Good theory, Rocket Man. I suppose that, from the standpoint of Time, CBS, and some newspapers., the risk in taking off the gloves is that they will lose readers/viewers. I don’t think the liberal base as a whole is interested enough in the news to sustain these media outlets in the style to which they have become accustomed, if they move to the left. They’ve already gone about as far as they can go. The Washington Post, I think, is an exception, but the Post seems pretty comfortable with where it is, being taken seriously by all of the players here in Washington. As to the networks, there may be room for one of them to move left. When I was more naive, I half expected one of the then-big three networks to start offering objective to mildly right-of-center news because it would have been such an obviously shrewd move. It never happened, and Fox exploited the vacuum. Right now, if one of the networks moved fairly hard left, it might find a niche (although not as cushy as the one Fox has) and could perhaps differentiate itself nicely from the other two networks (actually, for all the attention I pay to network news these days this might already be happening). But the underlying problem for the liberals won’t disappear. Their constituents can’t really sustain their media heroes. Just ask Phil Donahue. And, in the current war climate, their media heroes have great difficulty appearing heroic.
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