Summary of What Liberal Media?

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What Liberal Media? book summary


8 Overall

5 Applicability

10 Innovation

9 Style


Constructing a cohesive, logical argument to refute the often-repeated claim that the media has a liberal bias requires careful planning and airtight evidence. Yet author Eric Alterman makes a strong case that, if anything, the media is dominated by conservatives who promote the findings of well-funded partisan think tanks, help book publishers who produce poorly researched ideological books, support incendiary TV and radio pundits, and abet editorialists who push the conservative line. Their goal, Alterman alleges, is to quash intelligent political debate and reduce complex arguments to simplistic black and white alternatives - all in support of a right-leaning political agenda. The book is thoroughly researched and documented, if sometimes so absorbed in its own point of view and so esoteric that only the most dedicated reader will follow it. getAbstract recommends this book to everyone interested in fostering more balanced political discussion.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why claims that the media is liberal are baseless;
  • Why conservative ideologues propagate this myth;
  • How pundits, think tanks, book publishers and changed journalistic practices help them; and
  • How these forces may have affected the results of the 2000 presidential election.

About the Author

Eric Alterman is professor of English at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, media columnist for The Nation, the Altercation" weblogger for and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he writes and edits the "Think Again" column. Alterman is the author of the national bestsellers The Truth About Bias and the News (2003, 2004) and The Book on Bush: How George W. (Mis)leads America (with Mark Green, 2004). His newest book is When Presidents Lie: A History of Deception and its Consequences (September, 2004). His Sound & Fury: The Making of the Punditocracy (1992, 2000), won the 1992 George Orwell Award and his It Ain’t No Sin to be Glad You’re Alive: The Promise of Bruce Springsteen (1999, 2001) won the 1999 Stephen Crane Literary Award. Alterman is also the author of Who Speaks for America? Why Democracy Matters in Foreign Policy (1998). A frequent lecturer and contributor to virtually every significant national publication in the US and many in Europe, in recent years, he has also been a columnist for: Worth, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones and The Sunday Express (London). A senior fellow of the World Policy Institute at New School University, Alterman received his B.A., his M.A. in International Relations from Yale and his Ph.D. in U.S. History from Stanford. He is at working on a history of postwar American liberalism.



Why the Media is More Conservative than Liberal
Many politicians and citizens consider the U.S. media to be liberal. Yet, the claim of liberal bias in the media is almost impossible to prove, since the very definition of "liberal" hinges on each individual’s complex opinions. ...

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