fox News, and others to do their work for them. Liberals have Michael Moore and Air America Radio. Only one of which is effective, and frankly even most liberals realize Moore is a windbag who has nothing to say.

wheelchairman
11-29-2007, 06:25 PM
I'm going to piss off Thi by relentlessly talking about philosophy. But it's so relevant.

I've been reading a lot of Media Discourse Analysis recently. And the jist of it is that entities in the media can be defined almost entirely as "Friend/Enemy". And discovering which is which can reveal the underlying ideology of the writer (and most likely the institution connected, that is the newspaper, channel, whatever.)

Terms like immigrant are ideologically charged depending on the context. (In this case a liberal or conservative context.) But they've managed to achieve the great success of making liberal enemy and conservative friend.

I mean look at Emehl6's old thread. I'm willing to bet that he actually thought they were raising the tax up to like 25%, when the 20% increase only meant from 5% to 6%. The way it was written implied that everyone would be poor because of their false statistics.

It's so easy to manipulate numbers to show what you want. It's so easy to manipulate media to make people subconsciously agree. We see it all the time. Congress bad, local congressman good. etc. etc.

BREAK
11-29-2007, 09:59 PM
It's not that conservatives make better propagandists than liberals, it's more about what kind of people are going to give a big enough shit to care about the propaganda in the first place.

The reason why it seems that conservative propaganda catches on so well is because its intended audience ARE exactly the type of people who will listen to it and dutifully spread the party line around like wildfire, as it were. On the side of the political spectrum these people reside on, parroting the conventional wisdom is never looked down on, in fact it's seen as a virtue.

Whereas the left tends to take more pride in thinking for itself, which makes them more inclined to develop opinions of their own and which, as can be expected, leads to a lot of petty nitpicking and infighting.

The only way for propaganda to succeed is to let it exist in a world of absolutes, which, in the relativist worldview of your typical liberal, is pretty much anathema. However, the left has actually succeeded in making their talking points into common knowledge more often these days, what with the global warming thing, etc. But obviously a party that calls itself "liberal" can hardly be expected to be better at smearing the other side.

HornyPope
11-29-2007, 10:04 PM
Well Break said it.

BustedKnuckles
12-01-2007, 04:28 AM
Why are Republicans so good at propaganda? Last time I checked, Liberals were in control of the largest propeganda/subliminal messaging machine in the United States: NBC and it's affiliates.

But to answer your question: It's because Liberal propaganda isn't scary enough to everyday Americans. Example:

Reaction to Liberal propaganda: "What? The world is going to flood in 50years if we don't stop what we're doing? Oh well, I won't have to deal with it."

Reaction to Republican propaganda: "What!?! Liberals want to raise my taxes? Hell no! How am I supposed to pay for my 2009 Ford Excursion?"

wheelchairman
12-01-2007, 04:55 AM
Why are Republicans so good at propaganda? Last time I checked, Liberals were in control of the largest propeganda/subliminal messaging machine in the United States: NBC and it's affiliates.


wait.....what? No serously. what?

Mota Boy
12-01-2007, 08:39 AM
Why are Republicans so good at propaganda? Last time I checked, Liberals were in control of the largest propeganda/subliminal messaging machine in the United States: NBC and it's affiliates.Subliminal messages?

Jake hit much of it. I think I'm just going to end up restating most of his points.


TMy theory is because conservatives have an amazing propaganda machine.Yes, that's one part. Republicans have managed to set up a great infrastructure. Remember - from 1933 to 1994, with few exceptions, Congress was run by Democrats. It was in this atmosphere of being the minority party that Republicans developed much of their discipline and machinery. Many Republican talking heads get special access to the Bush Administration, which has become incredibly effective at manipulating the system. Republicans will craft a "message", and this message will be disseminated throughout the ranks, with everyone being on message. Such a thing is often referred to as the "echo chamber" - suddenly, a great many different right-wing media will begin repeating the same story. This is most evident in regards to relatively fast-changing stories, where the line will shift, but almost always hold.

Also, the Republican Party has become fucking great at media manipulation. The Press Secretary, for instance, will often only repeat the administration line in response to a variety of questions. This creates some surreal moments in the newsroom, but the next day, all the papers can run is the official line. Likewise, anyone that asks too penetrating questions is removed from the press corps. They've even gotten into renaming shit, which is how the "Estate Tax" became the "Death Tax" (there are many more examples - the guy behind it wrote a book recently on the subject) - suddenly, in debates on TV, Democrats have to defend the "Death Tax", and many find themselves falling into the language of Republicans.

Also, as Jake pointed out, the entire Party, including the voters, are much more willing to buy into the line. I think a good chunk of it isn't merely that Democrats are more independently-minded, but that the Republican Party is more conservative than the Democratic Party is liberal. It's very hard to fall to the right of the Republican Party - if you call for shutting down all immigration to the US, for nuking Mecca and for hanging homosexuals, you will likely refer to yourself as a Republican. If, on the other hand, you want to legalize drugs, end private property and prioritize the environment... you may vote for the Democratic Party, but it covers none of those issues. The Republican Party today is not so much "conservative" as "reactionary". Various minority groups are demonized, taxes are unquestionably bad, and God and Country are never questioned.

