The Axis of Liberalism -- the other AOL -- is the media, academia and Hollywood.
First, the media.
About reporters' reaction to the 2008 Obama campaign, Joan Walsh, editor of the left-wing Salon.com, said, "I was struck, when I got to Iowa and New Hampshire in January, by how our media colleagues were just swooning over Barack Obama. That is not too strong a word. They were swooning." (Emphasis added.)
The Washington Post's ombudsperson, Deborah Howell, examined her own paper's 2008 coverage of the McCain-Obama race. To her credit, she admitted that the Post's reporting and analyses dramatically favored Obama: "The op-ed page ran far more laudatory opinion pieces on Obama, 32, than on Sen. John McCain, 13. There were far more negative pieces about McCain, 58, than there were about Obama, 32, and Obama got the editorial board's endorsement ... .
"Stories and photos about Obama in the news pages outnumbered those devoted to McCain. Reporters, photographers and editors found the candidacy of Obama, the first African American major-party nominee, more newsworthy and historic. ... Some readers thought the Post went over (Sarah) Palin with a fine-tooth comb and neglected (Joe) Biden. They are right."
What about The New York Times, America's most influential newspaper?
The New York Times' ombudsman, Arthur S. Brisbane, also admitted that his paper was biased to the left: "Across the paper's many departments ... so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism -- for lack of a better term -- that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of the Times. As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in the Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects."
Most people still get their news from national and local television, and from their local newspapers. Virtually all of the editorial pages of the major newspapers are liberal, and reporters self-describe as liberal far more often than they self-describe as conservative.
The second leg of the AOL is academia.
The American Enterprise Institute examined the political registrations of professors at 20 colleges and universities, representing a cross-section of higher education -- public and private, big and small, in the North, South, East and West. By a more than 13-1 margin, the profs were registered with a party of the left. Many departments had no professors from a right-wing party.