Thursday, May 21, 2009
Personal Asides: 3-1/2 to 22! Thats the Ratio of Conservatives to Liberals on the Two Major Chicago Newspapers What Will the New Pro-Life Majority Mean to Politics Here?
Overwhelming Liberal Imbalance.
In all of Chicagos so-called mainline print media which is often called the Old Media (for a good reason) there are only 3-1/2 conservative voices compared to a total of 22 liberal columnists. Does that strike you as diversity? Especially since the generic preference for Congress is 41% Dem and 36% Republican?
And the fact that polls have shown a rightward tack on abortion, Opinion Dynamics supporting pro-life 47-44, Gallup finding Americans supporting pro-life 51-42 (due principally to the growing use of ultra-sound which show parents that theres a live human being in there, not a gallstone.
It verifies what I have said for a long time: the big papers which constitute the Old Media are ramming liberal and Left views down our throats. Not because it sells: it obviously doesntbut because thats the ideological persuasion of the elites and by god they insist you like it or lump it. Or as the callow Richard Roeper has said drawing himself up in full arrogance: thats life in the big city. Meaning: we decide, you have to take it.
. And liberal leftism is a major reason for the decline in Old Media popularity, dont you kid yourself.
The only conservative voices in the Chicago leftward tilted media? Here they are.
Start out with John Kass of the Tribune whose magnificent column on Obama at Notre Dame is unrivaled among all the pieces I saw on the issue. He is deserving of a Pulitzer prize and I imagine hell get it, surmounting the leftward posture of the journalistic jury. Thats 1.
The only regular local Op Ed writer is either paper who is conservative on social as well as economic issues is Dennis Byrne, who writes weekly for The Tribune. He is a superstar and gets a full 1 for a total of 2 for the Tribune..
They are matched with 8 liberals who are:
Steve Chapman (a so-called libertarian but as an ex-New Republic writer supports decriminalization of drugs and opposes much national defense issues that equates with the Left); David Greising (a business columnist but when opportunity arises is smugly anti-conservative); Manya Brachear, religion writer who also blogs; Clarence Page in Washington, who got a Pulitzer and who concentrates on race issues, unremittingly liberal; Phil Rosenthal (a media writer who keenly dislikes conservative talk radio hosts; Mary Schmich who crusades for same-sex marriage; Dawn Turner Trice who tells whitey what its like to be black and victimized and Eric Zorn, (who opposes even a moment of nondenominational silence in public schools).
Over at the Sun-Times, there are one conservative: Jack Higgins, the papers Pulitzer prize-winning cartoonist probably the most brilliant cartoonist in America for 1. Steve Huntley, a regular columnist, is conservative on most economic and foreign policy-defense issues but is pro-choice (and who doesnt write on social issues)so I give him ½. Thats a total of 1-1/2 for the paper, pitted against these 14 liberals:
Mark Brown, Roger Ebert (Pulitzer prize winning film critic who feels so strongly liberal that he writes an occasional political commentary on the editorial page); Cathleen Falsani; Rev. Jesse Jackson ; Carol Marin; Rich Miller; Mary Mitchell; Suzanne Ontiveros; Richard Roeper; Neil Steinberg ; Lynn Sweet; Rick Telander (a sports writer who peppers liberal opinions in his columns); Don Terry and Laura Washington.
Thus the official city wide mainstream print media total: 3-1/2 conservatives to 22 liberals.
Official editorial page slant is hard left for the Sun-Times and liberal for the Tribuneboth supporting same-sex marriage and abortion. The Trib editorials generally stands with business on most regulatory issues.
It could be argued that since Chicago is a solidly Democratic town, the Old Media is right to reflect it. But THIS MUCH? Given the nature of newspaper readers more literate, more cerebral than those who get their stories from Jon Stewart at Comedy Center or their jollies from Jay Leno a more balanced flavor even a little bit would make sense. But both are seriously imbalanced. The Sun-Times has resolved to go hard-left in an ill-advised stab at getting more black readers and trendy Lakefront-ers. That hasnt really worked out since its bankrupt.