Finally, Republicans distrust "the media". The "mainstream media" is full of liberals. As are colleges (i.e. academics). As are any centers of science. Intellectuals, scientists and reporters are all suspect. Therefore, any information that does not conflicts with their opinions is biased. Essentially, they are insulated from reality. The Party and its organs of dissemination are the only news that gets through.

Not all Republicans, mind you, but a fairly significant percentage of the core. Those that watch Fox News. And a few that no longer watch Fox News because it's gone "mainstream" (these people exist; they are terrifying).

jacknife737
12-01-2007, 11:01 AM
Why are Republicans so good at propaganda? Last time I checked, Liberals were in control of the largest propeganda/subliminal messaging machine in the United States: NBC and it's affiliates.

I love when people spout off generic talking points....

Seriously though, the claim that the media is controlled by some vast left-wing conspiracy is just down right silly. Well, almost as silly as conservatives being fed up of how Wikipdedia is runand starting their own "conservapedia".

EDIT: expanded my comment


My theory is because conservatives have an amazing propaganda machine. They have independant warriors like Limbaugh, 'O Reilly, Savage, Coulter, Fox News, and others to do their work for them. Liberals have Michael Moore and Air America Radio. Only one of which is effective, and frankly even most liberals realize Moore is a windbag who has nothing to say.

That's not a bad point.

I think a lot of it has to do with mainly "conservative" media types spouting off the same, stereotypical talking-points, ie "illegal’s = terrorist", "Hillary Clinton is a lesbian who wants to surrender to Alqada", etc. And like BREAK mentioned, their "target" audience is just the type of people that eat that stuff up. If anyone really wants to see the effect that this propaganda has on a lot of middle-class Americans, you should go read a couple threads at www.freerepublic.com, some of the stuff that the users post there, is well.... down right terrifying. The average person loves to argue with talking points, rather then actually going out to research on their own and form their own opinion.

Jakebert
12-01-2007, 11:01 AM
Mota and BREAK: great posts. I tried to reply with more than that, but everything was explained so well that I can't add anything.


Why are Republicans so good at propaganda? Last time I checked, Liberals were in control of the largest propeganda/subliminal messaging machine in the United States: NBC and it's affiliates.

But to answer your question: It's because Liberal propaganda isn't scary enough to everyday Americans. Example:

Reaction to Liberal propaganda: "What? The world is going to flood in 50years if we don't stop what we're doing? Oh well, I won't have to deal with it."

Reaction to Republican propaganda: "What!?! Liberals want to raise my taxes? Hell no! How am I supposed to pay for my 2009 Ford Excursion?"

NBC's dominance doesn't even come close to Fox. Rupert Murdoch, a huge conservative, probably owns more media outlets than any other single person in the world.

It's not that liberal propraganda isn't scary. I think the idea of your kids getting sent to a pointless war is much scarier than the phony terrorist threat that Bush exploited because there's a real basis in reality. But I think a lot of it could be because conservatives are much more fearful than liberals in general. They seem to react much more on emotional impulses than logical, which means they're less likely to think things through and asses whether or not they're being lied to.

One point Mota brought up is one that's a giant pet-peeve of mine: as soon as a conservative is proven wrong, they start talking about the massive liberal media conspiracy, or talk about how intellectuals are elitists. They've done an excellent job at coming up with defense mechanisms in order to get away with being wrong. Not that liberals have been particuarly noble when it comes to being wrong, but I don't think that they're as pathetic in that regard.

BustedKnuckles
12-01-2007, 11:37 AM
NBC's dominance doesn't even come close to Fox. Rupert Murdoch, a huge conservative, probably owns more media outlets than any other single person in the world.

It's not that liberal propraganda isn't scary. I think the idea of your kids getting sent to a pointless war is much scarier than the phony terrorist threat that Bush exploited because there's a real basis in reality. But I think a lot of it could be because conservatives are much more fearful than liberals in general. They seem to react much more on emotional impulses than logical, which means they're less likely to think things through and asses whether or not they're being lied to.

One point Mota brought up is one that's a giant pet-peeve of mine: as soon as a conservative is proven wrong, they start talking about the massive liberal media conspiracy, or talk about how intellectuals are elitists. They've done an excellent job at coming up with defense mechanisms in order to get away with being wrong. Not that liberals have been particuarly noble when it comes to being wrong, but I don't think that they're as pathetic in that regard.

I'm only going to reply to you, because you are the only person that shows respect. Which is sad because wheelchairman is a mod.

I agree with Fox news being ultra conservative. I'm not a conservative by any means, nor am I a liberal. I just get tired of turning on either NBC and hearing constant bashing of conservatives, which happens all the time, just watch MSNBC, and I get tired of watching Fox news because of their constant sucking the balls of the conservatives.

Jakebert
12-01-2007, 12:28 PM
You missed my point. You said that NBC was the biggest media empire, but it's not. Newscorp, which is owned by Murdoch, is the largest. NBC is owned by GE, which is a bigger company than Newscorp, but it isn't a strictly media company.

