Introduction

This project did something that has never been done before: It amassed data on the syndicated columnists published by nearly every daily newspaper in the country. While a few publications, most notably Editor & Publisher, cover the syndicated newspaper industry, no one has attempted to comprehensively assemble this information prior to now. Because the syndicates refuse to reveal to the public exactly where their columnists are published, when Media Matters for America set out to make a systematic assessment of the syndicated columnist landscape, we had no choice but to contact each paper individually and ask which syndicated columnists are published on their op-ed pages. The results show that in paper after paper, state after state, and region after region, conservative syndicated columnists get more space than their progressive counterparts. As Editor & Publisher para- phrased one syndicate executive noting, “U.S. dailies run more conservative than liberal columns, but some are willing to consider liberal voices.”1 Though papers may be “willing to consider” progressive syndicated columnists, this unprecedented study reveals the true extent of the dominance of conservatives:

  • Sixty percent of the nation’s daily newspapers print more conservative syndicated columnists every week than progressive syndicated columnists. Only 20 percent run more progressives than conservatives, while the remaining 20 percent are evenly balanced.
  • In a given week, nationally syndicated progressive columnists are published in newspapers with a combined total circulation of 125 million. Conservative columnists, on the other hand, are published in newspapers with a combined total circulation of more than 152 million.2
  • The top 10 columnists as ranked by the number of papers in which they are carried include five conservatives, two centrists, and only three progressives.
  • The top 10 columnists as ranked by the total circulation of the papers in which they are published also include five conservatives, two centrists, and only three progressives.
  • In 38 states, the conservative voice is greater than the progressive voice — in other words, conservative columns reach more readers in total than progressive columns. In only 12 states is the progressive voice greater than the conservative voice.
  • In three out of the four broad regions of the country — the West, the South, and the Midwest — conservative syndicated columnists reach more readers than progressive syndicated columnists. Only in the Northeast do progressives reach more readers, and only by a margin of 2 percent.
  • In eight of the nine divisions into which the U.S. Census Bureau divides the country, conservative syndicated columnists reach more readers than progressive syndicated columnists in any given week. Only in the Middle Atlantic division do progressive columnists reach more readers each week.

Though they have suffered slow but steady declines in readership over the last couple of decades, newspapers remain in many ways the most important of all news media. The Newspaper Association of America estimates that each copy of a weekday paper is read by an average of 2.1 adults, while each Sunday paper is read by an average of 2.5 adults,3 pushing total newspaper readership for daily papers to more than 116 million and Sunday papers to more than 134 million. This means that some columnists reach tens of millions of readers, and one, conservative George Will, actually reaches more than 50 million. Read The  Full report.

Let's be clear on what the Nobel is about. It is NOT about specific achievement, but rather, whatever the Nobel committee–however subjectively–decides what a person's "work" is.

According to Alfred Nobel's will the Peace Prize should be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." Source: Wikipedia: Nobel Peace Prize The story of Obama winning the prize.

The Committee's Statement Notice that it's more about hope and aspiration, than any accomplishments. These are their words– the people who gave up the prize.  Notice there is no mention of an American Republican, or a disaffected liberal's idea of what the prize should be about.  It's their award, their decision, their statement, and their fucking business. Can we move on to the next phony issue, please?

The following is the text of the announcement on Friday by the Norwegian Nobel Committee giving the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama: "The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons. "Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened. "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population. "For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

One of my very first posts to this blog (still not quite ready for prime time), and it's a gem,  to my limited  mind. In response to the stealthy and disingenuous screed by Stephen Hayward (AEI) on Sunday, this letter was sent to the Washington Post. 

Short and sweet, it takes just 100 words to eviscerate conservatism better than 10,000 word essays by some pretty bright progressives ever seem to do. I may print wallet cards with it. I've posted a permanent page to warehouse it for all time!

Read the letter.