April 08, 2002
More Norah-bashing

To further demonstrate that Norah Vincent had no idea what she was talking about when she claimed that "nearly every big-city newspaper in the country" serves up a "bowdlerized opus of [left-wing] ideals" on a daily basis, we have this interesting story, courtesy of Oliver Willis. Turns out that the various companies who syndicate columnists to the newspapers have a fairly balanced stable of liberals and conservatives, with a slight tilt to the conservatives.

"Conservative columnists are a bit more popular," agreed Alan Shearer, editorial director and general manager of WPWG, which has four liberal, three conservative, and eight moderate or hard-to-pigeonhole Op-Ed columnists. He said one reason why conservatives tend to sell better is that conservative publishers, especially at smaller papers, often influence editorial-page editors' column buys.

Imagine that. A free-market solution giving the customers what they want. Ever hear of such a thing, Norah?

We're not talking about exactly the same thing here, since Norah singled out "big-city" newspapers, and Alan Shearer above talks about "smaller papers". As I mentioned last time, big city folks have plenty of options as well. I'm pointing this out to counter the claim that readers in the Bush-loving heartlands are stuck with a drumbeat of monolithic liberalism. It just ain't so.

On a side note, to Evelyn Palmeri, who wrote in to Virginia Postrel to complain that victimhood is not something the Right engages in but "is a wholly owned subsidiary of the left", I have a free clue for you: When saying that you don't love victimhood, it's best not to claim victim status in the same paragraph. It weakens your point, y'know?

BTW, Virginia, if it makes you feel better, some boys like bossy girls. Just FYI.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 08, 2002 to Other punditry