The Tribune is governed by focus group marketing groups which , chosen by hollow advertising types, leans to the let us say Hinsdale country club, trendy, gated community white shoe Left the group actually voting on stories dug up by reporters which hadnt even appeared yet. So thats why the paper is so vapid. On policy, its corporate board dictates what it believes on all but inside politics to its stenographer editorial page editor who in turn is on a pivot, swayed also by his editorial board which includes the papers ex-cookbook editor. Publisher Zell has no principles except money, admits he goofed on buying the paper and thus is ultra-pragmatic on all issues. But this hasnt worked out either since the paper like the Sun-Times is bankrupt.
Of the two papers, the lefty Sun-Times is distinctly the better one from the standpoint of coverage, investigations and breaking major news, consistently out-shooting the liberal Tribune on city and state politics and human interest grippers. Understaffed, under-funded it valiantly out-pointed the Trib once again last week on Todd Strogers tax problems.
The overall liberal Tribunes non-opinion content is lethargic, sleepy, predictable, boiler-plate, purveying conventional wisdommade individual and catchy only by John Kass. Both papers crusade editorially and in slanted news coverage for anti-Judeo Christian same-sex marriage running rough-shod over Chicagos majority religious sensibilitiesincluding black religious groups which endorse biblical formulation of heterosexual marriage. No matter as the Sun-Times Mr. Roeper says speaking for both papers and who poses cross-armed like an ideological gulag guard: thats life in the big city. Take it or leave it.
Readers are leaving it.
But still the liberal propaganda mill with the Old Media goes on.
And if they were to cover the end of the world both would echo the apocryphal New York Times headline:
WORLD ENDS! MINORITIES AND WOMEN HIT HARDEST!
What Hath God Wrought?
Dont hold your breath thinking that the newly released pro-life rating across the general public will propel any change in the Old Mediabut it conceivably will with some elected officials.
The Old Media is rooted in the past in more ways than one and cannot change. If survival meant anything at all, Old Media would have shifted long ago. Like the Captain on the bridge of the Titanic, Old Media is determined to forge straight ahead heedless of danger. Thus it will go downand welcome to the ocean depths.
With politicians itll be different. Not initially because pols have to devise a way to accommodate public opinionbut the change will be felt in time for FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act). President Obama ran with the pledge of making it the first order of business in his presidency. Last week at his news conference he said it is not high on my list of priorities. He knew what was up with his own private polling process.
But his Lefty base will insist that it come up.
When it does, you will see the first breath of change in Republican pro-aborts. There will be many manufactured reasons for the switches. Mark Kirk will say that while hes pro-choice he doesnt like certain features of the bill, will wince and grumble. His heavy pro-abort district of the secular rich will be slow in coming around. But with other Republican pro-aborts the signal will be to change and change quick.
It will be catching with some regular Democrats. Look upon it as the equivalent of gun-control. Remember when the Democrats and RINO Republicans were hot for the assault weapon ban? Then 1994 saw more than 50 House seats change partially due to reaction to too-stringent gun measures. You saw what happened yesterday to the bill allowing guns in the national parks, didnt you? Democrats helped lead the way.
If the numbers hold on abortion and I think they will since most of the change appears to come from clear, modern-designed ultra-sound perceptions (newer pictures now show faces so that the prospective parents can thrill to the fact that unborn little Charlie has a nose just like his grandpa)...something we pro-lifers have been pilloried for since 1973 but insisted all along the framework will start changing on this crucially important social issue.
Not so gay rights. That will become an even stronger liberal cause celebre.
But one thing at a time. And dont think Obama is so rigid that he cant deviate from ideology. Look what he did on the Iraq pull-out, on building up more troops for Afghanistan. On releasing the torture photos. On military tribunals.
He hasnt gotten to where he is by thumbing his nose at public opinion. Hes smooth as silk. Pretty soon abortion rights will be zip on his agenda as well. Look for him to appoint a real cipher to the Supreme Court someone who will be able to, Obama hopes, glide to confirmation without difficulty. I think he might name Gov. Jennifer Granholm who is a pro-abort Catholic all right but who can bob and weave with the best in answering questions. But that wont dull the opposition.