What Liberal Media?

Nicholas Watson of San Diego forwarded this interesting article (linked below) to Altercation--and Alterman saw fit to print it, and I'm passing the key info along.

It's an article of faith that NPR is a bastion of liberality on the airwaves--in fact, when the head of the Armed Forces radio network was questioned about their lineup, which contains daily doses of Limbaugh and Dr. Laura, he said that the ideological spectrum was represented by the inclusion of NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Marketplace."

For the record, I'm of the opinion that the current move to get Limbaugh off AFN is a bit overblown, so I haven't signed any of the various petitions to pressure the government to make it happen--we have more important things to worry about right now.

But then comes this article from Newsday that discusses a report done by FAIR. Here's the lede and the second paragraph.

Despite a perception that National Public Radio is politically liberal, the majority of its sources are actually Republicans and conservatives, according to a survey released today by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a left-leaning media watchdog.

"Republicans not only had a substantial partisan edge," according to a report accompanying the survey, "individual Republicans were NPR's most popular sources overall, taking the top seven spots in frequency of appearance." In addition, representatives of right-of-center think tanks outnumbered their leftist counterparts by more than four to one, FAIR reported.

Bolded parts mine.

So how could this misperception have taken hold so firmly? FAIR's Steve Randall says, and I tend to agree, that NPR's approach has a lot to do with it. Compared to the over-the-top rantings of Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly and (especially) Savage, NPR's genteel approach provides for more balance and more opportunity for multiple perspectives to make their way into the discourse.

But the only way, apparently, that NPR is actually liberal leaning is when you compare them to the ranting right-wingers, which is like saying that John McCain is some sort of hippie in comparison to Tom DeLay. It may be true in that limited universe, but it's ridiculous in any wider sense.

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