Saturday, March 25, 2006

The MSM Is Still The Popular Choice

One popular conservative myth being promoted is that huge rejection of the MSM is underway by the public. The false premise in this is that their out of the mainstream political ideology is somehow the "mainstream" ideology. To bolster this false myth, some out of context newspaper circulation or evening news ratings are used.

However, MSM newspapers and evening news are still the overwelming choice of viewers, with "conservative" leaning news programs a distant place back in the Nielsen ratings.

The network evening news from NBC, ABC and CBS draws 9.7, 8.7 and 8.1 million viewers according to the latest March 13-17 ratings posted by Nielsen Media Research. By comparison THE O'REILLY FACTOR draws just 2.3 million viewers and HANNITY & COLMES draws just 1.5 viewers.

If the "conservative" ideology is as popular as conservatives claim, then news programs that reflect that view would draw better ratings, but if MSM news draws a little less than 30 million total viewers and the highest rated "conservative" program draws only 1/10th of that audience, then it is easy to see how conservatives inflate the claimed "popularity" of their out of the mainstream political views.

And with newspaper circulation, a few declining circulation figures for some newspapers are used to claim that people are rejecting popular choices such as the New York Times. Yet it is seldom mentioned how the Moonie owned conservative newspaper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES lags in circulation compared to many titles or that circulatuion figures for most papers only reflect increased media competition from more papers, broadcast, radio and Internet news.

Conservative leaders like to play strange little mind games with their followers, creating myths that their philosophy is somehow mainstream, or that there is some sort of mass public rejection of political views more liberal than their own. But like most other conservative myths, the reality of circulation and Nielsen rating figures clearly proves that their viewpoints are the minority viewpoint, and most of the public does not follow their version of the news with their spin on events and items.


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