Alternative media (U.S. political right)
Alternative media in the
United Statesusually refers to internet, talk radio, print, and television journalismand opinions which present a point of view that counters the alleged biasof mainstream media. It is rooted in the conservative movement's presumptionDubious|A small comment & a big question|date=March 2008 that the alleged bias is toward liberalism and that modern journalism's goal of "objectivity" is essentially moot.
The perception of a liberal-leaning bias in the mainstream media is not a new one.
Richard M. Nixondecried it,Fact|date=April 2007 and Ronald Reaganmade it a running joke during his term in office. cite book | author = Dinesh D'Souza | title= Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader | isbn=0684848236 ]
As chronicled in
David Halberstam's "The Powers That Be", the Los Angeles Times, which had fiercely supported Nixon's first run for the United States House of Representatives, declined to support as strongly his run for the Senate, his 1960 presidential campaign, and his 1962 California gubernatorial campaign. The paper's final break with Nixon came during the Vietnam Warand the Watergate scandal. At roughly the same time, Henry Luce's "Time" began running articles critical of the Nixon administration. Not long after this, then Vice President Spiro Agnewbegan attacking the media in a series of speeches — two of the most famous of these were written by White House aides Patrick Buchananand William Safire— as "elitist" and "liberal".
After Nixon's resignation and until the late 1980s, overtly conservative news outlets included the editorial pages of "
The Wall Street Journal", the " Boston Herald" and the " Washington Times". Conservative magazines included the " National Review" and the " American Spectator".
broadcast media, the FCCpolicy of the Fairness Doctrine required broadcast licensees to present controversial issues of public importance, and to present such issues in an honest, equal and balanced manner. The Red Lion Casewas a key legal precedent in defining the role of the FCC and the enforcement of the Doctrine.
In 1987, the Fairness Doctrine was repealed, eliminating the restriction on broadcasters to provide balance to controversial issues.
With the increased popularity and superior sound quality of
FM Radio, AM stations had long languished behind FM in both popularity and ratings, resulting in underutilization of the band. There had even been discussions in the 1970s and 1980s of abolishing the AM band. [cite paper
title=The Tyranny of the AM Band: How Dual AM/FM Licensees Can Adjust to the 1990’s
publisher=Audience Research Analysis
This combination of cheap, underutilized frequencies, the absence of content restrictions, and a perceived under-served conservative audienceFact|date=April 2007 led a number of radio programmers and syndicators to produce and broadcast conservative talk shows. The most successful of these was
Rush Limbaugh. Others included Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Sean Hannityand Glenn Beck. These talk shows drew large audiences, reinvigorated the AM band, and arguably altered the political landscape. Talk radio became a key force in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.cite episode
title=The Right Talk
series=The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
serieslink=The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
airdate=2003-10-13] cite journal
title=Talking the Vote: Why Presidential Candidates Hit the Talk Show Circuit
American Journal of Political Science
doi=10.1111/j.0092-5853.2005.t01-1-00119.x] While liberal talk radio also emerged, such as
Air America Radio, the medium is still dominated by conservatives.
In the early 2000s, blogs of all political persuasions became increasingly influential. Conservative blogs such as Power Line, Captains Quarters and blogger
Michelle Malkincovered and promoted a number of stories, for instance the Swift Boat Veterans' criticism of the war record of presidential candidate John Kerry. Particularly notable was the uncovering of the "Memogate" scandal by Little Green Footballsand others. American blog Captains Quarters played a role in the 2005 Canadian election, outflanking a Canadian judicial gag orderon media coverage of hearings related to a Canadian Liberal Party corruption scandal. The fallout from the scandal helped lead to a Conservative victory in the following election.cite news
title=The Case Against a Martin Majority
Notable alternative media outlets
Northern Alliance Radio Network
Power Line (blog)[http://www.powerlineblog.com]
Little Green Footballs
[http://www.hotair.com Michelle Malkin's "Vent"]
Alternative media (U.S. political left)
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