BustedKnuckles
12-01-2007, 12:33 PM
You missed my point. You said that NBC was the biggest media empire, but it's not. Newscorp, which is owned by Murdoch, is the largest. NBC is owned by GE, which is a bigger company than Newscorp, but it isn't a strictly media company.

Ok, I understand. My point still stands (not the biggest empire part), but thank you for clarifying that.

Sham
12-01-2007, 02:08 PM
The Republican party has the image. They have the "we are awesome, we will win, America is the best country ever!" image. So, they can use this to their advantage. Also, the less educated and ignorant, if given a choice, would usually go to the Republicans just for this image. While the Democrats usually focus on pointing out issues, the Republicans focus on pointing out what is so good about them.

BREAK
12-01-2007, 03:29 PM
I agree with Fox news being ultra conservative. I'm not a conservative by any means, nor am I a liberal. I just get tired of turning on either NBC and hearing constant bashing of conservatives, which happens all the time, just watch MSNBC, and I get tired of watching Fox news because of their constant sucking the balls of the conservatives.

When you turn them on, are you expecting to hear levelheaded, nuanced discourse? And if you don't align yourself with either side, why do you even care?

And of course I forgot to mention the complicity between the media and the Oval Office, which has grown to a disgraceful level of bedfellowship lately, the newest White House press secretary is a former Fox News reporter, for fuck's sake. Then again, the media and the politicians are basically serving the same interests anyway (that of big business), so it makes perfect sense in the most twisted way possible.

Hi, we're fucked.

Mota Boy
12-01-2007, 07:49 PM
I'm only going to reply to you, because you are the only person that shows respect. Which is sad because wheelchairman is a mod.What, pray tell, was so disrespectful about my post? The politics forum is for debating. If you make a foolish argument, it will be attacked. There is a difference between attacking a person and attacking an argument, just as there is a difference between arguing and flaming... and you were neither flamed nor insulted - it's just that we didn't take all possible steps to massage your ego. Don't be so thin-skinned, playing the victim isn't terribly becoming of you.

I was giving you a chance not to look so foolish, rather than going ahead and telling you that subliminal messages don't actually exist and that ascribing their use to a television network makes you sound ignorant and a little paranoid. But well, here we are.

Betty
12-04-2007, 03:13 AM
Finally, Republicans distrust "the media". The "mainstream media" is full of liberals. As are colleges (i.e. academics). As are any centers of science. Intellectuals, scientists and reporters are all suspect. Therefore, any information that does not conflicts with their opinions is biased. Essentially, they are insulated from reality. The Party and its organs of dissemination are the only news that gets through.


I like this point. Although I'd disagree that scientists are mostly liberal. "Mainstream media," yes and academia, yes. Back when I was first becoming interested in politics, I found it very hard to trust "the media" and many academics because there are SO many liberals. There are always statements and ideas thrown in that make me cringe. So I almost exclusively turned to more right-wing sources for information because I felt what they had to say was much more logical and I trusted it. Even though it can be quite harsh, I just feel like I can relate much better to these ideas and ways of rationalizing things. Right-wingers will say something SUPER harsh, but at least their reasons usually make complete sense to me in theory (just maybe not in practice). (This does not include many things such as strong religion beliefs or crazy social beliefs on the subject of abortion or whatever). I still made the effort to hear out both sides as much as I could handle it, but some of the more liberal sources were just so painful to listen to, that I had a hard time knowing what to trust.

I'll use this thread as an example. This whole thread pretty much makes me cringe aside from Busted Knuckles' reply. And it's not even that his (her?) reply was most correct. It was just finally different. It finally called everybody else out on not being correct. It was the first reply that wasn't liberal-leaning, and that's how I feel ALL THE TIME: surrounded by 90% liberals.

Here's the thing. Both liberals and conservatives are excellent at propaganda. But liberals don't consider their propaganda propaganda. Because they believe it to be truth. Therefore they consider conservatives better at propaganda. Whereas conservatives will consider liberals quite good at propaganda cause they don't believe THEM. I'd like to think conservatives realize that what they say can also be considered propaganda, but who knows. Either way, it's exactly the same depending on the perspective you're coming from, and it's extremely frustrating to read a thread where everybody agrees that conservatives are better at propaganda. There are two sides of the coin. Each side things they're right. Each side has similar opinions of the other side.

Or, as Busted Knuckles pointed out, conservative propaganda is more "scary" than their own possible "propaganda." Whether or not this is ultimately correct, it's an entertaining point.

And, to demonstrate my point further, things that make me cringe in this thread:

Break's comment: "The reason why it seems that conservative propaganda catches on so well is because its intended audience ARE exactly the type of people who will listen to it and dutifully spread the party line around like wildfire, as it were. On the side of the political spectrum these people reside on, parroting the conventional wisdom is never looked down on, in fact it's seen as a virtue."

Maybe I'm offended cause that's NOT me, or many other conservatives I've spoken to. And of course I realize tons of "conservatives" are only like that because that's how they were raised or whatever and don't even think about why they believe what they do, but it's the EXACT SAME THING FOR THE LIBERALS. There are those who pride themselves on thinking for themselves (aka thinking like the rest of the people like them) and there are tons who follow their family/friends/teachers/whatever. So I think this point is terrible and I'm perhaps even more disappointed in Vlad for echoing it.

