Total all of the GRPs from news programs on ABC, CBS, NBC and their hundreds of affiliates across the country. Then add in the circulation of all of the nation’s newspapers and you have a Goliath that makes the audience of the conservative media look like a David. More importantly, the mainstream media reaches the audience that drives policy and swings elections, while the new media is preaching to the choir.
Associated Press Writer Deb Riechmann has more influence over public opinion polls than Rush Limbaugh does. Riechmann’s dispatches are printed in tens of millions of newspapers throughout the country and because she covers President Bush, her stories often get television coverage as well.
Liberally biased Riechmann is pawned off as news, but it is understood that conservatively biased Limbaugh is presenting commentary. When Riechmann packaged Cindy Sheehan sympathetically, and covered President Bush harshly, it made an impact with the primary target audience that influences public opinion polls. Limbaugh’s excellent commentary on the subject helps those of us who want to dig deep into important stories understand why we have the opinions we do. Limbaugh doesn’t change our opinion as much as he solidifies them. Riechmann, on the other hand, serves it up to those looking for the fast food equivalent of the issues of the day. The opinions of the people she reaches are more easily swayed than the opinions of Limbaugh’s more thoughtful audience.
The new media led by Limbaugh has been a wonderful development for conservatives. None of us would want to go back to the dark ages of the 1980’s. But, just because conservatives have a voice, it doesn’t mean the media is balanced. Liberal bias in the mainstream media is a huge problem in this country. Like other topics, those of us who take the time, understand the ramifications of media bias. Those who stay at the surface level of thinking, dismiss media bias as a non-issue.