Monday, April 11, 2005
Via Volokh Conspiracy:

Charlie Rose: If [somebody came in] and said, we believe there is the absence of progressive opinion as people now believe on cable news, would that have been successful as FOX has been? My question said another way: Is it the fact that they have some, a formula, and it doesn`t matter what the politics are, or the politics make a difference?

JONATHAN KLEIN: They've tapped into an outrage that's lurking among a certain small segment of the population, mostly angry white men, and those men tend to be rabid. They tend to be habitual. They tend to like to have their points of view reinforced. And a, quote/unquote, "progressive" or liberal network probably couldn't reach the same sort of an audience, because liberals tend to like to sample a lot of opinions. They pride themselves on that. And you know, they don't get too worked up about anything. And they're pretty morally relativistic. And so, you know, they allow for a lot of that stuff. You know, the -- FOX is very appealing to people who like to get worked up over things.

By "small segment," I guess he means a population about 10 times larger than the viewing audience of CNN? I should note, I don't watch FOX News, and frankly for the most part can't stand to watch it. But CNN can be just as bad too. And MSNBC is just awful the two times I watched it for 5 minutes in the last year or so....

And in my experience Democrats are as judgmental if not more so than Republicans (I think using party descriptors is more accurate than ideological tags for this point). Granted most of the issues Democrats tend to focus on are shallow and materialistic - is that what moral relativism means? :) As someone who truly is in the center, and who really does keep an open mind for the most part, I find both Democrats and Republicans tend to be pretty closed minded. The main difference I see, is that Republicans tend to think their positions are morally superior, and Democrats tend to think their positions are intellectually superior.

I generally find on issues where some superiority is asserted to support the position, the position usually has problems that the proponent fails to address.
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