Okay, on re-reading the thread, it's actually not too bad. Also, I probably can't have the same understanding of the issue since I'm not exposed to the American media very much and with the Bush administration and all, it could be possible that the Republicans really are spreading the word bigtime over there. I think my point still stands though in that liberals generally don't see the flipside of what they're saying.

And I probably didn't express myself that well, but I will clarify if need be once I'm done writing this damn paper that I'm procrastinating at the moment.

wheelchairman
12-04-2007, 05:30 AM
I think largely it stems from news outlets.

Liberal viewpoints maybe be overly-represented in movies, books (fiction is what I'm thinking.) and music, but news-outlets in the US (thinking TV media) seem to be overwhelmingly republican. It's almost a joke. And I don't mean they come right out and say "Hey Go Bush!". It's just the vocabulary and slants they use are usually more republican. I remember someone mentioned NBC as being a liberal outlet, (in Europe we have a newschannel called MSNBC which I assumed was a daughter company) that is about as conservative as it gets (although not as blatant as Fox News).

It may just be that I don't live in the US. But I can't think of a liberal equivalent of Fox News on tv. And we don't get American CNN over here.

Mota Boy
12-04-2007, 08:28 AM
I like this point. Although I'd disagree that scientists are mostly liberal.I'm glad you do. It's actually somewhat related to a philosophy I'm developing, which is either utterly brilliant or thoroughly idiotic. I'm gonna bank it off a philosophy major friend of mine to find out which one soon. And I didn't say that Scientists are mostly liberal - I just said that conservatives see them as such, particularly US conservatives. Scientists used to be good (thinking among many conservatives may go), back when they helped us win the Cold War, but lately they're all about Global Warming, studying homosexuality as a natural affliction rather than a personal choice and tearing into God with their "paleontology". If a study comes out that conflicts with conservative (read: religious conservative) viewpoints, it's considered the work of "godless scientists" many of whom, as if there were any doubt, also happen to be academics.

I think the issue is that, in the US, conservatives and evangelicals have become so entangled that one can often substitute for the other in casual conversation.


Here's the thing. Both liberals and conservatives are excellent at propaganda. But liberals don't consider their propaganda propaganda. Because they believe it to be truth.Excellent point.

However, it is a generally agreed-upon fact that conservatives are better than liberals at propaganda. I could give myriad examples, but I'll just go with the two most blatant - as Jakebert mentioned, "liberal" has become so effectively used by the Right as a pejorative that liberals refer to themselves as "progressives" instead. Holy shit! Look at that! Conservatives stole our name for ourselves. They managed to imbue the basic, generic description of someone from the left with such vitriol that they had to change their name to run from it. Meanwhile, "conservative" has none of the immediate, negative connotations. Hell, that should be all the proof you need that there's SOMETHING going on imbalance-wise.

Secondly, as Republicans have wrapped themselves in the flag and in the Bible, the party is the one of low taxes, God-lovin' and a strong military. This dialectic puts Democrats at the godless, wimpy party that wants to take your money. Look at how the current crop of Democratic candidates has had to play the Republican game - the top three all repeatedly invoke God and religious messages in their speeches. All automatically have to overcome the "wimp" factor (or, in the case of Edwards, the "faggot" factor). Hell, the Republican candidates right now are far and away getting the most heat from their own party!

Not to mention the fact that Democratic candidates for the past two decades - Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry and... uh, Clinton - have all been fucking skewered. The only one to actually make it into office - Clinton, of course - was almost repeatedly hounded by scandals and investigations and then almost impeached. Over a blowjob. And he's reviled. Meanwhile, Reagan is seen as one of the greatest Presidents ever and Bush II has his "stupidity" turned into an asset! He spoke "from the gut", he was the candidate most people wanted to have a beer with! Republicans are damn effective at controlling national talking points, and I'm pretty sure that down here that is taken as fact on both sides.

Hell, for the first few years after the invasion, Democrats could neither criticize the President because he was at war, or the war itself because then they'd be "hurting the troops". Hell, most liberal propaganda I've seen lately has been aimed at either mitigating conservative propaganda or borrowing from it wholesale.

brothadave79
12-04-2007, 10:03 AM
The only one to actually make it into office - Clinton, of course - was almost repeatedly hounded by scandals and investigations and then almost impeached. Over a blowjob. And he's reviled.

He was impeached by the house, and it was for perjury. People love him. That is all.

BREAK
12-04-2007, 10:55 AM
Betty, it's pretty much cultural differences. As Mota pointed out, American conservatism has become so tightly intertwined with religious evangelicalism that it's all too easy to conflate them into one group, which is pretty much what I did. My bad. And there's the question of spectrum - from what I understand, a conservative in Canada would be considered a moderate/liberal in America and etc. The spectrum for liberalism in America is one whole hell of a lot wider than the conservative spectrum. Simply labeling yourself a "liberal American" doesn't tell people much about your views, because in general a liberal in America is a centrist by anyone else's standards. So, because "the Left" actually lumps together a wide compendium of stances, there's a lot more room for disagreement (not of the either/or variety, but in a "more liberal than thou" way). What kind of crazy fucking country is this where Joe Lieberman and Noam Chomsky are both considered "the Left" when in reality, they'd find very little to agree on?

In a way, what I said about the differences between the parties (at least in America) should be taken as a compliment. More unanimity among conservatives means they have greater strength in numbers in pushing their policies through, and can therefore affect more social change. It's a relatively recent phenomenon where Republicans have been taken to task by their own party for being "too far to the left"(Giuliani), or "flip-floppers"(Romney) whereas these are complaints that have dogged Democrats for years, if not decades.

I'm glad you brought up the myth of the liberal media. That line is one of the most brilliant political strategies ever. See, the media risks losing its credibility if it goes too far to the left, so in America you actually get to hear voices on top-rated news programs claiming that liberals want to

- let terrorists invade the country and take over
- abort all the world's unborn children
- ban the Bible
- force Christian churches to recognize gay marriages

etc. etc. etc. and these voices are actually treated as "fair and balanced" opinions, instead of dismissed as the wacko lunatics they are. Meanwhile, if a leftist opinion does get through, it can simply be written off as "liberal bias". I'm still in awe over how fucking smart that is.

One last thing. Chomsky once said that it's actually to the media's advantage to be perceived as having a liberal bias. Because if it's the media that's setting the standard for liberalism, then it's also setting the limits. The public might rehash their views, but they won't go any further. In fact, they'd probably go in the opposite direction, just so they can feel capable of independent thought. I'm not bashing all conservatives by any means, just saying that there ARE differences between the parties - not just ideological differences, but fundamental differences in how they function - and that they shouldn't be equated. You can say they do the exact same things, you can even demonstrate it, but that doesn't make them exactly the same.

nieh
12-04-2007, 03:16 PM
conservative propaghandi

I lolled.

Mota Boy
12-04-2007, 06:57 PM
He was impeached by the house, and it was for perjury. People love him. That is all.Yes, some people love him. However, he's also fucking loathed on the right. Also, by plenty on the Left, as he lost the Democrats a majority in the House and was a fairly centrist President. I know people that think Bill was a pretty swell dude, but his name hardly ever comes up except as being smeared by the right. The impeachment proceedings were the result of a very long, very entangled series of investigations, the purpose of which was to get him under oath in the first place... over a blowjob. Perjury was merely a technicality. Similar to the way the government brought down Al Capone's notorious tax-evasion criminal syndicate in the thirties.


I'm glad you brought up the myth of the liberal media.Oh yeah, while I corrected your misconception that I was insinuating that scientists are all liberal, I omitted saying that I didn't really believe academia and the media are liberal either. Academia, perhaps, some (the only time I've had a professor blurt out loud, obnoxious opinions, he was a conservative... Polish immigrant... supposedly teaching me Spanish), but the media is a victim of cherry-picking. If you want to see a liberal bias, there are thousands of news stories released every day that will allow you to find it. The media is driven by several different biases, one of which may be liberalism, one of which may be conservatism, but neither are the main source of bias. For instance, the desire to make a profit is far greater than any political leaning.

sKratch
12-04-2007, 08:12 PM
My friend had a professor who spent entire lectures bashing Bush and would not respectfully consider arguments refuting what he said. I think my campus in general does have a fairly defined left lean.

Betty
12-04-2007, 08:26 PM
I omitted saying that I didn't really believe academia and the media are liberal either.

Ummm... have you ever picked up a school paper?

sKratch
12-04-2007, 11:20 PM
School papers are run by the student body, though, and "academia", as far as I'm aware, refers to faculty. At least at my school the students run the paper...

Jesus
12-05-2007, 07:24 AM
I think the biggest problem is with the words 'liberal' and 'conservative' which is mostly an American dichotomy and isn't really that helpful, because it doesn't make any distinction between economic, social or cultural issues.

So when you try to answer a question like is the US media 'liberal'? You get stuck, because you don' t know at what one should look. From what I've read and seen it's mostly progressive on cultural and social issues and centre-right to right on economic issues.

Which is pretty obvious in my opinion given that the key variables that determine media output are the media institutional structure, the journalists , political parties, advertisers and the market segment they serve.

As an institution it has a natural tendency to lean right wing on economic issues, just the same way as Microsoft or GE. Obviously between some boundaries, mostly determined how well they will do after an economic reform.
Journalists themselves will mostly be progressive on cultural and social issues, if psychology and neuroscience are correct in stating that creative people are generally more progressive and open to change. Since a corporation itself is mostly neutral 'socially', journalists have some space here and the media output will be more progressive. Where they stand on economic issues isn't really that relevant given that the institutional limitations of working at a corporation limit their options to express them if they are left wing or too right wing libertarian.
US political parties are a major input to determine what to write. The most obvious distinction between elite Dems and Republicans is on social issues/cultural issues and not so much on economic issues. Marginal differences exist of course, for instance Edwards health insurance plan is quite different even from the imo crap plans by Hillary and Obama. But mostly it are parties and elites backed and dependent on business and the media. And since the media has a key interest in going on with more or less right wing economics and they need something to write about you end up with social issues (a vicious circle).
Advertisers are obviously also corporations so they'll only care if readers will buy their crap, so they'll also lean right wing on economic issues.
Market segment, this mostly determines a bit of the policy space on economic issues.

Betty
12-05-2007, 07:48 AM
School papers are run by the student body, though, and "academia", as far as I'm aware, refers to faculty. At least at my school the students run the paper...

Yeah, they're definitely run by students. But as far as I'm aware, "academia" can refer to college/university communities as a whole.

From Wikipedia:

"Academia is a collective term for the scientific and cultural community engaged in higher education and research, taken as a whole."

Even if I had to just look at faculty, I'd venture that they leaned liberal. I don't have too much hard evidence myself as my profs (with Ph.D.'s in Chemistry) I think are much more level-headed than some of the liberal arts profs, and they don't really discuss that sort of thing in general. My ex complained a LOT about his profs (he did English and History as majors) so that gave me the impression they were quite left.

BREAK
12-05-2007, 11:41 AM
Maybe it's just because I live in the reddest of all red states, but am I seriously the only one here whose ever had conservative college professors? Not sure whether the number of them outweigh my liberal professors, nor have I ever given a fuck.

Jakebert
12-05-2007, 02:45 PM
He was impeached by the house, and it was for perjury. People love him. That is all.

Everything else in the thread, even the stuff I've disagreed with, have been amazingly interesting to read and I thank you all for helping me take away boredom by reading a good debate.

This, on the other hand, I have to argue with because it's a huge pet peeve of mine. Yeah, he was impeached by the House after they jumped through every hoop available to get him where he was. The entire thing was a set uo for him to lie about a blowjob, something that has nothing to do with his work as president, just to get him impeached because they didn't like him. It was dishonest, stupid, and way more unpatriotic than anything that the anti-war left have said and done.

People generally don't love him. Conservatives hate Clinton with a passion that I have never seen before in my life. My dad, who is ultra conservative, still brings Clinton into every political debate. Same goes for Limbaugh and Hannity. To a conservative, Clinton is the root of all evil. And buttsex.

sKratch
12-05-2007, 08:52 PM
And buttsex.

I knew this thread was missing something...

Mota Boy
12-05-2007, 09:03 PM
Ummm... have you ever picked up a school paper?My school paper had more conservative op-eds than liberal ones. Our school's biggest controversy while I was there was renaming a building from "Confederate Memorial Hall".

There is a direct correlation between education and liberalism, so college students tend to be more liberal - and also, the top colleges, the most visible, tend to be more liberal than most (coincidence?), while being from the South I can cite PLENTY of conservative institutions, with only a few small liberal arts schools scattered about the region providing a counterbalance to numerous state and religious colleges, though I'll grant you that a liberal bias certainly does exist on many campuses in the country. However, when I said that conservatives distrust "academia" I wasn't referring to the atmosphere college campuses, but the broader definition you just cited - the intelligentsia. Essentially, many US conservatives tune out any works of scholarship, any research and any new ideas merely because they come from very educated people, and seeing as educated people must necessarily spend a large amount of time in academia, they must automatically be biased (I'll get back to this feedback loop in a bit).

It's not that certain things can't have a liberal bias at all, or even that on balance they can't have a certain bias, it's that ANYTHING that contradicts a conservative viewpoint is automatically dismissed as "bias". ANYTHING. Think about it - what are our sources of information? The press? Biased. Literature? Biased. Academia? Biased. Science? Part of academia - biased. Literally, anything that contradicts a viewpoint is automatically biased and therefore unworthy of consideration, and that includes any and all outlets of information.

Granted, this ability to dismiss contradicting evidence falls across party lines - it's an inherent human trait - but conservatives have a narrative - the mainstream media, godless scientists, liberal academia - that further entrenches this tendency by explaining exactly why all contradicting information is inherently flawed. Because this pervasive idea exists, when alternate evidence comes up, it becomes evidence of bias on part of the messenger. This, in turn, drives them deeper into "legitimate" sources of media - i.e. media that doesn't contradict their beliefs.

And conservatives have a very advanced network of this media - right-wing radio is dominated by it, Fox News, alternative newspapers and now the blogosphere - there exists a market for conservative-slanted news, which becomes, in turn, the only source of legitimate news, allowing all other contradicting viewpoints to be automatically tuned out, and only one single "message" to get through - one that, due to the close networking, is often disseminated by the party throughout the sources - a few former executives of Fox News describe how memos would come down each day that specified what they were supposed to talk about and how, often with specific word choices. Comparatively, attempts at launching a liberal alternative to conservative radio (Air America - so named in an attempt to deflect criticism of underpatriotism) have failed grandly. Liberals, in general, are much less likely to dismiss entirely mainstream culture (news, movies, education) and thus feel less of a need to seek out alternatives. (Note - many Christian colleges have been established specifically so that Christians could get a college degree without being exposed to liberal biases - another example of an insulating, parallel culture which shields them from contradictions [also of note is that many graduates of these sub-par institutions were working in the US Justice Department under the current Administration])

At its core, these beliefs often center around an inability to criticize the USA or its policies, especially its martial policies (at least, while we're under a Republican president - the exact same people who wrapped themselves in the flag and successfully made it almost impossible to legitimately criticize the Iraq War for a fucking year were all over Clinton when he bombed Yugoslavia). This creates a certain feedback loop in relation to, say, the war in Iraq (or the economy, or illegal immigrants, or any controversial issue) - media that says the war isn't going well is biased, and dismissed, so instead conservatives turn to media trumpeting various successes. This in turn creates an impression that the war is going great. And when you're reading conservative news, the regular news looks even more liberal by comparison, and thus can automatically be dismissed as being biased (and not merely the specific story, mind you, the entire institution that backs it)...

This creates absurd scenarios visible on certain blogs, where headlines like "American deaths in Iraq lowest in fourteen months" are seen as sign of continued progress - ignoring that that automatically means that deaths for the past fourteen months have been higher than normal.

Finally, this isn't to say that all conservatives do this. Obviously, not all conservatives watch Fox News or it would have higher ratings than all the big networks combined. However, a sufficient number of conservatives in the United States do this to establish certain trends that are visible in conservative circles and absent from liberal ones.

JohnnyNemesis
12-05-2007, 09:16 PM
their reasons usually make complete sense to me in theory (just maybe not in practice)

I'm sure as fuck not a liberal OR a conservative at all, and I mean no disrespect when I say this, but...like...huh?

I just don't understand how, when it comes to these issues, something that makes sense in theory but could possibly fall flat in practice could ever have any value, especially when we're essentially talking about something that effects all of our lives. And I'm not trying to say diminished value. I'm saying any value whatsoever.


My friend had a professor who spent entire lectures bashing Bush and would not respectfully consider arguments refuting what he said. I think my campus in general does have a fairly defined left lean.

Meh, that might be better than what I'd do if I were that professor, which would probably be telling those people to get the fuck out of my classroom.

JohnnyNemesis
12-05-2007, 09:23 PM
Also, I just wanna say that I really, really, really hate the liberal/conservative dichotomy. That might be because I generally really really really hate both liberals and conservatives, but the dichotomy pisses me off even more for what I hope are obvious reasons. But in this particular thread, what annoys me is that they set up something that Betty pointed out.

I definitely don't mean to criticize you, or just you, for this Betty, because everyone does this. But the absolutely illogical/nonsensical dichotomy leads to comments like "there are two sides of the coin", when really I just don't buy that. There about a bajillion sides to every issue, and if one chooses to pretty much dismiss essential facets of an ideology after gathering a bunch of data and combining it with life experience and realizing that it's essentially complete bullshit (in this case, I'm thinking conservatism as it's been established in contemporary U.S...'the fuck am I supposed to do with a system that doesn't even factor my existence into the world?)...I just really don't think that's so wrong.

I don't think I'm being clear. I'm too tired.

sKratch
12-05-2007, 09:55 PM
Yeah I absolutely abhor the way politics are presented in this country. It's so extremely frustrating to me that there's a nonchalant acknowledgment--even insistence--that you're either a Republican, or you're a Democrat. Argh I don't want to get started on this because I'm really tired and I can't express myself the way I want to. I'll be back ;/

Llamas
12-05-2007, 10:00 PM
I have to agree with you both. It sucks defining myself as a "moderate", because too many people assume that being moderate means that you can't make up your mind between being liberal or conservative. It doesn't mean that at all (sure, it does for some people, but not the majority), and it's sick that it ends up being the assumption due to how our nation treats political views.

Betty
12-05-2007, 10:12 PM
Mota... you wrote TOO much... can't respond now (I have only a 5 min. procrastination break... and it's gonna take me longer to even type the reply I have in my head right now)... so all I will say is that MY universities, in almost every possible area, were incredibly liberal. So if that's not always the case, then I just have a very skewed perspective of political bias in academia. But there is no doubt in my mind that my schools were definitely very, very biased. (Like, this is not bias as in the left-wing media bias, this is very obvious bias). And the school papers... oh my goodness... they ranged from a decent amount of left-wing bias to those wackos that Jake was mentioning.

Rick, first off, since when do you call me Betty? Is it just more impersonal to disagree with a screen name? Second, I agree 100% with the dichotomy comment. And it's so hard to debate politics for that reason. When was the last time I posted in politics? Exactly. I've given up on even trying to really care. My point still kinda stands in that every "side" (be there a bazillion or two) feels similarly about the other "side," etc. But yes, I agree. And I was gonna go into it in my posts, but I just didn't. I guess I should have. But then you don't really get much across besides "there are so many sides and so many nuances and blah blah blah" and that's what all of my opinions boil down to in the end anyway cause I'm a huge fence sitter.

Anyway, to address your previous post... I can give an example. It may be a bit stupid, but I think it can still rationalize my point. To first be clear on my political stance (which I've said a million times): I lean to the right FINANCIALLY. Left socially. But finances are more important. And that's still way too vague. But at least it's better than "conservative." Anyway, I LOVE the ideals inherent in capitalism. Free markets and systems of merit and private ownership and all that jazz (I need to read Adam Smith or something at this point). I think the philosophy behind the ideals are inspiring. But in practice, 100% capitalism, probably not so much. And to give a terrible example, you have a purely capitalist system, you get poor people living on the street, this is an inconvenience to everyone. You help them out enough to get them off the street, even if this isn't part of your ideal system, but you need to at least find a happy medium so that people can co-exist in some sort of reasonable order.

It's just like the "from each their ability, to each their need" saying. Some probably think philosophically it's great. In practice, it's terrible. But personally, I think that it's a TERRIBLE saying and a terrible way to want to live. And if you'd like to drill that into your head with a 1000 page novel, then pick up Atlas Shrugged, ha. (p.s. I LOVE Ayn Rand, and I think she is incredibly inspiring, albeit somewhat preachy and repetitive.)

And these are the issues that we probably fundamentally disagree on on a daily basis Rick. And I could go into that more too. I have thoughts on why you are the way you are... or perhaps questions rather on why you turned out the way you turned out. And I have more thoughts on the whole ideal vs. practice thing. But I hope you understand my point in that you can respect/admire the fundamental philosophy behind certain ideas even if they don't work in practice? Or no?

Mota Boy
12-05-2007, 11:03 PM
And if you'd like to drill that into your head with a 1000 page novel, then pick up Atlas Shrugged, ha. (p.s. I LOVE Ayn Rand, and I think she is incredibly inspiring, albeit somewhat preachy and repetitive.)

Atlas Shrugged was pretty good for a fantasy romance novel.

As a serious piece of academic literature, it reveals how fundamentally flawed Ayn Rand's "objectivism" is. Ironically, Rand makes the exact same mistake that Karl Marx makes is Das Kapital in that the entire basis for her concepts of capitalism rests on supply alone, not taking the "demand" component of capitalism into account. Read it again - it fundamentally misinterprets how capital markets function, ignoring the fact that producers can create artificial scarcity to drive up price in monopoly industries. Rand actually comes out and presents this one-sided view of the supply/demand function in Galt's speech about how the magical hidden valley's economy functions, sometime around the part where he shows Dagny the generator.

Atlas Shrugged has several other serious flaws, but it's that ignorance of capitalism's most basic law (highly amusing that capitalism's biggest champion doesn't appear to know the basics of a market economy) that most completely undermines Rand's theories. (Also, the fact that Rand abandoned her family and created an ideology that scorns familial and friendship bonds in favor of judging other human beings solely on their worth in respect to yourself should give anyone pause).

Anyway, I don't mean to derail the thread. I just *have* to bring that up whenever anyone mentions her name (it's taking all my willpower not to go on about the other glaring flaw in her ideology).

JohnnyNemesis
12-06-2007, 12:13 AM
Rick, first off, since when do you call me Betty?

Hey! I do it every now and then! It was a random thang, babygirl.


Anyway, to address your previous post... I can give an example. It may be a bit stupid

Actually, your example wasn't stupid. I hear ya, and it makes perfect sense, so now I understand what you mean. I do disagree that capitalism is great though, mostly because it's really not just an economic or financial system (and, for the most part, when you think about capitalism as a social system it's almost inherently bad...but that's another convo for another time that I doubt I'll ever wanna engage in here).


p.s. I LOVE Ayn Rand

*my heart goes crickity-crack* Why you gotta do this to me, baby? I loved you so much :(

ps. I still love you.


I have thoughts on why you are the way you are...

And, even without knowing them, I can pretty much guarantee that they're inaccurate. But that's not through any shortcoming of yours, trust me. It's just that there's no possible way you could know, mostly because the way the fucked up world is set-up simply wouldn't allow you to know what someone likes me goes through and why, mostly thanks to the fact that I'm a product of a series of life experiences that are completely dismissed, devalued, and always excluded from the discussion...largely thanks to capitalism as a social system, in fact...

Please understand that I'm not dismissing your thoughts, though. I'm just trying to show you examples of why I feel they wouldn't be "on".


But I hope you understand my point in that you can respect/admire the fundamental philosophy behind certain ideas even if they don't work in practice? Or no?

I do understand, yes. I just don't think it's okay to be "satisfied" with the aspects that are fucked up, y'know what I mean? It may just be a few homeless people here and there for some, but that's like...my family out there. Not trying to be dramatic or anything, and I'm definitely not trying to act like I can solve all the problems or like I'm doing more than you or anyone else to make things better. But I'm definitely not okay with the way things don't work in practice, so I can't really heap any praise on anything. Recognizing that certain things work well, on the other hand, I can certainly do...I just don't think it's as productive. In fact, it leads to complacency, which is often counter-productive.

Betty
12-06-2007, 02:45 PM
I will totally address both of you regarding your posts soon!

HornyPope
12-06-2007, 04:13 PM
I have to agree with you both. It sucks defining myself as a "moderate", because too many people assume that being moderate means that you can't make up your mind between being liberal or conservative. It doesn't mean that at all (sure, it does for some people, but not the majority), and it's sick that it ends up being the assumption due to how our nation treats political views.

Here's a thought: if you don't want people to jump to assumptions and misinterpreting your stance, avoid defining yourself with vague, subjective labels. Actually, avoid defining yourself with any labels.